It might sound counterintuitive to anyone who has ever recoiled at the sight of a large cell phone bill, but a smartphone is a great tool for saving money.
Let’s examine ten ways a smartphone can save money.
Eliminating a home phone
Cutting the home phone cord is not a novel idea — recent data shows that 36-percent of Americans have dropped landlines in favor of a cell phone. That number is likely to continue to rise, as smartphone adoption continues to increase. With an average savings of $25 to $30 each month, more consumers are finding having two phones is a luxury not worth paying for.
Eliminating a phone carrier
For those who want to opt for an even more radical money-saving solution, it’s possible to make calls on a smartphone without a cell phone carrier involved. By downloading a phone call app such as MagicJack or Pinger, users can make calls over Wi-Fi, eliminating the need for any kind of cellular service. Calls can only be made when the user is near a Wi-Fi hotspot, making this an impractical choice for some.
Using a smartphone for Web connections
For those without access to affordable broadband, a smartphone serve as a functional replacement. By signing up for mobile hotspot cellular access, users can provide an access point for a number of different devices. There is a drawback — cellular companies often cap usage at around 10 gigabytes a month or less, and larger packages tend to cost more money.
“Smartphones can save money through a couple of mechanisms,” said entrepreneur from Scottsdale Jason Hope. “First, their functionality allows buyers to replace a number of different devices with one device — the smartphone. Secondly, there are hundreds of money-saving apps available for download.”
Using a smartphone as a camera and video replacement
Rather than paying for cameras and video recording equipment, it may make financial sense to opt instead for a high-end smartphone with a high-quality camera. Mobile cameras that record in high definition and work well in low light settings are now advanced enough to handle most consumer needs.
Using a smartphone as an entertainment device
Smartphones with screens in the six-inch range, sometimes called “phablets,” double as great media devices. While it’s hard to imagine making an iPhone with a 4.0 screen a primary media consumption device, a Galaxy Note 3 or HTC One Max is a different story. Both of those are nearly as large as a standard seven inch tablet, making films and television shows a suitable option. Subscriptions to content services such as Netflix and Hulu can further reduce the need for spending.
Using a smartphone as a gaming system
A new console gaming system typically costs several hundred dollars, so gaming on a smartphone can save big dollars. Because the hardware in modern phones is so advanced, gamers won’t notice much drop off when it comes to graphics or performance. Buying mobile versions or ports of games can also be less expensive than buying hard copies. While some might find gameplay somewhat difficult using a touch screen, the amount of money that can be saved by making the switch is significant.
Using coupon apps
Both Android and iPhone offer dozens of coupon apps offering discounts that can reach as high as 50-percent. Some of these apps are geotargeted, meaning they’ll alert users to spur-of-the-moment deals in their precise geographical locations. Most big retailers offer their own versions of these coupon apps, providing the opportunity for users to secure some serious bargains.
Using apps to compare prices
Along with scoring significant coupon savings, Android and iOS users can use price comparison apps to evaluate deals while inside stores. Apps such as Barcode Scanner and Google Shopper give consumers the opportunity to ensure they don’t pay too much for their purchases.
Apps such as Mint can help smartphone owners effectively track money and manage household finances. While this won’t save money outright, it can help users make better financial decisions and avoid potential pitfalls thanks to better money management.
Find low cost gas
Few things fluctuate as randomly as gas prices, so the ability to find the lowest cost gas in an area can definitely save money over time. There are several dedicated apps on Android and iPhone with this functionality, and many more apps that incorporate it as a secondary feature.
About Author: Amy Taylor is a technology and business writer. Amy began her career as a small business owner in Phoenix, Arizona. She has taken that knowledge and experience and brought that to her unique writing capabilities. She really enjoys new business related issues that are tied directly to technology.