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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

5 Secrets to Smartphone Savings

Young couple with smartphones. Use with permission from Kinoli, Inc.
With all the hype around Apple's iPhone announcements, we have a guest post today from Andrea Woroch. She has some great tips before you plunk down some big bucks. She helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. Her full bio is at article end. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook for daily savings tips & shopping strategies.

Apple geeks everywhere rejoice; your Christmas morning is coming Sept. 20 when shipments of the new iPhone 5S and 5C models are expected to hit stores. If waiting even ten days seems like torture, you can get giddy online with the unveiling of Apple's fresh designs released today at their California headquarters.

As with any new technology, getting your iPhone upgrade on day one will come with a considerable price tag. Even the widely speculated "cheap iPhone" 5C model may surprisingly cost you more than you bargained for. If you're in need of a new smartphone, here are a few suggestions to help reduce the cost.

1. Talk to Your Provider

Wireless providers have as much incentive as anyone to see sales records from the new iPhone launch. To entice their customers, they'll offer up promotions like zero down or extra rebates so you buy right now. Before you pay any price for the latest iPhone, have a chat with your provider and see what extras they're offering.

2. Unload the Old

These days people go through withdrawals after just a few hours without their phone. You're going to want to time it strategically, but there are a number of ways you can trade in your old phone to offset the cost of a new model. The website Gazelle pays surprisingly well for a number of phone models, and Apple even offers their own trade-in program. Not to be left behind, retailers Walmart and Best Buy are also getting in on the action.

3. Pass on Premium Accessories

Screen protectors and cases are to smartphones what HDMI cables are to televisions: horrendously overpriced. Most of us don't need a case that can withstand deep-sea diving or being run over by the lawnmower, we just need something in case we drop it getting out of the car. Before you buy any accessories in-store, do some comparison shopping online. Not only will you find cheaper prices, but coupon codes are abundant at popular deal sites like Coupon Sherpa.

4. Et tu, iPhone?

Have you backed yourself into a corner after years of espousing iPhone loyalty? The Samsung Galaxy S4 does have a pretty large screen, and that 13-megapixel camera is an awfully nice feature. If you're teetering on the edge of the Android/Apple battle, now might be the time to make a switch. To stay competitive with the upcoming iPhone launch, Galaxy S4 prices are being slashed left and right.

5. Be a Poser

Sometimes life throws you an expensive curveball you have to deal with. While being financially responsible might delay obtaining a brand-new iPhone, there's no reason you can't compromise for a less-costly model from last year. Prices should drop dramatically on the iPhone 4, 4s and 5 once the new models are available, and refurbished isn't such a dirty word. Most refurbished models come with a guarantee and mostly brand-new parts.

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.


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