Oct 17, 2011

Find thrifty phone accessories

My biggest piece of advice to people who want to thrift well is to know your resources. We all need to buy stuff, and sometimes we need to buy in a hurry...so it's important we know where its selling for the cheapest.

The other week I left my phone charger at a friend's place who lives several hours away. Having a newly acquired smart phone means my phone battery life lasts only hours so I needed a charger that day. Most people just would run to their local cell phone provided store (in this case T-mobile) and buy a charger. Simple. Of course, the simple way isn't always the thrifty way. In fact, usually it's not.

Cell phone companies charge an arm and a leg...no more like your entire body for cell phone accessories. T-mobile, Verizon, AT&T and other companies actually lose money, break even, or make barely anything when they sell a cell phone because they didn't make the phone, they purchased it from another company. Therefore, they need to make money on the cell phone plan and the accessories. That is why I never, ever buy anything from T-mobile. Check out their prices (according to T-mobile.com):

8 gb memory card: 26.99
10 screen protectors: 13.99 (who needs 10??)
phone case: 16.99
wall charger: 39.99 (is this for real?)

Anyway, going to T-mobile is certainly the most convenient choice but not the best financial choice. Here's what I did instead. First I ran to Best Buy, thinking I could snag a better deal on a generic charger, and I walked out with a charger for about $19. I was disgusted with that price...so I decided to venture over to Five Below just a mile down the road. I knew they carried phone accessories, so I thought I'd give it a try and... BAM I walk out with a $5 charger!! I immediately drove back to Best Buy and return the overpriced one. And guess what, the charger I bought  for next to nothing works perfectly fine.

In terms of other phone accessories, I shop on Amazon.com or Five Below. From those places, my 8gb memory card was $10, phone case $10, skipped the screen protector and then spent $5 on the charger.

So the lesson is go to stores with lower prices like discount stores, thrift stores, dollar stores, stores like Five Below etc and check out what kind of items they have in stock. Then next time you need to buy something in a hurry, you've got a plan in your back pocket...along with some extra cash.

Links: The Thrifty Home
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