9 Year Mortgage: Be Smart About Your Smartphone
With the release of the new iPhone 5, 9 Year Mortgage knows that getting a smartphone is fresh on my people’s minds. However, this isn’t a new fad. In February 2012, polls showed that half of mobile phone owners in the United States had a smartphone. Conventional cell phone users are diminishing, with two out of three people purchasing a new phone choosing a smartphone. And while smartphones are pretty remarkable, 9 Year Mortgage wants you to know about some costs you need to watch and be prepared for. We also want to give you some ideas to help keep this area of spending under control.
The phone. A normal conventional cellphone can offer internet access, music player, camera and email. However, smartphones give you all of that and much more. The displays are larger, and they have more advanced operating systems which lets you do a lot with the device. There is the ability to create and edit documents, and have access to multiple email accounts, as well as hundreds of thousands of apps to use for business, personal enjoyment, and most anything imaginable.
The difference in upfront costs alone is fairly significant. A conventional cell phone typically costs between $20 and $150, while newer smartphones usually cost upwards of $200. There are some older models of smartphones that can cost less than $100. These costs are applicable for new contract buyers and the like. If you lose or damage your smartphone before your two-year contract ends, the real cost of the device will come out usually between $500 and $700. The wireless providers always subsidize the upfront cost of the phone in order to convince you to sign up for the contract.
Another expense that could potentially surprise you is memory. Smartphones come with options of how much memory they can store. The basic memory-sized iPhone 4S has 16 gigabytes of memory, starting at $199. But if you want to have more memory, you’ll have to buy the phone with 32 or 64 GB. 9 Year mortgage warns that opting for more memory will raise the price up $100 to $200, respectively. Memory does matter, though, if you plan to use the phone for a lot of movies, thousands of songs, and extensive app downloading. In that case, it may be worth it to purchase a phone with higher memory capacity.
The data plan. In order to use your new smartphone, you have to add a data plan onto your text and voice plan. These plans cost between $15 and $80 a month, depending on the package and on your provider. If you happen to go over your limit, you will also be charged Overage fees. People are afraid of these overage charges, and because of that they tend to buy a much larger data plan than they actually need. 9 Year Mortgage found
a study that showed the average smartphone owner only used 150 megabytes a month. Now, that is as average, but even if you use more data, the 2 or 3 gigabytes most providers sell standard will still cover your usage for miles.
The insurance. Because smartphones cost so much, many owners opt to pay $4-8 a month to insure their device. However, 9 Year Mortgage has found that most consumer reports will tell you it isn’t worth it. This is because even if you have insurance, and you break or lose your phone, you are likely to only get a repaired or refurbished model.
The accessories. 9 Year Mortgage found that studies predict smartphone users spending an average of $56 on phone accessories in 2012. These accessories can include extra chargers, Bluetooth headsets, cases and any other things that can add up quickly.
The apps and downloads. At 9 Year Mortgage, our employees know from experience that it is easy to spend a lot of money on apps, music downloads, or games for your smartphone without realizing how fast the charges add up. You typically only spend 99 cents to $4.99 at a time, but the convenience of having the ability to download anything at any time, right from your phone, can be an easy trap to fall into. The average American downloads five songs, five movies or TV shows, two games and two eBooks every month.
Smartphones are not all bad. In fact, they can be very useful and most users love them. So now that you know what costs to look out for, here are some ways to save, and still manage getting that new smartphone you want.
Make sure you really need a smartphone. If you use your cell phone mostly for texting and talking, 9 Year Mortgage suggests that you may not have a need for a smartphone, or the expenses that come with it.
Consider buying an older version. With new models of smartphones coming out constantly, it is easy to get a much better deal on an older model. For example, the new iPhone 5 will likely drop the price of the iPhone 4 or 4S much lower, and the 3GS model will be even cheaper than those. If you get a new 2-year contract, these older models sometimes even come free with the deal.
Consider paying full price to avoid a contract. Some people may be better off financially to pay full price for the smartphone and choose a pay-as-you-go plan from a participating provider. It depends on your situation which option is best for you.
Get the best fitting data plan. You can change your plan at any time if you are using less or more data than originally expected. 9 Year Mortgage suggests you consider starting out small if you are new to smartphones, and then monitoring your usage, which you can do right from your phone.
Use Wi-Fi hot spots as much as possible. To keep your data usage down low, it is highly affective to avoid downloading anything or streaming movies, music, etc. from the internet or unless connected to a Wi-Fisignal.
Don’t buy the insurance. Since you are unlikely to get a new phone anyways, you will probably be better off saving those monthly payments and buying a used phone in the event that yours breaks or gets lost.
Be thrifty with accessories. Even though it is convenient to buy your case and other accessories in the store right when you get your phone, you will be better off financially to look online at a discount site such as Amazon or eBay first.
Try to avoid paying full price for apps. There are always sales going on apps. You can check a deal site to find out what apps are currently on sale and get them then. Even if you don’t need the app yet, or don’t have space for it at the time, still download it while its cheap or free. If you download and then immediately delete it from your device to clear up space, it will still be considered “purchased” in your account, and will download for free again when you decide you want it.
Resist the impulse to upgrade as long as you can. Smartphones are amazing, as is made obvious by how many people have them and love them. But once you have one, the new models and versions are all very tempting. Just remember that there will always be new upgrades, and if you wait it out until your provider gives you a free upgrade, you’ll end up with a better phone anyways, while still spending less by not splurging on all the new phones that come out in the meantime.
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