New phones can be crazy expensive. If you’re not about dropping a grand or more on an upgraded phone, you’re definitely not alone — and you’re in luck, because there are tons of ways you can save money on a new phone.
1. Just wait
Don’t rush out and buy the latest model as soon as it’s released. Waiting a while to buy the latest model means you won’t get stuck with a phone that has some weird defect (like, you know, exploding), because it gives the company time to work out the kinks. Plus, waiting until the initial hype has passed means the price will drop down for some models. That’s a win-win.
2. Sell or trade your old phone
Some carriers and retailers will allow you to trade in your old phone in exchange for a discount on a new device. You can also sell your phone for cash to a site like Gazelle or NextWorth. But while those options are convenient, they’re also going to lowball you on what your phone is really worth — after all, they have to make money selling your old phone after they buy it from you. If you want to get the most out of your old phone, take a little time and sell it to a private party on Craigslist, eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
3. Get a family plan
If there’s more than one person in your house who uses a cell phone, don’t waste money on multiple plans. Instead look into combining your accounts into a family plan, so you can share the benefits and the rewards. Family plans usually cost much less than you would pay for multiple accounts, and there’s generally more than enough data to go around.
4. Buy an older phone
Unless you’re the kind of techie who always wants to have the newest device, an older-generation phone is probably going to suit all your needs. For the casual phone user, there’s just not that much of a difference between, say, an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 7 — even though the 6 is a few years old, it’s still a powerful machine that’s well worth the lower price tag it now comes with.
5. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your plan
Do you really need unlimited data? In your phone’s settings, reset its data counter so you can track how much you use over the course of a month. You can do the same with your calls and texts. It may turn out that you don’t need a pricey unlimited plan, but can get away with something cheaper. It’s also a good idea to compare your phone plan with similar plans from other carriers to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Sites like MyRatePlan allow you to enter in how many texts, call minutes and gigs of data you use and compare the cost of your plan with other carriers. Armed with that knowledge, you may even be able to negotiate a lower rate at your current carrier instead of switching.
Still not getting a rate that’s as low as you want? Consider switching to a pre-paid plan to save even more money.
6. Consider your storage needs
Phones with more storage cost more money. Consider the cost of getting an external hard drive where you can transfer photos and videos off your phone and whether you can get away with a cheaper model with less storage by doing so.
This post was sponsored by Cricket Wireless.