How to Save Money for a Phone

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Are you in the market for a new phone? Maybe the one you have no longer works. Or perhaps your phone is so old that it’s currently held together with duct tape. Whatever the reason, it’s time to upgrade to something newer and more reliable.

But there’s just one problem – money is tight.

If you are wondering how to save money for a phone but you don’t feel like there’s much wiggle room in your current budget, there are some things you may be able to do to make it happen.

The following are 10 things you can do to help save money for a new phone:

1. Flip Things on eBay

One of the easiest ways to save money is to earn more money.

“That’s easier said than done,” you may be thinking.

Well, not so fast. There is a way you may be able to earn more money that doesn’t require you to work more hours at your current job or to take on a second job. You can flip used things you source locally on eBay.

The idea behind flipping used things on eBay is to find things in your community that people are selling well below their market value. People underprice things all the time. And it’s never been easier to find them.

You can very easily look for products to buy and flip from home by browsing online classifieds sites like Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, and others. You may also be able to find things to flip by shopping flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, and attending auctions. There are many ways to find used things to flip to earn some extra money.

Did you know that some people enjoy flipping so much that they turn it into their full-time gigs? It’s true.

Rob and Melissa Stephenson are a couple who have been flipping full-time for several years. It’s their primary source of income for their family. They also teach others how to flip things for profit in their online course, Flipper University.

Flipper University teaches you the skills you’ll need to flip products for profit including:

  • Sourcing products
  • Listing products on eBay
  • Running an eBay store
  • Shipping products

Check out Flipper University to see why flipping things on eBay is a great way to earn extra money.

2. Do Odd Jobs

Another way you may be able to earn some extra money to save for a phone is to do odd jobs for people in your community. Many people are busy with work and other commitments and don’t have time to take care of things in and around their homes. Just a few odd jobs you may be able to do include:

  • Mowing lawns
  • Painting things
  • Fixing things
  • Running errands
  • Cleaning garages
  • Cleaning homes
  • Waterproofing decks
  • Pressure washing walkways

To find odd jobs in your community, you could go door-to-door and ask if anyone needs help with anything. You could also post about your services in a local Facebook group or on Craigslist. There are many ways to advertise that you are interested in doing odd jobs for people.

3. Eat In

If you are wondering how to save money for a phone, one way you may be able to cut your expenses is to cut back on eating out.

Many people eat out more than they realize. Perhaps they grab a quick meal at a drive-through several times a week during their lunch breaks. Or perhaps they like to eat a nice dinner out somewhere a couple of times a week.

Another expense that can really add up if you aren’t careful is grabbing drinks and snacks at convenience stores when you are on the go. A few dollars here and there may not sound like much, but it can really add up if you purchase snacks and drinks often.

Eating out can get expensive in a hurry if you aren’t careful. You may be able to save money for a phone by packing your lunch for work instead of eating out. The same thing goes for buying snacks and drinks. Because the markup on snacks and drinks at many convenience stores is so high, you may be able to save money by bringing these things from home instead.

Finally, because eating out can also be expensive, you may be able to save money by eating out less and preparing meals at home instead. If you are serious about saving money, you could even completely skip eating out until you have enough saved up to buy a phone.

4. Cut Back on Entertainment

Going to the movies, to a live play, a concert, or something else is fun – but it can also be very expensive. Just going to the movies can easily be over $50 for two people if you also buy snacks and drinks.

If you enjoy going out on a regular basis, you may be able to save money for a new phone by staying home instead. Consider watching a movie on TV and making some popcorn or another snack. With digital streaming services, there is a nearly endless selection of movies to choose from.

Another option is to see if there is any free entertainment offered in your community. Many cities and towns offer free entertainment options to their residents. You may be able to see a free concert, for example, or you could attend a live meet and greet of an author at your local library.

Other possibilities for saving money on entertainment include:

  • Attending local festivals
  • Going hiking or camping
  • Hanging out with friends or family at home
  • Playing board games
  • Volunteering
  • Taking a community class to learn a new skill
  • Visiting museums

There are many interesting things to do that don’t cost anything or are very affordable. Sometimes it just takes a little imagination and creativity to come up with something.

5. Plan a Staycation

Another option to consider for those who are wondering how to save money for a phone is to skip going on expensive vacations and stay home instead.

Going on vacation is fun, there’s no questions about it, but they can also be expensive. For vacations that are far from home, most people prefer to fly to and from their destinations. Airfare alone can be very expensive. Other expenses may include hotels, meals, souvenirs, and other things.

