7 Things to Buy Instead of a Verizon iPhone

  • A Pretty Penny

    Pre-orders for the new Verizon iPhone began Thursday, prompting much excitement – so much so that the smartphones sold out in the first two hours they became available, even though it was the middle of the night. Apple and Verizon also released final pricing details, and more budget-conscious consumers might have done a double-take at all the dollar signs being thrown around. As with the AT&T iPhone 4, a 16 GB model costs $199, while the 32 GB model will set you back $299. But those prices are only good with a new two-year contract, and that’s where Verizon really gets you – $59.99 a month for unlimited talk and text, plus another $29.99 a month for an unlimited data plan. Doing the math, that comes out to a grand total of $2,360 over the course of two years if you get the 16GB model and both unlimited plans. That’s a good chunk of change, which got us thinking: What could you do with that money instead? Verizon iPhone Photo Credit: Apple.com
    Buy Six Shares of Apple Stock
  • Buy Six Shares of Apple Stock

    Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) is trading at $346.50 a share as of this writing, meaning you can buy a half-dozen shares (and still have almost $300 of walking around money left in your pocket). And while Steve Jobs’ latest health scare might make you worry about the long-term health of the company, the launch of the Verizon iPhone and the impending second-generation iPad has experts bullish on the stock. For more stock advice, check out TheStreet and StockPickr. Photo Credit: TheStreet.com
    Invest in a Two-Year CD
  • Invest in a Two-Year CD

    The iPhone may be shiny, but it’s not an investment. Why not take that money and tuck it away in a certificate of deposit for the next two years? According to RateWatch, the average 24-month CD is currently paying out .782% in interest. After two years, that will net you a tidy interest payout of … $37. On second thought, that’s terrible. Let’s find something else to do with your money. Photo Credit: bankingmyway.com
    Buy a Huge TV
  • Buy a Huge TV

    That’s more like it. With prices on HDTVs coming down in the past few years, you can get a reasonably-sized TV for less than $1,000. So why not spend $2,000 and get an unreasonably-sized one? This 58” plasma TV has 3-D abilities and is on sale for $2,299.98 – pretty much the same price as the iPhone, but with a screen that’s 16 times bigger. Alternatively, you could downgrade to this 55” Sony Bravia ($1,798.99) and then throw in a Wi-Fi enabled Blu-Ray home theater system for an additional $379.99. Sure, a TV can’t make phone calls, but which would you rather watch a movie on? Photo Credit: BestBuy.com
    Pay Off (Half) Your Credit Card Debt
  • Pay Off (Half) Your Credit Card Debt

    Can you really justify a $2,360 expenditure when you’re up to your eyeballs in debt? If you’re like most Americans, you’d probably say “yes,” but you’re reading MainStreet, so we’d like to think you’re the more responsible type. Take that money and pay off the debt that’s been accumulating on your credit card. You’ll be glad you did. Of course, $2,360 may not be enough to get the job done: The average American carries about $5,000 in credit card debt. Still, wouldn’t it feel nice to wipe half your debt off the books? Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver
    Join a Gym
  • Join a Gym

    There’s nothing worse than a scrawny guy hunched over his iPhone playing Angry Birds, right? The $200 initial cost and $90 monthly fee of a Verizon iPhone can easily cover a year’s membership at even the nicest of gyms. And if you wind up joining a more reasonably priced gym, you can put the extra money toward some protein shakes, running shoes and nicer clothes. Let’s face it: There may have been a time when the iPhone was a status symbol, but nowadays you’re better off being fit and well-dressed if you want to attract a mate. Photo Credit: Hotel Casavelas
    Go on Vacation
  • Go on Vacation

    That $2,360 can buy a whole lot of airfare and nights in a hotel, and a week-long vacation would make a very nice Valentine’s Day gift. For instance, you could book a seven-night vacation in a four-star hotel on Mexico’s Caribbean coastline for as little as $949 per person … with roundtrip airfare and meals included. The two of you will even have some cash left over to spend in the duty-free shop! (Note: That deal is only good through Feb. 9.) Photo Credit: David Grant
    Make a Down Payment on a New Car
  • Make a Down Payment on a New Car

    Most people don’t think of a new phone as a big-ticket purchase akin to a car or house. And in all fairness, you couldn’t buy either with $2,360. But you could make a down payment on a new car and drive it off the lot. Let’s say you buy the Nissan Versa for $9,990. If you use your $2,360 in iPhone money as a down payment and get a 48-month loan at 5.356% (the current average, according to RateWatch), you’re looking at monthly payments of less than $200 (according to the BankingMyWay auto loan calculator). The Verizon iPhone may be jam-packed with features, but nothing beats a new set of wheels. Photo Credit: nissanusa.com
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