I haven’t always been a smartphone user. The price tag and monthly bill made me reluctant to switch over for many years. Now I can’t live without my iPhone. Below I share how to lower the cost of owning a smartphone.
Beware of small fees
In my post about shrinking your cell phone bill, I suggest you avoid the extras like ringtones and wallpaper. With a smartphone, you also want to avoid paying for in-app purchases or going crazy downloading music. To avoid accidentally making these purchases, go to the apps’ settings and turn-off purchases.
Minimize app purchases
Stick to free apps, or at least get money back from your purchase. Use Ebates when buying apps and music. I’ve also scored many free apps from Starbucks. Make sure to look for the business-like cards by the register to score free music and apps every Tuesday. Check out my post on how to purchase inexpensive iphone apps for more tips!
Reduce your data plan
I was grandfathered in to an unlimited plan, but recently, many wireless carries have switched to tiered plans. Avoid going over your minutes by checking your usage statistics. They’re under settings and you can reset them to track your usage over a month. You may be surprised to learn that you’re not using all of your data allowance. Once you’ve reduced your data plan work to stay with in the limit.
One way to reduce your data usage is to log in to a wireless connection. You can do this even when you’re out! Coffee shops, libraries, and even restaurants now offer wireless connections. Just make sure not to check bank accounts when you’re on a public internet connection.
Text and call using apps
Don’t eat up your minutes and incur costs when making calls or texting. There are apps that allow you to use your cell phone’s Wi-Fi to send free texts and make free calls. Many of these apps are also free! I like to use Skype.
UPDATE: I just received my May issue of ShopSmart and it includes apps for chatting on the go — for free! They include:
Facetime – It allows you to video-chatting for free, but you have to be on Wi-Fi.
Fring – Lets you IM, talk, and video-conference using an iPhone, Android, or iPad.
Tango – Offers voice and video calling between devices. This app works on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows.
Viber – You can call and text other Viber users. It’s free and works on iPhone and Android devices.
Whatsapp Messenger – It’s free in Blackberry, Androids for a year, and $.99 cents on iPhone.
Finally, if you’re taking the plunge and getting a smartphone, consider buying a refurbished phone. Many refurbished phones have the same warranty as new ones so you’ll reduce the cost of getting a new phone.
How do you save money when using your smartphone?
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