a person holding a cell phone

Your Smartphone on a Budget

The vast majority of Americans have smartphones. That won’t surprise anyone who has ever seen a coffee shop full of people staring at the devices in their palms, but perhaps it should be more shocking than it seems. After all, smartphones are pretty expensive: New models regularly go for more than one thousand dollars, and some super-phones even cost more than $2,000! That’s a lot of money to most of us, especially at a time when so many Americans are struggling financially.

This is why it’s so important for you to be financially savvy about your smartphone. From smart shopping to careful care, you need to make sure that you get the most possible bang for your smartphone buck. Here’s how to live in our mobile-obsessed world when you’re trying to maintain a careful budget.

Shopping Smart for Your Smartphone

The first and most obvious way that a smartphone impacts your financial wellbeing is through its steep price tag. When you head to the store and buy a new iPhone for more than $1,000, that’s going to set you back quite a bit with your other financial goals. Many Americans don’t have more than a few hundred bucks in the bank, and you may find that the money you spent on your iPhone would have been better saved for a rainy day.

This doesn’t mean that you have to get some inferior phone, though. Just be smart about budgeting and saving ahead of your next smartphone purchase, and make sure that you do your research before you buy your device. Make sure that you’re getting the device that you really need, and think about where you’ll be buying it, too. The same devices can go for very different prices at different retailers, point out the pros at thestore, an online retailer with a direct-to-consumer model that helps it keep prices low. Comparing prices, considering older and used models, and shopping around at online retailers could help you make your smartphone dreams a whole lot more affordable.

Protecting Your Investment

So you’ve bought your new smartphone—great! The problem is, you now have to carry around a device that’s worth a huge chunk of change. Drop it, and you could be out a lot of money!

That’s why you need to go to great lengths to protect your phone. The obvious place to start is with a sturdy case. It’s nice to have a cool-looking case, but it’s even nicer to get one that you are completely confident will protect your phone. Pair that with a sturdy screen protector, and you’ll be better protected. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to invest in the insurance or extended warranty, too. And don’t forget about online threats! There are some great anti-virus apps available for smartphones these days.

If you take good care of your phone, it will most likely last you longer. The difference between buying a phone every few years and every five years can be huge, especially given the high cost of modern smartphones.

Reasonable Repairs

You’ll be careful, but there are no guarantees in this life. You could end up with a broken phone! That’s okay, though, because there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to get your smartphone fixed by local pros.

Things like iPhone screen repair services won’t require you to head back to the mobile carrier shop or to a manufacturer’s shop. You can trust local pros for jobs like these—and virtually all others, for that matter! Your local shop will likely be able to give you the same fix and real brand-name parts for less than the manufacturer-backed shops will.