It’s possible to save hundreds just by skipping a vacation and staying home. You may be able to rest better at home anyway. Traveling can be exhausting. Have you ever felt like you needed a few days to rest after returning from a big trip somewhere?

Another possibility to consider if you still want to take a vacation is to go on a short road trip somewhere. Who says you have to go far from home? Most people live within a relatively short distance of interesting things to see and do.

Yet another option to consider is to plan a vacation that is very affordable – like a camping excursion. Perhaps you already have a tent, sleeping bag, and other camping gear. Many people really enjoy camping trips and they can be very relaxing, too.

Going on a camping trip can also be good for you. According to a scientific study conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder, going on a camping trip may reset your internal clock so that you go to sleep and wake up on a natural schedule instead of by an alarm clock. In turn, this could help you feel better and be less groggy.

6. Carpool

For those who are focused on how to save money for a phone, another possible way to save money is to carpool if you have a long commute to and from your job. This strategy won’t work for everyone, of course. It’s necessary to have another coworker who lives near you who also has a similar work schedule as yours – and this may not be an easy thing to find.

Gasoline is expensive, and the savings on fuel can be substantial if you can commute to and from your job with someone. It’s even better if you can find two or more people to carpool with. You could drive one week, for example, and then let another person drive the next.

7. Only Buy Things That Are on Sale

If you know you’re going to purchase something in the near future, unless it’s something you urgently need, you may be able to save money by waiting until it’s on sale. Many stores put products on sale all the time. They have sales to entice people to visit their stores or to get rid of older inventory to make room for new merchandise.

If you aren’t sure if a store in your community is going to have a sale soon, just ask.

You may also be able to save on the purchase of your new phone by waiting until a store puts some models on sale to get ready for newer models. Newer models may have higher performance specs, but for many, a slightly older model that is more affordable may be all they want or need.

8. Use Coupons

Another way you may be able to save money for a phone is to use coupons whenever possible. In a way, coupons are like free money. If you don’t use them, you’ll spend a lot more than necessary to buy products.

Coupons are great to use when shopping for groceries. You may be able to find them online, in fliers, in stores, and other places. Some people like to make a sport out of using coupons to see how much stuff they can buy for the least amount of money.

Whenever you need to buy something, always check to see if there’s a current coupon for it. You can very easily do this online. For example, if you need to buy a new can opener, do an internet search for “can opener coupon” to see what’s available.

9. Buy Used Whenever Possible

If you only buy new products when you need something for your home, office, vehicle, or something else, you may be spending a lot more money than what is necessary. Many people sell used products that are still in great shape for just a fraction of what they cost new. You may be able to save money by buying used instead of new on many different things.

Finding used products is now very easy thanks to modern technology. You can even shop for used merchandise right from the comfort of your home by browsing Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and other online marketplaces.

For many, shopping for great deals on used products isn’t just about saving money – it can also be a lot of fun. Many people get a rush when they find a great deal on a product and only pay a small amount of money for it. It’s like going on a treasure hunt.

In addition to finding great deals online, you may also be able to find deals at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, and at auctions.

If there’s an item you are looking for that you can’t find used, you may still be able to find one by posting a wanted ad on one of the online marketplaces.

10. Sell Your Extra Stuff

Do you have things in your home that you are no longer using that are taking up space? If so, you may be able to get some money out them by selling them. You can very easily list them for sale online on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and other online platforms for buying and selling used items.

When listing used items for sale, be sure to include several pictures that were taken in good lighting. Also, be sure to include as much information as possible in your descriptions so that buyers will know exactly what you are selling and the condition items are in. If an item you are selling is damaged, be sure to include information on the damage in the description and include a picture of the damage, too.

How to Save Money for a Phone – Final Thoughts

If you need to replace your phone with a newer model, there are ways to save money if your budget is tight. You essentially have two choices: you can either earn more money, or you can cut your expenses. If you want to save money fast, consider combining the two strategies.

It’s definitely possible to save money for a phone – but you may have to make a few financial adjustments to make it happen. If you do it long enough, you may acquire the habit of saving. This could help you save for an emergency fund, for a new vehicle, or for something else.

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Cyrus Vanover

Cyrus Vanover, MBA, is a financial copywriter who has written for companies of all sizes. He is also the author of the personal finance book, "Earn A Debt-Free College Degree." His goal is to help families save money, make more money, and achieve financial independence. Based in the mountains of Virginia, he enjoys hiking the local trails, listening to 80s music, and reading books on military history in his spare time. Read more.

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