16 ways your iPhone can save you money
So you’ve sprung for an iPhone. Want to feel a little bit better about the expense? Here are 16 ways your iPhone can save you money:
1. Replace a DJ. Load it up with a great playlist, and use it to replace a DJ at a wedding or other large event. Savings? $500 or more.
2. Learn a foreign language. (Italian, anyone?) Savings over a university course? $386 per credit hour (or much more)
3. Get out of debt. Maybe you bought your iPhone on credit, or you just want some inspiration. Either way, you can get on the debt reduction bandwagon by listening to the Dave Ramsey Show Podcast. You can get one hour per day, free-to-you and commercial-free. Or you can get your debt snowball rolling using the Pay Off Debt app. Savings? Depending on the extent of your debt habit, this could be thousands.
4. Use your iPhone to stop buying clothes that don’t suit you. How? It’s always easier to see flaws in a photo, so use the camera to take a picture of yourself in the dressing room mirror so you can see what you really look like in those clothes. You won’t be wasting time & gas returning unwanted items, or losing money because clothes languish unreturned in the back of your closet. Savings: $10-$300 per item, depending on where you shop.
5. Get better quality. Not sure if that unknown brand of luggage you’re considering buying will hold up over time? Well, you have the web at your fingertips. Open Safari and type in the brand name and model of the piece you’re considering buying into a site like epinions to see what other people think. Savings? Varies.
6. Bargain hunt & negotiate. Is a sale really a good deal? It’s hard to tell sometimes. But you can plop the brand name & model of your potentially great deal into google product search to see what’s what. You can do this while you’re standing in the store, or talking to the salesperson & examining the product. They may even come down if you show them you can get it for less elsewhere. Savings? 10%-60% off — or 100% if you decide not to buy the item at all.
7. Ditch your paper planner or expensive planning applications. You know the iPhone comes with Calendar, right? Schedule and organize your events right there. There’s also Jott, which is free (but has mixed reviews.) Either way, it’s a lot easier to slip your phone in your pocket than it is to carry around a planner or worrying about having access to your computer. Savings? $20 or more per year.
8. Pass on the GPS for your car. Who needs a separate GPS to tell you where the closest gas stations or restaurants are when you can just use your iPhone instead? Just click Maps, then the triangulate button in the lower left, and search for banks, restaurants, or what you’re looking for. (It’ll give you driving directions as well. Just have a passenger read them to you so you don’t hit someone!) Savings? $100 to $1200.
9. Leave the books in the bookstore. You can read thousands of books for free on your iPhone. Then there are the audiobooks, which you can sometimes download for free in the iTunes store, or you can get them from your library and convert them for use on your iPhone. You can also do a search for “lit2go” in the iTunes store to pull up about 150 classics that you can download for free. Savings? $7-$30 per book.
10. Beat them with your calculator. So you’re at a car dealer, negotiating a price on a used Civic. Even though you’ve TOLD them you only want to negotiate the total price, they’re whipping so many numbers at you that your head spins. Use the calculator to make sense of the numbers at your own pace. Savings? Hundreds to thousands.
11. Quit buying the wrong things. (Or being dragged to the store if that’s not your thing.) Suppose you’re looking for a new coffee table. Use your iPhone to shoot photos of your existing living room furniture so you can compare while you’re in the store. This lets you easily eliminate the things that don’t match or fit. Bonus points for spouses shopping alone: you can shoot photos of potential purchases and email them home to make sure that your other half doesn’t hate them. Savings? Varies. (Mainly gas and time, but gas really adds up.)
12. Save money on airplanes. You know how airlines charge for everything now? (The last flight we were on even charged for water.) Don’t be tempted by the ads on the seat backs to watch their movies or play their games. Watch your own movies and play your own games on the iPhone (in Airplane mode) instead. Savings? $6-$18 per flight.
13. Document an accident. So you’ve gotten into a fender bender. What really happened? Use your iPhone to shoot photos of the accident scene (including the other party’s car, license plate, and the surrounding area) so that you’ll have proof of the damage, what happened, and who was involved. Savings? Varies.
14. Eliminate your home phone & internet connection. You’re already paying for phone & internet service on your iPhone. You could always cancel one or both at home, depending on your usage. Savings if you cancel just the home phone? $30-$60 per month.
15. Cancel your newspaper subscription. You know you can read the paper online anyway, and with your iPhone it’s easy to scroll through and zoom in for a closer look at the interesting parts. No more crinkled mess, no newsprint on your fingers, and fewer dead trees. Savings? $300 per year or more.
16. Don’t buy duplicates. Finally, there’s the obvious: there’s no need for a separate cell phone and MP3 player, since you’ve got both in one. Savings? $50-$400.
Hm, guess it wasn’t apparent that this post was supposed to be silly. It’s a ridiculous idea that an iPhone can actually SAVE you money. I actually have used it in most of the ways described above, so it’s come in handy and been a fun toy. But course there are less expensive ways to do those things in the first place.
Yeah, some people can’t understand a sense of humor, I guess. What a great list!
Frankly, suggestion #4 leads me to laugh aloud. We may actually have to start using our phone for that very purpose… call it wardrobe insurance?
Whatever makes you sleep better I guess.
I gotta tell you – as a brand new iPhone owner (got mine a little over a week ago) – there ARE ways in which you can use your iPhone to save money. For example, there are some applications such as Save Benjies which let you comparison shop while you are at the store. Other apps – e.g. urban spoon – can let you find a cheap restaurant in your neighborhood (wherever you may be). And yet other apps let you monitor your expenses and plan a budget.
Shadox, yes, that’s true. But you could probably put those applications on a Touch too, and save the monthly $.
Now that is what I call a “Big Fat Juicy Rationalization”, but I do like it, I will point this out to my wife and I am sure her answer will be “When you earn enough money to afford it, we’ll talk”.
There’s also an app called THE BEST DEAL which allows you to quickly compare similar products that come in different sizes or quantities so you know for sure which one will give you the best deal per unit. We were surprised how many times we guessed wrong when doing it in our heads. I guess that’s why “there’s an app for that!” It’s very easy to use and it’s cool to hear the bell ring telling you you’ve found the best deal!
The iPhone can save you money!