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Money Calling: Ring Up Even More Savings With a “Smartphone”

Joanie.Demer

Regular KCL readers have seen tips before about saving money on cell phones. And those tips remain valid. But there are even more ways to save cash on your phone. How much? How does (nearly) free sound?

As everyone knows, the iPhone is very popular with a touch screen, first-rate camera and endless apps to make life easier. Still, those glorious gadgets come with a high price tag. In addition to the hardware costs, the monthly plans can add up to hundreds of dollars. Let’s face it, working a second job just to get unlimited data doesn’t make sense to me. With a little research and some penny pinching, there is a way to turn an iPod into a cell phone. The best part? No breathtaking monthly cell phone bill.

You need:

  • iPod Touch 4th Generation. Earlier models will work with some extra effort.
  • Apps
  • A reliable, consistent WI-FI connection. Internet at home is great, and most cities have free WI-FI hotspots at fast food restaurants, coffee shops, downtown zones, etc.
  • Headset with a microphone (otherwise you’ll be on speaker.)

Download Apps:

  • Skype – Great for international calling. Allows call, text, video chat, instant message. Free download. Low monthly fee.
  • Line2 – Unlimited calls and text messages in U.S. and Canada. Free download with seven-day trial. After that, $10 a month.
  • Fring – Allows call, text, instant message, video messages, video chat. Free. No monthly fee.
  • Talkatone – The most popular app. Combine with GoogleVoice and run through your home WI-FI. Pick your own phone number, forward calls, get voicemail, talk and text. Free.

Cautions:

  • Using your iPod as a phone is not as seamless as having an iPhone.
  • No GPS.
  • Camera quality is questionable.

This isn’t an option for everyone. But if you must cut back on expenses, it might be worth a try. There are a few up-front costs and small monthly fees. Those are much cheaper than a phone and data plan with a national carrier.

This has been a guest post by August from Granite Falls, NC.
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