For lovers of digital technology, it might be unfathomable that you wouldn’t upgrade your phone every now and then or that you wouldn’t stay connected to the net. However, you don’t have to go to the extremes of frugality in order to stop your smartphone from eating up all your money. Here are some budget-friendly tips to help you cut the costs of not just your phone, but most kinds of modern digital technology we use today, including smartwatches, tablets, laptops, and more.
1. Be picky with your providers
It’s more convenient to simply stick to a provider every time you get a new phone, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best deal for you. While some providers do offer loyalty incentives, the truth is that they are usually outweighed by the discount that other providers offer for new customers, so it pays to reevaluate your contract and any alternative options you might have. What’s more, it’s even more valuable to keep an eye out for family contracts. If you and some family members can opt-in for those packages, it offers significant savings for each member. Just bear in mind it’s harder to change a contract for multiple people in the future, compared to changing a contract for just one.
2. Pay only for what you use
When it comes to deciding which contract to go with, the provider shouldn’t be the only thing on your mind. You should think just as much about how you use your phone. How much do you call others, how regularly do you send texts, how much do you use the wireless data on your phone to connect to the internet? When comparing different mobile contract providers, have a good idea of how much you use the different parts of the plan to find that which fits your needs in the most cost-effective manner. There are apps you can use to monitor smartphone data, call time, and texts, so make sure to do so.
3. New isn’t always necessary
When it comes to upgrading the hardware, rather than the contract you’re on, then it pays to be wary of the used market. New costs a lot more, but if you’re not careful, picking a used phone could see you buying something that’s sluggish, buggy, or has some hidden faults that are hard to pick up on at first. However, as shown here, there’s an option besides “new” and “used”. Refurbished phones are pre-owned phones but maintained and fixed up so that they’re like-new, ensuring there are no significant faults. It still costs a lot less than a brand-new phone, but it comes with a little more security than the average used one.
4. A word on warranties
You want to make sure that you’re secured when you buy a phone, so the idea of having it covered in the event of accidental damage or serious software bugs is only natural. That’s what the warranty is for, and it might seem to make sense that would extend that warranty to make sure that it’s protected for even longer. However, as you can read here, there are significant reasons to reconsider purchasing that warranty. In particular, many consumers have found that the warranty doesn’t cover the phone for long enough to cover when the majority of serious issues start to pop up. Also, most phone owners do not consume in a way that fits the warranty, often opting to replace a phone naturally when they’re still in it.
5. Make it a budgeting tool
This isn’t exactly a tip on cutting the costs of phone ownership (as we’ve already covered all the big costs), but rather on how your phone can help you manage your money all the better in all aspects of life. In this article, we take a look at a variety of apps and tools that can help you use your phone to improve your financial sense. From expense tracking apps to portable budgeting tools, you can use your phone to ensure that you’re always shopping and managing your money in the most cost-effective way, including apps to help you build savings and emergency funds. Digital technology makes it much easier to be savvy with your finances than ever, so rely on it.
It’s all too easy to let the digital technology in your life take the reins and eat up as much of your money as it can. However, it doesn’t have to necessarily be the case. Hopefully, the tips help you enjoy your tech as much as always, but without worrying about how much you’re spending on it all.