High tech phones and tablets are extremely useful, but they can also be extremely costly. When you add the cost of the device to the cost of your service plan, the total price can be almost shockingly high. Luckily, there are ways to save money when purchasing and using a tool like an iPad or iPhone. Despite all the gimmicks that are available to smart-phone customers, these phones can be extremely useful when it comes to saving money: if you are already paying for service, why not get the most out of it? Here are ways that iPhones, other smart-phones, iPads and other tablets can be useful as money saving tools.
When it comes to buying an iPad or tablet PC, there are several strategies for saving money. The most obvious (but perhaps not the best) is to buy a used or refurbished device. Some stores have refurbished smart-phones, and they are easy to get online (as long as you are sure that you are purchasing from a reputable dealer). Clearances, when old devices are sold at a discount to make room for newer models, are also a money-saving possibility. Of course, you are not getting the latest model when you shop clearance sales, so you’ll have to make sure that the older phone or tablet is capable of doing the things that you need it to do.
Students and educators can get discounts from Apple. Not qualified as a student or teacher? You can find someone who is to accompany you when you make the purchase. They’ll qualify for the discount and you’ll get the device. This approach is useful for Apple devices because Apple offers an 8% discount to students and teachers.
Once you have your iPad or iPhone, you can make it work for you. Applications that can help you save money are widely available. Most banks have applications that can help you find the nearest ATM that doesn’t charge a fee for making a withdrawal. These fees can run as high as $2 or $3, so even if you only use these apps once or twice a week you’ll be saving a noticeable amount of money. There are also applications that can help you find the cheapest gas station in your area. That can be another $5-$10 in savings each week. These tools can help the savings ad up (perhaps enough to cover the cost of your phone bill each month).
Other applications allow you to search for coupons without having to do what your mom did and sift through the newspaper every Sunday with a pair of scissors. Sites like Coupon Sherpa can make clipping coupons a thing of the past and can make believers out of people who considered coupons inconvenient (and even embarrassing) in the past.
Data plans are the most expensive part of owning a smart-phone. However, there are ways to limit the amount of MBs that you use each month. Rely on free wireless internet access whenever possible. Why not sneak into the coffee shop or restaurant with internet access to check your mail or access your apps? Even some fast-food restaurants offer free internet access. The same goes for iPads and tablets. Between wireless at work, at home and at many places in between, there is really not much of a need to purchase an unlimited data plan.
Using your device as a tool for saving money, rather than making it just another toy in your high-tech toy-box can really justify purchasing a smart-phone or tablet. With easy access to coupons and money-saving information, there is no reason that you should be paying the highest price for anything. If you are consistent in using money-saving applications, you can save enough to cover the cost of your device easily.