Every fall you could do something that would make most minimalists cringe.

Order a new phone and/or computer yearly, whether or not critics deem the upgrades significant, to save money on something that enhances your life every day. Scary isn’t it?

By creating a master inventory of everything I owned it appeared to me that the technology I used frequently really racked up mileage while the rest spent their time hibernating. The challenges with average minimalist thinking is that it discourages us from owning too much at a given time. Some believe that this includes going after everything on the cheap.

The name “minimalist luxury lifestyle” is self explanatory and opens you up to the potential you have to relieve yourself from pressure to run your life off of DOS with outdated tech.

How do you upgrade every year for nearly free?

By not letting your mobile service provider karate chop your wallet. On average your phone will cost anywhere from $600-800 retail but if you follow my strategy there’s a chance to weigh in around $450.

A value you would not get if you trade in your phone. Hint: They only give you about $200. Check the math on your own if you’re skeptical. If you want to minimize your losses here, you can follow my strategy:

  1. Purchase your phone outright. Nowadays many mobile users are on payment plans or “leases” with their service providers since the land of free phones with 2 year agreements are gone. What your friends at the cell phone store might not tell you is that you can purchase the phone and then sell it on your own.
  2. Assess the market value. Cross-checking eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and any number of online marketplaces to buy and sell goods will get you the data you need. After activating your new phone put in the make & model of the old phone into search, i.e.: “iPhone 7 Plus Space Gray AT&T 128GB”. Then record the highest, lowest and median values.
  3. Cash that bad boy in. Patience is key here. From data I have over the past 10 years of selling over the internet there’s a rule that everything sells, in time. Be honest, CYA and stick to cash or proven mediums like eBay.

There’s a window to minimize loss during upgrades:

  • Used Androids/iPhones lost the last of their value 3-5 months after a new product launch before declining.
  • Technology can easily bottleneck otherwise productive people. The worst case scenario is waiting for things to load while you’re already cramming in too many calendar invites into the schedule.

Yes, per policy, I will be upgrading to the new iPhone 2, 3G, 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 6, 6S, 7 Plus, X because it is the one thing that enables me to connect, create and collaborate all in one place so it better be lightning fast.

(Updated October 27, 2017)

2 replies
  1. Rick Tastic
    Rick Tastic says:


    Take away my house, my car, and 98% of my shit, but touch my phone and I’ll cut your throat. I’ll always be willing to drop bills on having the best phone, or at least the second best phone if I don’t yet “need” the features on the newest model.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *