Cost per month

We own stuff.

We work so that we can own stuff.

But how much does this stuff cost?

Let's say I buy a smartphone for 300€.

Is this cheaper than another one for 900€?

If everything else is equal: yes.

But is everything else equal? Probably not.

Maybe one phone breaks less often. Or the battery dies faster. Or the software doesn't get any updates.

So I think saying stuff like "A phone for 300€ is cheaper than a 900€ phone." is pretty useless, because this only includes the one-time cashflow of buying it.

It's also way harder to compare the phone to another device, e.g. a laptop, or even your housing cost.


Instead of thinking in "cost of buying", I use "cost per month".


Motorola smartphone: I bought it in 2015-02 for 120€. It lasted for 90 months so far. => 120€ / 90 = 1.3€/month

Thinkpad X230: I bought it in 2022-02 for 120€. It lasted for 6 months so far. => 120€ / 6 = 20€/month

It's interesting to see that if I'll use my Thinkpad just for some additional 6 months, the cost per month will half down to 10€/month.

Just for comparison: If you buy a new phone every 3 years for 240€, you pay 6.6€/month. If you buy a new phone every 5 years for 600€, you pay 10€/month.

Moto E 2015Normal PhoneSustainable PhoneThinkpad X230Housing
Cost (€)120240600120-
Used (Months)9036606-
Cost per Month (€)1.36.610.020.0600
Work per Month
(Hours, 20€/h net)

These numbers seem to be low.

Especially in contrast to paying 600€ per month for housing.

Buying a sustainable phone, that lasts longer, should be affordable for many people.