How to Save Money for a Phone - Frugal Budgeter (2023)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read how we make money for more information.

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:

Table of Contents

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 under-price 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.

Plenty of Ways to Save

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.


What is a reasonable amount to spend on a phone? ›

Choose the Price Right for You

Smartphones have evolved so fast in recent times that you really don't need to spend a lot of money to get an overall good experience. For the average consumer, we wouldn't recommend going below $200 or above $700; try to avoid both extremes.

How can I pay less for my phone bill? ›

Tips for saving money on your phone bills
  1. Use Wi-Fi when available.
  2. Reevaluate your current plan.
  3. Evaluate your phone insurance plan.
  4. Update your service address.
  5. Sign up for automated payments and/or paperless billing.
  6. Ask for perks — and be willing to negotiate.
  7. Delay upgrading.
  8. Add a line and share the cost.
Jun 27, 2023

How can I save money on my cell phone? ›

Quick Ways to Save for a New Phone
  1. Make a budget for every need. How much money can you set aside each month for savings? ...
  2. Set a target to buy a new phone. You can set a target of when you will buy a new phone. ...
  3. Automate saving with the Autosave feature.

How can I be frugal to save money? ›

Personal Finance 101 How to Save Money Every Day
  1. Create a Budget. Setting a budget may not be fun, but the benefits you will reap are worth it. ...
  2. Use Coupons When You Can. ...
  3. Save on Groceries. ...
  4. Reduce Monthly Bills. ...
  5. Cancel Streaming Accounts You Don't Use. ...
  6. Reduce How Much You Dine Out. ...
  7. Stop Paying to Work Out. ...
  8. Buy Used Items.
Aug 3, 2023

Is it cheaper to buy a phone full price? ›

Is it cheaper to buy a phone outright or finance it? Though this would be a major pro for buying a phone instead of financing, there actually isn't much of a price difference when you compare the costs of buying a phone or financing it.

Is $100 a lot for a phone bill? ›

How much you pay will depend on several things, including how much data you use, how much your state charges in taxes and if you are on a financing plan or buy your phone outright. If you're spending a lot more than $100 a month (for an individual), you're probably overpaying.

What is the average cell phone bill per month? ›

How much should my cell phone bill cost? The nationwide average phone bill totals around $166 per month, so you probably shouldn't be spending more than that. If your phone bill is too high, evaluate all of your options to make sure you're getting the best deal.

What is the average phone bill per month for one person? ›

According to JD Power, the average monthly cell phone bill per person is around $144. This adds up to $1728 a year. Cell phone costs will undoubtedly be a significant part of your monthly budget. The price of your cell phone bill may vary depending on your data usage.

Does paying off your phone make your bill cheaper? ›

Paying off your phone early with your current carrier means you can get your device unlocked, switch phone companies, and lower your monthly payments. Some cell phone companies even let you keep your monthly device bill credits.

What happens when your phone is paid off? ›

When you pay off your device: You continue paying your monthly costs for your talk, text and data plan, but you no longer have a device payment charge on your monthly bill.

How much is Verizon phone bill for one person? ›

$60 1 GB and $75 2 GB Smartphone Single Line Plan FAQs

Find support information for your 1 GB or 2 GB Smartphone Single Line Plans.

Is AT&T overpriced? ›

AT&T's plans are a little too pricey for what it currently offers. Even with the company's fast download speeds and high data caps, we would expect even better coverage and more perks for an unlimited plan that starts at $65 a month. Let's compare AT&T with the competition to prove its overly priced nature.

How to save $100 per week? ›

6 tips to save $100 a week and put it toward savings
  1. Monitor your spending carefully.
  2. Audit your subscriptions.
  3. Negotiate with your tech carriers.
  4. Vacation in the United States.
  5. Plan more meals at home.
  6. Take notice of impulse online shopping.
May 29, 2023

How to Live on $2,000 a month 10 frugal tips? ›

10 Tips to Comfortably Live on $2000 a Month
  1. Extinguish Your Fuel Costs. ...
  2. Lock in Your Natural Gas Rate. ...
  3. Save Money on Groceries. ...
  4. Choose an Affordable Cell Phone Plan. ...
  5. Save on Electricity. ...
  6. Choose Affordable Health Care. ...
  7. Spend Less on Rent. ...
  8. Find Free Things to Do Around Town.
Sep 5, 2023

What is the 30 day rule? ›

What Is the 30-Day Rule? Instead of allowing yourself to make that impulse purchase, wait for 30 days before you buy — that's the 30-day rule. Following this rule means you defer all non-essential purchases for 30 days, which gives you ample time to think about whether you really need to make the purchase.

How much does the average person spend on phone per month? ›

With prices rising on the cost of a phone and mobile plans, how much does the average mobile plan cost these days? According to JD Power, as reported by CNBC in June 2023, the average monthly cost of a cellphone plan is $144. At over $1,700 a year, it's not an insignificant cost.

How much does the average person spend on cell phone? ›

Americans spend 4 hours, 25 minutes each day on their cell phones. Overall, the average American will spend over two months (65 days) on their phones in 2023.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Arline Emard IV

Last Updated: 28/12/2023

Views: 5703

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arline Emard IV

Birthday: 1996-07-10

Address: 8912 Hintz Shore, West Louie, AZ 69363-0747

Phone: +13454700762376

Job: Administration Technician

Hobby: Paintball, Horseback riding, Cycling, Running, Macrame, Playing musical instruments, Soapmaking

Introduction: My name is Arline Emard IV, I am a cheerful, gorgeous, colorful, joyous, excited, super, inquisitive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.