Smartphones as a cost factor: how to save money

Smartphones as a cost factor: how to save money


On average, each smartphone owner pays 34.26 euros per month for ownership and operation. With these simple tips, you can significantly reduce your costs. […]

How to save money on your smartphone (c) Pixabay

Smartphones have unleashed a true disruption. When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone in 2007, the Apple founder ushered in a new era. Today, smartphones are an indispensable part of our everyday life. Medical appointments, shopping, education, and even sports – all this runs today on our mobile companions.

The comparison portal Check24 has calculated that we pay an average of 34.26 euros per month for our “smartphone pleasure”. We expect more and more functions, apps, and location-independent data volume. In the following article, I will show you how to significantly reduce your monthly mobile phone costs with some savings tips.

Rely on used smartphones

Smartphones have an average useful life of 1.5-2 years. Short innovation cycles mean that we see mobile phones as obsolete after a certain period of time, even though they are still usable. After that, they are obsolete and are replaced. The old device ends up in many households in the drawer or in electronic waste. Is this sustainable? No, absolutely not.

You can sell your old smartphone. Especially high-quality models like the iPhone can still be sold at comparatively high prices even after a few years of use. It doesn’t allow you to fund just a fraction of your new device. They also act according to sustainable standards. Your old device remains in circulation and conserves resources because the buyer could alternatively have bought a new smartphone. eBay is one of the most popular platforms where you can find buyers relatively quickly.

To increase your sales chances, you should avoid significant signs of wear. Consistently use protective films and bags during the service life to maintain the optical condition of your device.

Compare fares before closing

Many friends from my area rely on expensive mobile phone contracts and often pay up to 50 euros per month for mobile phone use. Of course, this is cheaper. On the one hand, you should always check comparison offers before concluding a contract – this is often where the savings potential is hidden. Use platforms such as Check24 or Verivox.

Also, it may be worthwhile to take a contract without a device and buy yourself a cheap model. Ideally, you calculate your desired model once with and once without a contract and compare both variants. So make sure you always choose the cheapest option.

You can also switch to a prepaid tariff and opt for low-cost flat-rate packages. On the one hand, you avoid a long contract and sometimes enjoy the same range of functions at a fraction of the cost. Extensive prepaid packages (incl. Telephone and Internet flat rate) is already available from ten euros per month. In addition, pay attention to the observance of notice periods for contracts. Ideally, make a note of this and set a termination alarm clock to avoid a costly extension.

Cancel current subscriptions

In-app purchases are a huge cost trap if only because in times of fingerprint and credit cards it is becoming easier and easier to conclude fee-based contracts. I noticed that many app subscriptions remain unknown to users. Only after payment is it noticeable that a contract has been concluded. For this reason, I recommend that you always pay attention to whether it is a paid model before buying or downloading an app.

Some apps work with in-app purchases, others are paid directly when downloading. Take a look at the settings of your iOS or Android smartphone and see if you have open subscriptions that you no longer need.

To limit costs, you should not link credit cards or other payment methods to the App or Play Store.

Use Wi-Fi hotspots

Wi-Fi hotspots are a boon for those who want to save on mobile Internet usage costs. Meanwhile, almost all cafes, train stations, and supermarkets offer free Wi-Fi access for their customers. You should use this option to protect your data volume.

Especially abroad, the use of your own data volume can quickly become expensive, especially outside the EU sometimes incur high fees. Look out for Wi-Fi hotspots and use the Internet only in these places. Alternatively, you can also take out a specific flat rate for abroad in order to save costs at least when using it.

Another note for travelers: save your maps locally. Google Maps, for example, is a pure online app. Normally, a data connection is always necessary to browse the card. In order not to be dependent on expensive data roaming abroad, I recommend that you download the required map material to your smartphone in advance. The data is stored in the cache for about 21 days.

* Carlos Link-Arad is co-founder of the learning platform for finance Beyond Saving.

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