Great Savings 50 – Buy A Smart Phone


Smart phones do a lot more than making calls.

Is it time to upgrade? Yes!

You may wonder why a website dedicated to simplifying life and getting by on less would suggest owning a smart phone. In truth, there is a lot wrong with technology, especially when it threatens to poke its nose into every aspect of our lives. We need balance to thrive, balance which can easily be upset when a device like a smart phone demands our attention at all hours of the day and night. Yet there are some significant benefits that are difficult to ignore.


Top Reasons To Own A Smart Phone


Get a list of personal finance apps.

When you look beyond the games, there are an amazing number of apps designed to help you save money and build wealth.

(1) The world is changing at a phenomenal pace. You have to keep up and owning a smart phone is now a very big part of that.


(2) Smart phones (Apple or Android) offer incredible apps. Besides all the games and ways to keep connected on social media, there are a wealth of free financial tools in the form of apps you can put to use immediately. Many will help you save and manage your money.


(3) You can keep instant tabs on your bank balance and credit cards. Most banks offer their own app, or in some cases, a financial or budgeting app will automatically update data from the bank.


There are so many ways to save while you shop.

Even if you skip over budgeting apps, there are lots of ways to save while shopping.

(4) You can become a smarter, more savvy shopper, instantly. Find the best deals for goods wherever you shop. Download apps to scan prices or build shopping lists. Share shopping lists with a partner or friends. Use instant electronic coupons. Use your phone as your store savings card. There are so many apps the possibilities are endless.


(5) Keeping current helps build self-confidence. There is nothing worse than feeling out of date or as if the world has passed you by. Don’t avoid change, especially change embraced by so many. Strive to stay current. The world will seem less scary and you’ll feel better about yourself  in the long run.


Be Smart About Your Smart Phone


There are many reasons to own a smart phone, but be financially smart about it:


This is Great Savings 50 - Buy A Smart Phone(1) Get a pre-paid plan. Before you get locked in on a lengthy contract, check out pre-paid plans offered by most of the major carriers. You may end up cutting the cost by up to half.


(2) Buy a factory re-conditioned phone. These are often a generation or two behind the latest models, but still give you most of the same functionality. Best of all, they’re much cheaper when you go to buy a phone outright for a pre-paid phone plan.


(3) Don’t let your phone rule your life. Your phone is a valuable tool, but don’t let it intrude into every part of your life. Turn it off or keep it in the other room at night. Turn it off at family meals. Avoid the temptation to text or play games at all hours of the day. Take a walk or go for a run without it. You’ll miss out on the amazing world all around you if get too hooked on your phone.


Get an app from the app store.

If you are on your device find the icon that says App Store or Play Store to view apps.

(4) Consider free apps first. There are tons of apps that come free. This means you usually have to put up with a certain amount of advertising. However, that often beats paying for an app, especially if you’re unsure what it can do for you. Many developers also offer a trial version so you can test an app’s features. To learn more about an app, look at the ratings for it, the number of times it’s been downloaded and the comments from some of the users. You can save considerable grief.


I'm looking at personal financial apps.

An iPad from Apple or Android pad may be a better bet for some. It depends on how you plan to use it. You won’t need a phone plan for a pad unless you plan to use it on the road.

(5) Consider a pad instead of a phone. You may do better with a smart pad than a smart phone, especially if you don’t want to pay for a phone plan. You can use a pad anywhere “wi-fi” is available. Plus, pads tend to be bigger so are easy to read and they often are easier to navigate. One drawback: Pads are harder to carry around, since they take up more room. Consider how you’ll use your new tool, before you go to buy it.


(6) Protect your data. Just like its larger cousin, the computer, a smart phone or pad is subject to computer viruses. That means you’ll want to download an anti-virus app. You’ll also want to back up your data. Thankfully, companies like Apple make that super easy with their iCloud. If you don’t own an Apple, check our post, “Great Savings 37 – Protect Your Data” for more information on this topic. Finally, you’ll want to password protect your device so others may not access your bank or financial accounts if you lose it or someone steals it. Find a password vault app to help manage passwords. For more on this subject read, “Great Savings Tip 44 – Change Your Passwords.”


Action Plan: Check into pre-paid phone plans and find a good reconditioned phone that accepts apps. Alternatively, buy a reconditioned pad and hook it up to your in-home wi-fi. Go to your settings menu to hook it into your home’s network. Do you already own a smart phone or pad? Then find at least one new financially oriented app you can try out. Check with your bank if you haven’t already downloaded their app. Or search for money, finance or shopping apps online in iTunes (for Apple) or Play Store ( for Android Google). If you’re having a hard time getting started, seek the help of a tech savvy friend or loved one.



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