10 Ways a Smartphone Can Actually Save You Money

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In 2011, only 35% of the U.S. adult population owned smartphones. By 2019, this number skyrocketed to 81%!

That’s a pretty big jump, but quite honestly I’m still shocked that 19% of adults out there are still walking around with a dumb phone (probably one of those razor flip phones that were so awesome back in the day!) or absolutely no phone at all!

For all you people that are dragging your feet on buying a smartphone (in your attempts to save money I bet), you might actually be costing yourself money by NOT owning one!

And, for the 81% that are operating a smartphone, you may want to read this too. Chances are, you’re not saving all you should with that powerful tool in your pocket (ie. yes, your phone can do more than take tic toc videos and tweet about that dinner you just made…).

Don’t believe me? Read on.

1) Eliminating the Land Line

Image of Landline Phones

My dad has a cell phone, my mom does not. Because she refuses to be “tracked down” by way of a cell phone, they continue to have a land line. 

How much does this cost them per month? An extra twenty-five bucks, which is actually a steal compared to other sources I’ve recently looked up. AT&T offers a 24/7 phone line for $33.99 and another comparable service is $42 a month! 

This savings alone could pay for half of a smart phone bill. And we’re only on saving option #1!

2) Having an Amazing Camera Option

Camera taking a picture

If you don’t have a smartphone, then you’re probably still forced to use an actual camera. 

First of all, that’s just embarrassing. I can’t even imagine going to a birthday party or a wedding and pulling my big block camera out to snap some photos.

Secondly, you probably spent some pretty good coin on that camera! Like, at least $100! 

Seriously, what would you rather do? Spend a few hundred dollars on an awesome refurbished smartphone, or buy a new relic of a camera every couple years?

I’m hoping (for your sake) that you choose the former rather than the latter…

3) Look Up Product Reviews

Product reviews on your phone

Have you ever had it when you’re out shopping and you stumble upon an amazing deal? If you pass it up you know it’s gone forever. Someone else is going to swoop in and buy it while you’re doing your research and checking out the details. 

For those of us that have a smartphone, no problem. We just quickly search the item for product reviews. If they’re awesome, the purchase is a no-brainer. If they’re terrible, we can walk away with our mind at ease.

The savings here is when you’re able to pass on something that would have cost you money and gone straight in the trash just weeks later. By being able to check out the reviews instantly, you’ll be able to keep your money in your pocket and let some other chump take the bait.

4) QR Code App for All the Details

Using QR Codes on your phone

In the same light as the savings opportunity above, a QR code app can earn you a quick buck. 

Let’s say you’re in the retail store, you find a product you’re interested in, and you see that there’s a QR code on the tag. 

Here’s what you do:

  • Pull up your QR code app
  • Scan the code
  • Take a look at the exact model of the product

Then, search that model (either via your app or Google) to find all the other competitor pricing. 

Find the lowest price and ask for a price match. It’s such an easy way to save 5%-10% every time. And, if you find out they won’t price match, then just head to the store that had the lowest price!

It’s super simple and can easily save you $10-$20 a month.

5) Promo Code Apps

Using Promo Codes on Your Phone

We’re living in a day and age where heading to the store happens far less frequently than it did just a few years ago. And, it’s not that we’re even popping our laptops open anymore. We’re starting to shop with our cell phones!

If you think shopping with your cell phone is odd, your opinion may soon be swayed. 

With promo code apps like:

…you can just do your normal shopping online and promo codes will automatically be scoured and applied to your cart without you even thinking about it. Honey claims to save an average of 17.92% on purchases, with an average dollar savings of $126 per year. Not too bad for doing nothing!

6) Gas Price Apps

Saving using Gas Buddy

How many gas stations are in your area? And how many of them vary in price?

My answers to the above questions… Probably 20 gas stations in a 5-mile radius, and they ALL have different prices!

So why not seek out the cheapest price and just head there?!

It’s super easy with an app like GasBuddy.

  • Just open the app
  • View all the gas stations in your area along with their pricing
  • Choose the cheapest option!

A simple app like this can consistently save you $0.15 per gallon, which could mean $3 of savings every fill-up! It’s not a ton of money, but it’s so simple, why not do it?

7) Built-in GPS

Phone showing Build In GPS

Remember when it was cool to have a portable GPS in your car? All you had to do was plug it into the cigarette lighter and stick it to the inside of the windshield. Then, you manually typed in your destination and it told you where to go!

Alright, so it doesn’t sound quite as cool these days, but it was revolutionary back then.

Today, your phone can easily tell you where to go. In fact, it can even divert you from traffic back-ups and construction (sometimes without you even realizing it!).

The GPS option on your phone saves you money since you don’t have to buy a special GPS device, but it also saves you money in TIME! No more getting lost and stopping to ask for directions. 

And, as your grandpa always, “Time is money!” He’s right, but sometimes it’s hard to quantify. 😉

8) Create Digital Gift Cards

Phone displaying a digital gift card

My wife and I got married five years ago. We STILL have gift cards from our wedding that we haven’t used.

You know why?

They’re stashed away in a cupboard that we never open and we always forget to grab them on our way out the door to date night.

BUT, what if we had our gift cards on our smartphone??

Believe it or not, you can do this by downloading an app like Gyft.

Just open the app, find the retailer for your gift card, and then enter the card number on the back. It’s as simple as that. Now you have your gift card on your phone and you can take it with you wherever you go. 

Another Alternative

What you could also do (instead of keeping that gift card) is hop online and sell your gift cards. You won’t get face value, but you WILL get cash that you’ll actually do something with!

Here are the top places to sell your unwanted gift cards:

9) Use Your Phone for Internet

Using your iPhone Personal Hotspot

My wife’s mom has a cottage in Northern Michigan. We go there nearly every month. It’s great…but there’s no internet service there.

But, you know what’s awesome about having a smart phone with a signal? You can transfer that signal into an internet connection (called a hot spot)!

Just open your settings, turn on your “Hotspot”, and your phone will show you what the Internet connection name and password are. Find it on your computer, enter the password, and voila! You’re connected!

Instead of paying $60 a month for internet in an obscure area that you’ll rarely use, just open up that hot spot!

10) Immediate Fraud Alerts

Bank Fraud Alerts

This is one that you probably wouldn’t ever think of, but it’s pretty important. 

Here’s the scenario.

Someone, somewhere, has gotten your debit/credit card number and they’re starting to make purchases with YOUR money. 

If you have a smartphone, you’ll get an email and a text alert immediately – it’s from your credit card company. They’ll ask if you made the purchase, you’ll simply click, “No” and your life continues as normal. 

Don’t have a smartphone? 

You probably won’t answer the landline call you’ll receive since it’s not a number you recognize. And, you may not see the email until the next day. 

Meanwhile, your perpetrator keeps having a heyday at your expense – likely costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars (not to mention the future headache of trying to sort all of this out with the banks).

If only you had a smartphone… 😉

Are You Ready for Your Smartphone?

What do you think? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Is it time to buy a smartphone? Based on the above points, it could save you hundreds of dollars per month!

The next logical question then is, “Where can you find a great deal on a smartphone?”

Of course, our answer is SellCell.com – a medium where you can sell used smartphones, but where you can also buy discounted pre-owned and refurbished phones!

Check out the site and experience the savings!

Are you ready to pull the trigger and buy a smartphone? If you buy it right, it won’t cost you a ton of up-front dollars, and if you follow the advice above, it may even net you a savings each month!