Mobile phones have become an essential part of our daily lives, and almost everyone uses a smartphone for calls, emails, texting and more. Our smartphones also need to be upgraded every few years, because of heavier usage or a desire for the latest features.
Upgrading your smartphone can put a heavy dent in your finances, which is why many people use a loan for mobile phone purchases. Whether you pay from your pocket or buy a smartphone on credit, here are 6 ways to save some money on your purchase:
1. Avoid Buying from Carriers – Many mobile service providers offer attractive deals if you buy a smartphone through them. However, these phones are usually locked, so you can only use them with the same provider’s plans. To change providers, you will need to buy a new phone. Instead, compare smartphone prices with different retailers to find the best deal.
2. Consider Paying in Installments – Using a smartphone loan or EMI plan offered by retailers reduces the financial burden of buying a new phone. If you can make monthly payments towards the purchase, it’s easier to budget for this expense and spread it out over a longer period. Look for zero-interest payment plans, so you don’t end up paying extra for your phone.
3. Prioritize Features Over Brands – The ideal phone should have all the features you need and a battery that will see you through the day. Great looks wouldn’t hurt either, but your primary focus should be features you actually use, e.g. a powerful camera and extra storage if you love taking photos. These aspects are far more important than the brand name.
4. Check Smartphone Prices Online – Look for the best cheap smartphone online instead of visiting brick-and-mortar stores. You’re likely to find better deals and a larger selection on websites such as Amazon, since they have lower overhead costs than physical retail stores. Many of them pass on this benefit to customers through heavy discounts and promotions.
5. Save Money By Waiting for Deals – Sometimes the best way to save money when you buy a smartphone is to wait for the price to drop. Knowing when this could happen gives you an extra edge. You will usually get the best deals on smartphones around major festivals. The price of newer models also tends to go down a few months after their launch.
6. Look for Used/Refurbished Phones – If a new smartphone will stretch your budget too far, consider buying a used or refurbished one. Many retailers and manufacturers offer a warranty on ‘certified like-new’ phones. You can also get cheap smartphones in great shape from people who upgrade their devices every few months, often within the original warranty period.
Smartphones prices have been going up in recent years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a great deal on one. Take your time comparing all the options, and be smart about it!
Shiv Nanda is a financial analyst who currently lives in Bangalore (refusing to acknowledge the name change) and works with MoneyTap, India’s first app-based credit-line. Shiv is a true finance geek, and his friends love that. They always rely on him for advice on their investment choices, budgeting skills, personal financial matters and when they want to get a loan. He has made it his life’s mission to help and educate people on various financial topics, so email him your questions at [email protected].