My Life Without a Cell Phone

frugal living apps
My life without a cell phone began by accident, and not the type of accident that involves me dropping and breaking my phone.

It began with a phone call from my 20 year old son. He informed me that my phone was due for an upgrade, and I'm wasting money if I don't take advantage of it. I hate to waste money, so I had him continue with his explanation. Apparently, I could sell my iPhone 4s for more than the upgrade fee for the new iPhone 5s. Really? Postponing the upgrade will only decrease the value of my old phone, and I'd have to pay to upgrade. Craziness!

I put his theory to the test and listed my phone on Ebay. 12 hours later it sold! I made money, and I was going to get a brand new iPhone 5s! Well, that's what I thought. I did indeed make money, but being 7th in line at the Sprint store wasn't good enough….they were sold out! My quest continued with stops at the Apple Store and Best Buy…no luck. Everyone suggested I order it online, so I did, and now I wait for my new phone to arrive in 2 weeks.

What's my life like without my iPhone?

2 words…less efficient!

My first iPhone was a Christmas gift 2 years ago. If it wasn't for the “gift”, I might be still using my flip phone! How can a frugal girl justify the expense of an iPhone?

  1. Use a family plan with unlimited data from Sprint.
  2. Take advantage of your corporate discount or any discount…my husband's company uses Sprint, so we receive a 15% discount! Always ask what discounts might be available. If you don't ask, they won't offer.
  3. Teens want iPhones, and our teens pay their portion of the bill every month.
  4. Maximize the money saving potential of your phone (see below).


How a Frugal Girl Uses an iPhone

  1. Price Comparisons – I'm always using the Red Laser app to scan bar codes to see if I can find a better price. I can scan ink cartridges at Office Depot, and within seconds I'll know if there's a better price at another store. A super saavy shopper is born!
  2. Gas Savings – The gas buddy app really is my buddy. I always check to see which station has the cheapest gas in my area, and the savings have been as much as 54¢ a gallon! 54¢ x 20 gallons = $10.80 per fill up! I fill up twice a month, so I save $21.60 a month, $259.20 a year…thanks Gas Buddy!
  3. Coupons – How many times have you clipped a coupon and left it at home? Coupon apps abound on smartphones, and you'll never have to worry about forgetting a coupon again. Retail Me Not is my favorite coupon app for non-grocery items, and the jury is out on my favorite grocery coupon app.
  4. Free Stuff – This year I've earned a $10 Papa John's Gift Card, a $10 Sephora Gift Card and a $25 Groupon from Viggle for watching TV! It's easy, no strings attached…if I'm watching a tv show, I simply tap a button on my phone and earn points. Points add up to gift cards. Why not get paid for being a couch potato?
  5. Multitasking – Time is money, and I feel like the queen of multitasking with my iPhone in hand. If you're a mom, you spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting in the carpool line, waiting for practice to end, waiting for a doctor's appointment. Let your smartphone turn your waiting time into productive time! Things I do with my iPhone while I'm waiting…pay bills with my Wells Fargo app, do research for Budget Diet articles, compare air fares for my son's Thanksgiving trip home, plan meals, read email and check a lot of things off my to-do list!

My Sprint bill pre-iPhone was $30 a month. Now it's $50 a month. Does the iPhone help me save $20 a month? Absolutely!

Discover more money saving apps…


Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono,


In full disclosure, this post contains affiliate links to help support The Budget Diet girl! My advice will always be unbiased and free, but free won’t pay the bills! Thanks!

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Kevin Wilderman
10 years ago

My wife and I both have iphones for that same reason: efficiency. We’re fairly new to the “frugal living world”, but we’ve found that it has helped us a lot, especially with those coupon apps! It’s amazing how you can have coupons scanned straight from iphones now.

Texas Tamie
10 years ago

My new iPhone has been a God-send. Tapping 1-4 times to get one letter for a text on my old flip phone was inefficient and getting really embarrassing. When Walmart offered 4Ss for $39 each (and a two-year commitment, which we already had anyway), I jumped. Right after that, my husband and I became involved in cleaning out and selling his mother’s house. We couldn’t do it all without these phones. I’m learning how to save money with them as I go, starting with displaying coupons from emails without having to print them out. Your tips are so welcome. Keep ’em coming, please!

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