When the retail outlet my husband and I opened turned out not to be the money-maker we’d envisioned, I turned to work-from-home websites. A few opportunities require equipment. Transcription jobs need USB foot pedals. Other work sites such as Gigwalk require a smartphone. I chose the smartphone. My previous experiences with transcription had been hair-pulling.
I’d regarded smartphones with disdain. We’d owned a Samsung cell phone for years that worked perfectly to send and receive calls and text messages.
I would have to make a choice: iPhone or Android? There were pros and cons to both, but I liked our Samsung cell phone so I picked Android.
I usually select the latest model so that it will last “forever.” The Samsung Galaxy S5 is new to the market in 2014.
Buying a smartphone raises another complication — buy it outright (unlocked), or sign a 2-year contract? The latter option seems attractive because the initial cost of the phone is less. But when I read that some phones work only with the carrier it was purchased through and that the final cost of the phone is usually more, I decided to save up the money and buy it upfront. That way it would be my phone, and I would be free to choose my LTE plan.
But what about the $700 (approximate) to purchase the smartphone? Here are a few money-saving ideas that can help raise needed funds.
Set up a savings account with the highest interest rate. These accounts are fee-free at many banks. Interest accumulates and raises the balance, especially if automatic deposits are authorized from the checking account. Don’t let coins gather dust at home; deposit them.
Buy foods only when they are on sale. Favorite brands may have to be sacrificed, but most food items will be offered at discounted prices (often 50 percent or more) regularly. Switch to generic.
Inventory and analyze goods on hand. Know what you already own. Don’t buy something twice. Sell unused items — at a consignment shop or yard sale, or online.
Reduce transportation costs. Take the bus or car pool. Work from home!
Save on every day household costs. Turn unnecessary lights off, use the clothesline instead of dryer, install a programmable thermostat. Eat in not out! Maximize your Internet connection by watching TV through it instead of cable and using VoIP phone service instead of land-line. Or use the new smartphone instead!
Consumer Reports: Cell Phones and Services http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cell-phones-services.htm
TechMedia Network: Tom’s Guide to Smartphones http://www.tomsguide.com/t/smartphones/
Better Money Habits Video Easy Ways to Save on Everyday Expenses, Bank of America http://www.bettermoneyhabits.com/en/videos/easy-ways-to-save-on-expenses.html?cat=saving-budgeting#fbid=Ld5wtrn_wOg