How My Smart Phone is Saving Me Money - Live Like a Mensch
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How My Smart Phone is Saving Me Money


J and I are now three months into our smart phone ownership, and I can tell you--I have no idea how we ignored our kids lived pre-smart phone.

As I mentioned a little while ago, one of the things I was excited about for my smart phone was the various coupon apps that I could download to reduce our grocery costs. Thus far, I have officially used only one coupon app--Cartwheel for Target--about two times. It's been a real moneysaver, let me tell you.

However, I have found another way that my phone is saving me quite a bit of money.

You may recall that I have a somewhat contentious relationship with my local library. (Basically, the librarians believe that the library books should remain in pristine condition. I believe that the librarians have somewhat missed out on the cliches of curling up with a book, a cat, and a hot beverage. We mutually decided that I should probably visit the library in West Lafayette where the librarians are less concerned about the possibility of the patrons actually reading the books.)

Imagine my delight when I discovered that the local library has entered the digital age and offers e-books and audio books to its patrons. I do not have to set foot in the library, and there's no way I can misplace or spill coffee on the materials I borrow.

Since one of my favorite things in the world is to go for a run while listening to an audio book, my smart phone has made it possible for me to do this without owing one of my children to the good folks at Audible (or the library, for that matter.) I average about two to three audiobooks a month. Digital downloads from Audible tend to run from $20 to $35 each (and I know that I can get them for cheaper if I sign up for the Audible subscription, but I've learned that generally you spend less if you just pay full price whenever you want a new book). Because of the price of Audible books, I have had a tendency to relisten to old favorites rather than always download something new--but no longer!

I am able to download up to ten audiobooks at once, and I have them for my listening pleasure for up to two weeks. While I can't say that I'm saving $105 per month (the cost of three full-price audiobooks), I'm certainly saving at least $20-$35 per month, since that was about how often I would download a new title. Also--since it's much more difficult to determine if an audiobook is going to be to your taste, I'm "wasting" fewer downloads that I listen to for 2 or so hours before deciding I just don't like them. Since they were free, it just doesn't matter!

While I still have hope that my smart phone will save me money at the grocery store, I'm pretty thrilled at how much it's saving me in audiobook costs. (After all, if my coupon apps saved me $35 per month, I'd consider them to be wildly successful).

How does your smart phone save you money?



haverwench said:

Well, so far I've been saving money by not having one. Or having a cell phone at all, except a prepaid one for emergencies. But I do wonder sometimes whether I'm missing out not having access to all those spiffy money-saving apps. Maybe a prepaid smartphone would be the way to go.

June 13, 2014 11:01 PM

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