21 Things My iPhone Replaced

The Frugs iPhoneMost people would  think one of the worst money-saving tips I could offer would be to purchase an iPhone. We constantly hear about expensive Apple products, overpriced data plans, unnecessary upgrades, monthly overages, wasteful app store purchases and how overpriced smartphone plans are in the US versus Europe and Asia.

Yes, the Frug family has 4 Apple devices on an AT&T family plan, three iPhones and an iPad. True, the bill does make me cringe, especially the three different types of telecom tax. The phone and the taxes add up to about $55 per device per month. That’s not really what this post is about.

I was recently trying out Listly and created a list of all the things my iPhone replaced. I have dropped in the list below. Basically the iPhone since its introduction in 2007 has allowed me to get rid of a lot of stuff including some of the worst kind of stuff that has monthly recurring fees.

You’ll be able to tell from the list that I’ve always been a bit of a gadget addict. The iPhone is really helping me with that, replacing 20+ gadgets with just one and using free apps to do all the work. I mention a few of these apps below.

Here are some big items right off the bat.

  • Landlines –  I was going through some old files the other day and came across some of our old phone bills. $65, $120, $85. This was back in 2006 when we were still using a landline and then later digital on Comcast, Vonage etc. My home number is now my iPhone and I give out a Google voice number to solicitors, websites, banks, etc. My wife does the same and we list each other as emergency contacts. If someone leaves a message on our Google voice number we get a nice transcribed email we can delete. We used to get calls at 6 PM every evening like everyone else.  Now silence.

  • International long distance –  We travel a good amount and I remember international long distance charges anywhere from $120-$350 per trip. That quickly added up to over $1000 per year. True, some of this was business-related, but as a business owner it was still my expense. I now use the Skype app or Facetime via hotel or restaurant Wi-Fi. It’s gotten a lot easier since I first tried this out in a Starbucks in Mexico.  On a recent trip to Barcelona, I had daily FaceTime calls with the family, total international long distance cost $0.00.  Only problem with FaceTime is that even my youngest can tell when I’ve had a few beers.

  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio –  Satellite radio had ratcheted up to about 19 bucks a month before I discovered Pandora on my iPhone. Now can I can listen to truly commercial free music via Bluetooth. The iPhone automatically connects when I get in the car and any calls that come through pause the music. The music and calls are delivered via Bluetooth over the cars sound system. I just needed an adapter installed for my radio.  The quality of Pandora and iTunes over Bluetooth to my car stereo really surprised me. I find it to be better than CDs or HD FM radio.  Savings of about $200 a year after the annual  pandora fee is subtracted.

  • Garmin GPS –  The iPhone replaced my handheld GPS unit. I really enjoyed it for hiking, finding my way around strange cities, even on the water. Problem was it required CDs, expensive downloads that only worked on a PC, international city packs etc. etc. I understand that some GPS units even had a monthly fee. That’s all gone now. Not only is the iPhone a fantastic GPS device, it’s apps integrate information sharing like  speeding cam locations on WAZE. WAZE should save even the most conservative driver a ticket every few years or find you a great local diner with low prices. Google maps free GPS is the best I found and, most importantly, covers walking and cycling directions that the others don’t. For hiking the everytrail app is awesome as you can share and discover great walks.There are a ton of options for hiking and running these are just a few.

When I add all this up and multiply it by several family members, I really believe the iPhone allows us to get rid of a lot of stuff. See the full list below and save a lot of money on unnecessary monthly fees that creep onto your credit card bill every month.

As I look at the list below I also realized all the time that was necessary to deal with all this stuff, racks of CDs, busted digital cameras and video recorders (now we just bust the iPhones)  annual BS increases in satellite radio fees, and landline or digital long-distance fees.  Lots of extra crap to pack when traveling like headphones, books, magazines, cameras extra batteries, etc.  All replaced by an iPhone.

The message here was that the iPhone is worth every penny of the costs as it is something I use every day.  And as a bonus it actually saves me time and money every month.

Live Lean. Work Lean. Travel Lean.

If the full list doesn’t show up in this post you can see it here. http://goo.gl/65hced

Let me know if I missed anything. What has your smartphone replaced lately?  Please add your comments here.

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