How Smartphones Help Save Money by Giving Priced Items Free?


Smartphones save money for us by giving tools and equipment for free that we usually buy in stores.

Do you know that by owning a smartphone, you save money in the big amount? That is because that compact thing has capabilities of turning itself into essentials that we buy like TV, scanner, compass, planner, etc.

What's more? You can use them for free. Here in this money-saving guide is the list of those essentials.

Smartphones help save money by giving free the tools and things that we used to buy.

If you think about it, the presence of invaluable essentials on our smartphones is made possible to compensate for the phone's high price tag.

You know, I always take inventory of good things. And as sane as I am, I am pretty sure that it's an asset as it constitutes positive thinking.

So I came up with the list of — wonder things, they are so because they're now FREE amidst the countless usefulness they give, and that, for me, is a wonder.

Home tools that we buy but available in smartphones for free
There are many things we buy that are available in smartphones for free. If we used these tools, we would save money, significantly.

Top 15 ways to save money by the help of smartphones which give essentials we buy for free

And now, without so much ado, here is the list of the TOP 15 THINGS we buy, which are now given FREE by our smartphones, thus, help us save money.

1. Television

Save money by using television on smartphone instead of buying one
Although smartphones are not as big as this television, watching TV and movies on them is entertaining as well

Here your smartphone doubles as your television. What about that? Virtually every show you get to watch on traditional TV can now be watched on that small palm device.

Individuals who would appreciate smartphone as television

  • singles renting a small place or dormitory that don't allow them to have a lot of furnishings
  • those who have no budget for that extra entertainment baggage

Why smartphone as television?

For starters, you can quickly watch horror thriller movies on YouTube.

  • Search horror thriller hd movies (year) or any genre, and in seconds you're on the edge of your seat enjoying a movie.
  • Tap 'full screen' so that it takes over the entire screen, turning your smartphone into a resized flat TV.

That's as fast as it can get. But the main thing you must not forget doing is to:

  • Download all TV and movie streaming apps that you can download for free.
  • You will have tons of shows to choose from every time.
  • Be it your fave sports, news, talent shows, game shows, etc.
  • You're in control as far as TV viewing is concerned, and not the “cable companies.”

Television store price

A cheap unbranded TV would cost around Php 6,000. Keep that money, add it to your savings, and feel happy about it. Enjoy the best of both worlds - unhampered saving money and TV-entertainment to the max.

2. Camera

Camera on smartphone helps save money hugely as we don't need to buy one.
Built-in cameras of today's smartphones are more technology advance compare to their digital cameras of the past decades.

Before the advent of the smartphone, people always carried with them those small but thick devices called digital cameras.

It was on the rise during the late '90s and early 2000s. So you can imagine those days when you're setting out on a journey or embarking on a travel vacation, you would have to carry two different gadgets - color version of a dumbphone and digital camera.

Today, you can go and save your money and enjoy the convenience of much advanced digital camera of your smartphone.

Digital camera store price

At that time, digital cameras cost Php 6,000 on average.

3. Camera scanner

Camera scanner app on smartphone offers one of many ways to save money.
Scanners are costly. But with the use of your smartphone's camera and a free scanner app, you can scan documents for free.

In a pursuit to be harmonious with today's technology, it's everyone's quest to:

  • eliminate so many things to do
  • so much papers to keep
  • so much occupied space, etc.

Why scanner on a smartphone?

3-things to consider:
  • 1. digital copies of daily receipts and important documents
  • 2. smartphone is capable of turning any hard copy document into a PDF file with the use of the scanner app
  • 3. Other smartphone models have built-in camera scanners in them.

Everyone opts for paper scanner if only to have digital copies of daily receipts and important documents, thus, eliminate stress and receipts.

Today, you don't need to buy a paper scanner because your smartphone is capable of turning any hard copy document into a PDF file with the use of the scanner app.

Other smartphone models have built-in scanners in them. It is much more easy to retrieve a smartphone-scanned document or receipt as you have the freedom to categorize or label each scanned document.

Scanner store price

A good portable paper document scanner costs Php 2,500, while scanner apps are free to download.

4. Planner

Planners and organizers are bulky. With your smartphone's advanced built-in planner or a downloaded version, you can do more.

Another must-have for those either in sales or in any career field is a planner. A planner that organizes your daily activities is indispensable.

