Invest Wisely

5 Ways to Save Money on Mobile Devices with Great Results

by Ryan Kinnar5 min read

introduced into our lives. Of course, a lot of this is true and between smartphones, tablet computers and the other devices on the market, you get a lot of features. You can also spend a lot of money, particularly if you’re not careful about it.


Here are five ways that you can save money on mobile devices and still get the best of what they have to offer.


5: Don’t Buy Right Away


Whenever a new device hits the market, particularly if it’s from Apple, tech writers are practically breathless describing how wonderful these new devices are and how badly everybody needs to go out and get one. This is hype and you don’t have to listen to it.


You can purchase mobile tech that is one or two generations old and, unless you are a particularly demanding user, it will probably work fine for everything you need. Rather than going out and getting the latest iPhone, don’t be shy about getting an older model. If you happen to use Android devices, they cost less than Apple to begin with, but once you get a little bit older in your selections, they cost a lot less and still do most of what the new devices do. If you’re wondering if you should upgrade, you probably don’t need to. You’ll know if you do.


4: Consider Buying Unlocked Devices


Browse around Amazon and eBay and you can find unlocked devices that are made to work with the most popular carriers out there. You can easily find devices that are compatible with T-Mobile and AT&T networks. Consider picking one of these up rather than financing a new device through your mobile carrier. The big advantage here is that, if you decide you want to switch carriers, the entire bill won’t come due. It also enforces a little bit of financial discipline, as you’ll be bearing the entire cost of purchasing the device upfront, rather than purchasing a much more expensive device by financing it, which tends to make things seem less expensive than they really are.


  1. Look at Free Apps


Before you pick up a device, take a look at the ecosystem for apps for that device. Generally, Android systems have the widest variety of apps available for them and many of them are free. Be sure you take this into consideration. Particularly if you are attached to a particular app, you may want to consider whether purchasing a replacement for it – and possibly several other apps – would make the expense of a new device even greater than it would seem on the surface.


2: Be Careful with the Insurance Offers


Most mobile carriers will offer you some sort of insurance for your mobile device. This may or may not be necessary. For example, with the aforementioned unlocked devices, you can sometimes pick up a fairly current smartphone for around $150. If you have the insurance on a smartphone for a year and it costs $10 per month, and you never use it, you’ve basically thrown away $120 that you could have used for something else. Save up enough money to pick up a replacement mobile device. If you’re not going out there buying the latest, greatest thing, it’s usually not terribly expensive to replace a smartphone.


1: Repair, not Replace


Believe it or not, you can repair smartphones quite easily in some cases. The most common type of damage that you’re going to run into with a smartphone is a broken screen. With screen sizes getting bigger all the time, it becomes even more of a hazard, despite the fact that manufactures use some very tough materials to make these devices.


You basically have two options if you break your smartphone screen. First, you can actually replace the screen on some of these devices with a relatively simple repair. This will, of course, void your warranty. If you don’t want to go that route and want to keep things even simpler, you can use tape to fix the screen. Guerrilla Clear Repair is a tape that’s quite a bit like duct tape, except that it’s clear and it works with a smartphone screen. Put a little of this over the top of a cracked screen and you don’t have to worry about slicing your fingers and you don’t have to worry about the screen breaking any further. In fact, the device will actually feel pretty sturdy after you do this.


Mobile tech is great, but remember not to spend too much and remember to repair what you have rather than replacing it reflexively.