For some, the thought of a smartphone just sounds ridiculous. Why pay ridiculous amounts of money every month for a phone when there are computers that will do most any job a smartphone can and without the recurring monthly bills? But there are options out there for those who want the kind of convenience and functionality only a smartphone can truly deliver as well as the sheer convenience of it all.
One option is, of course, the issue of a prepaid smartphone. Many smartphones—even iPhones—can be found in prepaid form these days, keeping the issue of monthly bills to a comparative minimum. While not all the latest smartphones can be found in prepaid varieties, there certainly are a variety of options when it comes to the prepaid smartphone route. Verizon, for example, recently launched a set of prepaid plans—unlimited talk and text with 500 megabytes of data for $60 a month, or $70 for unlimited talk and text with two gigabytes of data per month—with a variety of 3G smartphones available.
In some cases, it doesn't even matter if the provider of choice offers a particular smartphone as a prepaid option; some smartphones not even available at a provider's retail outlets can be activated on a prepaid plan, with no annual contract. So those who may have had an iPhone at one point but shut it down due to the bills and contracts, may be able to get it reactivated as a prepaid model. That's not the case with every company, so be sure to check with the desired provider but it can be done in some cases. This is a route a lot of users are taking, as some estimates suggest that prepaid smartphones will outsell high-end devices by 2017.
What's more, while many think of the smartphone as just a fancy toy or a tool for business so specialist in nature they'll never actually use it, the smartphone itself has many money saving qualities available to it. Consider the use of Foursquare and Groupon, which can provide coupons and other discounts for the places a user may go to on weekends or through the week. Saving money on dinner because a Groupon offer was known about is never unwelcome. Consider Gas Buddy as well, which can help users find the cheapest gas to get around to those deals, further saving money.
It requires some investigation, naturally, but there is the potential to not only save money in getting a smartphone in the first place, but additionally, turning around and using the available features of a smartphone to save money. A smartphone has a lot of utility built in, so using that utility to its fullest—calling, texting, using the Wi-Fi connections—provides plenty of potential for saving money and getting value. It's not always easy and the rewards may not always be great, yet as anyone saving money knows it's a little bit here and a little bit there that makes up the biggest reward in the long run.
Edited by Jamie Epstein