For a long time, I was firmly against purchasing a smart phone. I figured I was just fine with my old cell phone, saving money by avoiding expensive monthly data plan fees.
However, after talking it over with friends and family, I finally decided to purchase one. I paid nothing for the actual phone, and my plan includes unlimited talk and text, along with a moderate amount of data, for only $50 a month. Considering that I paid $30 for my old phone, the price increase was pretty easy to justify.
Now that I’ve owned my smart phone for a few months, I have found a variety of ways to save money that easily make up for the additional expense.
1. Daily Purchases
For things such as groceries and gas, there are plenty of apps available that can help you save money. With Cheap Gas!, you can find neighborhood gas stations with the best prices, and by using RedLaser, you can easily compare prices of two different sized food items to see which one offers the best price per unit. Grocery Gadget saves you money right at the register, as it displays bar codes for current coupons on your phone’s screen, which the cashier scans to give you an immediate discount. The days of clipping coupons are over.
2. Large Purchases
Whether I’m purchasing a laptop computer or a major home appliance, I always have a lingering feeling that I’m not getting the best price, despite my Internet research. This ended once I put my smart phone to work.
When I find what I think to be the best price for the item I wish to purchase, I scan the bar code using the Shop Savvy app to see if a better deal exists. If one is found, I show the price to the salesperson to see if they’ll match it. Often they do.
Many smart phones come with built-in GPS capability, meaning you will no longer need a separate GPS device. I have found that the map displays are more accurate when viewed through my smart phone.
If your phone does not come with GPS, try the AmAze GPS app. It’s free and offers turn-by-turn voice capability.
I’ve found plenty of ways to use my smart phone to save time, which is often as good as saving money. I lead a pretty fast-paced life and am almost always on the go. Being able to read my emails and pay bills throughout the day frees up more time when I get home from work. And with my note-taking app Evernote, my life is now more organized than ever.
There are far too many money-saving apps on the market to list here. Simply put, with a smart phone, you have the world at your fingertips. You can organize your finances with Pageonce, save on restaurants with BiteHunter, and get cheap international calling with Skype. There are times when spending a little more money up front will help you save in the long run, and I consider a smart phone to be a good investment.
How do you save money with your smart phone?
There are two other ways that I have found my smartphone saved me money; firstly I use a banking app on it so I can track my spending at all times and ensure I’m sticking successfully to my budget.
Secondly, I now almost exclusively use the camera on my smartphone rather than a stand-alone camera. As a result, despite my old camera dying, I haven’t found it necessary to invest in a new one (yet).