The Apple Watch can pay for itself by improving its wearer’s fitness, as well as improving spending habits, medical and energy costs and even boosting earning potential.
A lot of people are excited about the new Apple Watch, but at $349 for the basic version to as much as $17,000 for the Apple Watch Edition, can you really afford it? To pay for itself, the Apple Watch would have to earn about $1 a day for a year or 50 cents a day for two years. Keep reading to see five different ways the Apple Watch could earn its own keep.
1. The Apple Watch Can Improve Your Health
Being fit can save money on clothes, healthcare and groceries, to name a few. The discounted lifetime cost of diabetes alone is estimated at over $91,000. Fixing that one factor is worth five gold Apple Watch Editions or 260 Apple Watch Sport versions. Lump in other medical conditions related to the sedentary lifestyle, like a deep vein thrombosis from sitting too long or a case of cardiovascular disease, and that seemingly pricey Apple Watch pays for itself fast.
What Gets Measured Gets Improved
The Apple Watch can measure not only the distance of your most recent run, but also all the ways a wearer moves throughout the day. The watch’s Activity app has a clear visual chart with three rings that display total calories burned, how many minutes of brisk activity have been completed and how often the wearer has stood up to take breaks from sitting. The goal is to complete all three rings every day.
The Workout app gives more detailed data during an exercise session, including elapsed time, calories, pace, distance and speed. The Apple Watch also shows the most recent workout stats, best workout stats, and goals for every activity type. Users can choose to beat their last or best workout, match it or set a different goal. The app also gives progress updates like showing the halfway point and displays a summary after each workout is done. There are daily, weekly and monthly fitness summaries and the Apple Watch can even suggest future goals based on past performance.
Other apps like the Lifesum app can help a user track their food and water intake for the day.
2. The Apple Watch Can Cut Your Spending
The Mint app for the Apple Watch is a pared down but highlighted version of the full iPhone app. The app provides a simplified overview of spending for the previous three months in 18 “fun categories” like shopping, dining and entertainment. Between nights out, movie rentals, theater movies and other entertainment, and non-grocery shopping, almost any user should be able to use the Apple Watch Mint app to pare $1 or 50 cents a day from their “fun” budget.
Other money apps like Invoice2Go are already available, and as new apps are developed the Apple Watch’s money saving power will expand even more.
Related: 7 Best iPhone Budget Apps
3. The Apple Watch Can Save on Medical Costs
Some people need regular or intermittent heart monitoring, and everyone will likely need some kind of heart monitoring at some point in their lives.
A set of photodiodes on the back of the Apple Watch measure the wearer’s heart rate. The national average cost for a Holter Monitor in the U.S. is listed at $350 a day, but a typical test can run several days. Adding in interpretation of the results and a visit with a cardiologist can easily run to $5,000 or more, eating up the average health insurance deductible of $917 fast.
It’s unclear whether Apple Watch heart rate data can replace a Holter Monitor or whether doctors and hospitals will accept Apple Watch medical data as accurate. Even so, someone who verifies that their heart rate is within acceptable levels on their own could save themselves a visit to the ER or a cardiologist, easily saving $350 or more. Down the road, rumored apps like a blood sugar tracking feature for diabetics may boost the watch’s medical savings still more.
4. The Apple Watch Can Save on Energy Costs
The Apple Watch can provide energy cost savings that can pay for the watch in less than a year.
The Apple Watch’s Honeywell Lyric app ties the watch into smart home thermostat systems. With a single tap, users can enable presets like “I’m Away” or “I’m Going to Sleep.” The watch can even detect when users have traveled far from home, and send a notification asking if the wearer would like to switch to “Out of Town” mode to save on energy costs. The watch will then automatically adjust the home’s temperature in time for the user’s return.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home heating and cooling costs account for about half of all home utility bills. Since the average monthly utility cost is about $1,400 a month, someone who saves only 5% on their heating and cooling costs with the Honeywell Lyric app can save $420 a year with the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch’s energy savings don’t stop with heating and cooling costs. The Lutron Caséta app links to a smart home’s lights. The app can dim the lights for a movie night, turn lights on and off as a theft deterrent when the owner is away, or show a notification that the watch’s wearer has left the lights on.
5. The Apple Watch Can up Your Earning Power
According to the Harvard Business Review, when two job candidates are otherwise equal, employers are more likely to hire the one wearing luxury brands. In a study in the Journal of Business Research, observers of an interview rated job candidates who wore luxury brands as better suited to the job. They also rated luxury brand wearers as deserving of higher pay.
Will the Apple Watch get you a job or a raise? Probably not. But it may be the tipping factor that gets one candidate hired over one with equal qualifications and experience and it may boost the perception that its wearer deserves higher pay. While the dollar value on a status boost depends on several factors, it ought to be worth at least the cost of an Apple Watch.
The Lifetime Cost of Diabetes and Its Implications for Diabetes Prevention – Care.DiabetesJournals.org
Holter Monitor – Womens-Health-Advice.com
Heating & Cooling – Engergy.gov
The Average Cost of Running a Home – Budgeting.TheNest.com
Wearing Luxury Brands Makes You Seem More Qualified for the Job – Harvard Business Review