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.


  • 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.
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

Leave a Reply

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

  1. My husband and I each bought refurbished IPhones from Game Stop and now use the Straight Talk phone service from Walmart for $90 a month we both get unlimited minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data.  Straight Talk uses the AT&T service so make sure you are in a reliable service area but you can save around $100 per month versus regular AT&T contract plans with the same service.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not tech savy at all but would love more info on how this works.  I use straight talk and the straight talk smartphone just became available in our area.  AT&T service is new in our area.  The only smart phone I know of is at walmart for $179. And because it’s so new there are no refurbished phones available yet.  I doubt it’s anywhere near as good as an iphone as well. looking forward to any help you can provide.  thanks, lori g

    • Jessica,

      Sounds like there might be a guest post to the KCL Contributor Network here. Something to consider!

  2. This is the only way my 14 year daughter can have a cell phone. She can talk all she wants from home without using our land line and no cell phone bill!