Your phone may be old, need to retire, or no longer fashionable. Here’s what you can do to finance your next phone upgrade.
Your phone has probably done a lot of things for you. It has accompanied you to whole-day binge-watching sessions on Netflix. It has gotten you connections on apps that were fun while they lasted. You likely even organized your student or professional life with the help of your smartphone. Perhaps you discovered what would be a lifelong hobby, such as iPhone photography.
But after years of partnership, now your phone is old and needs to retire. Maybe it’s no longer as fashionable as it once was because of newly released phones that compel you to keep up. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep up.
However, you might not have inexhaustible funds for gadget replacement. Nor do you have the privilege of tapping benevolent sponsors like a pair of minted parents. In that case, you need to improvise. To finance your next phone upgrade, here’s what you can do.
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You often hear this financial advice, but maybe you’ve never taken it seriously. Now that you’re planning to upgrade your phone and don’t have available funds for the purchase, it’s high time to get behind budgeting.
Budgeting allows you to parse your expenses. You will know which ones are vital and which ones you can do without. As a result, you’ll be able to stretch your money or allocate enough for a necessary purchase, such as a phone upgrade.
Budgeting may be on a monthly or weekly basis. However, if it’s not much of a time issue, it’s better to do the latter. Weekly budgeting gives you a more accurate foresight of expenses. Also, it’s easier to commit to. Get help from apps like Mint to make budgeting more manageable. It’s free to use and boasts practical features. Mint categorizes expenses and tracks every penny you let go.
The point of budgeting is for you to save money. If you come up with a budget, stick to that budget. On the other hand, if you quickly spend any surplus funds left in your bank account for impulse purchases, the whole point of the process is lost.
You could maximize the full potential of budgeting by doing it in tandem with active saving. That is most important if you need money for a phone upgrade.
There’s a rule of thumb when it comes to saving. Here, it would help if you differentiated wants and needs. Wants are stuff you can do without. Consider a new pair of jeans you saw on sale online. Sure, you save half from its original price, but your closet’s packed to the brim with jeans you barely use, so why buy another one?
Focus on what you need—that could be a new phone, which you’ll have to save up for.
If you’re the type of person who replaces phones after your old one has reached its limits function-wise, then this won’t apply to you. No store will consider a trade-in agreement upon seeing a phone that looks like it’s been through a lot.
On the contrary, if your phone is pretty much intact inside and out, chances are it’s trade-in worthy. Shop around stores to know which one’s willing to give you the best deal.
You might want to check out websites that spare you exorbitant seller fees.
However, your phone has to pass the site’s listing criteria, so buff it up a little before submitting the gadget for appraisal. Maximize the site’s seller and buyer communication tool. Respond promptly to inquiries and make sure to answer truthfully. Do not risk getting banned from the platform, especially if you’re considering using it again.
Get a side hustle
This recommendation applies to both students and professionals. There are two major categories for side hustles at your disposal: online and offline. Choose which one is most suited to your unique circumstance.
For the former, you can look into your talents and skill set. Perhaps you like drawing, and you’re good at it. Post some of your creations on social media platforms and encourage commissions.
As for the latter, you can babysit, work part-time as a bookstore clerk, or give out flyers. The possibilities run the gamut. You just have to pinpoint the kind of side hustle that won’t interfere too much with your major priorities.
Lastly, it’s crucial to perfect time management. Remember that although we all have the same 24 hours on any given day, some can do more because they’ve perfected the art of managing time.
Chances are, you own several things that you barely use anymore. You might even consider them trash lying around the house, which you haven’t been able to dispose of simply because you haven’t had the time to sort them out. Here, it’s crucial to remember the adage, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” That treasure does not have to come free. Yes, you can sell it.
Start with your wardrobe. Pull out everything you haven’t worn in a long time. Identify the ones you feel will be of interest to other people.
Perhaps you have jeans whose waistlines you’ve outgrown but are still in perfect condition—or shirts whose styles no longer float your boat. Collect these items and take a picture of them. Make sure those pictures look A-OK. Post them on social media or other online selling platforms with their corresponding price tags.
Upgrading your phone doesn’t always have to mean purchasing a new one. You can always consider the alternative, which is buying refurbished.
A refurbished phone can give you all the functions and features you expect from a new unit without the latter’s corresponding price tag. If you’re all for saving as much money as you can, this is the way to go. You can spare yourself a good amount from refurbished phone deals.
However, you must be careful when buying a refurbished gadget. Keep in mind that the label refurbished could mean all sorts of stuff. It could mean a used phone that has been buffed up or a phone sent back just a week after the purchase. Some refurbished phones might have suffered packaging damage while in storage. You win if you end up with a phone refurbished under that last scenario.
Use a credit card
If you haven’t maxed out your credit card, it’s one way to finance your next phone upgrade. If you don’t own a credit card, you could use your parents’ or perhaps strike a deal with a generous friend who can purchase on your behalf. Whichever route you take, find the best installment deals—zero in on those without interest for up to 12 months.
When using a credit card, do not fall prey to paying only the minimum monthly payment. That approach might cause you to pay exorbitant penalty fees and interest rates. Unless you don’t mind ultimately paying way more than what you actually owe, always pay your total dues.
Explore phone financing
You have several phone financing options at your disposal. Each has its pros and cons. It should go without saying that you must be wise in choosing a suitable financing plan.
The most popular smartphone financing option is through a retail store. You go to a retailer and look at the phones on display. Find the one whose features and functions appeal most to you.
Then consider the store’s installment agreement on that product. Sometimes, you can find a deal that stretches payment for up to 24 months with zero interest. However, expect the phone’s price to be higher than a cash purchase.
You can also go straight to a network provider for smartphone financing. Choose a plan that comes with both a phone and a network subscription.
However, this option requires commitment on your end. You can’t change networks within the duration of the plan. You can have your phone unlocked after the contract or trade it in for a new phone if you wish to continue with your network subscription. The downside of this option is you might overuse your monthly plan causing you to pay more than what you intend.
Wrapping It Up
When planning a phone upgrade, getting clever with money is vital. That’s most true if you don’t have access to a bottomless bank account. You worked hard for every cent you saved and don’t want to deplete your emergency fund for a new gadget.
You also don’t want to always rely on credit cards, no matter how much of a responsible borrower you are. Remember that paying off your credit card debt could disrupt your financial health.
Instead, find ways to stretch your budget or explore means to expand your source of income. Get behind any or all of the above ideas to help you finance your next phone upgrade.
Rest assured, it will be more satisfying once you finally purchase a new phone because you know you did not take a shortcut. Finally, enjoy the new phone that you very much deserve.
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