Activities that a planner helps to organize

  • agendas
  • appointments
  • meetings
  • tasks
  • projects

Even today that all smartphones have built-in planner apps, some folks still opt for a traditional organizer.

But if you really look closely at a planner app, you will definitely see that it has a bunch of added unseen benefits and features, such as:

  • You don't have to carry a big leather planner.
  • All entries, i.e., schedules and todo's are synced with your other devices.
  • You just set an agenda to alert you minutes or hours or even days before the scheduled event.
  • Set the planner to remind you of repeating events on prescheduled time such as daily, every 2-days, weekly, monthly, etc.

Traditional planner downsides

  • You need to scribble each agenda on each date — so daunting now.
  • You need to bring the planner all the time because it doesn't sync.
  • You need to always open the planner so that you're aware of what's coming up on your schedule.

With the smartphone planner, you don't miss out on all your commitments or what to buy, whom to meet, etc.

It also eliminates the stress of writing the same repeating events.

You will never use a traditional planner again once you get the hang of a smartphone planner app which, like all discussed here, is free.

Planner store price

A traditional planner would cost Php 400, but a decent one ranges from Php 900 to Php 1,500.

5. Notebooks

Save your money by using your phone's notebook and avoid buying the traditional.
You can't take this notebook anywhere at all times. But with your smartphone, a version of this is pretty handy.

I can assure you that even if you're already a working individual, a small notebook and a ballpoint pen would be among the essentials you would put in your bag, assuming we're still in the era of dumbphones.

What is a dumbphone?

A dumbphone is an earlier version of mobile phone with only two basic functions, text and call.

Today, you can make as many notebooks as you want on your smartphone.

Built-in notebook apps of major brands give you the freedom to create notebooks with specs similar to those of traditional notebooks.

Notebook apps stunning similarities to traditional notebooks

  • blank papers with horizontal lines
  • multi-pages that you could flip as you would do in traditional notebook's pages
  • cover that looked similar to the hardbound cover of traditional counterparts.

Notebook app best features that make it special

  • You have the flexibility of changing designs of both covers and pages courtesy of the number of pre-installed themes.
  • With stylus pen, you would get the same handwriting experience on your created notebooks as you would do on traditional ones.
Note: Notebook app presence, features, and specs vary from model to model. If you want this app on your smartphone and you are buying, you have to check out the apps on the unit.

Notebook store price

Five traditional notebooks would cost Php 1,200 give or take. Compare that to hundreds of notebooks you can create for free in your smartphone.

6. Bible

Bible on smartphones
A version of this bible is on your smartphone if you have downloaded one from many choices for free.

Having a bible at our bedside is one of the great ways to keep our faith in God stronger. We get to read the bible at the time when our heart and mind are in a harmonious state.

But in today's busy lifestyles, a bible that you always see is ultimately a saving grace for those whose spirits always want to feed on God's words.

If you have a downloaded free version of a bible in your smartphone and it is recommendable to place it on your home screen, that is quite a significant saving for a frugal person.

Bible store price

A bible costs around Php 400 to 500.

7. Business Card Holder

Card holder app on smartphone helps save your money.
A version of this bulky calling car holder can be installed on your smartphone and would come in handy.

If you are in a business of meeting people in both high places and sales industry, you know that business cards still change hands even in today's era of digital technology.

But as they say, less is more. So how do you keep those stacks of calling cards given to you by different executives and associates you meet on a regular basis?

How to use smartphones as business card holders?

Instead of buying a business card holder:

  1. grab your smartphone
  2. tap your business card holder app
  3. point the camera, and shoot

The copy of the card with the exact look of the original is saved in PDF format on your phone. All business cards that you saved are organized in easy to find method. It makes your life much easier than flipping-through a thick card holder.

Business card holder store price

A medium-capacity business card holder costs around Php 300 on average while a big one is priced at Php 500.

8. Dictionary

Smartphone dictionary app is a best way to save money in learning new vocabularies.
Traditional dictionaries have no audible pronunciation guides, unlike a smartphone's dictionary app.

You can turn your smartphone's screen into pages of your favorite dictionary, flip or swipe the pages and enrich your vocabulary.

Look unfamiliar terms up at no time, listen to how words are pronounced, see how they are used in sentences, and have fun while learning.

By adding and owning one new word each day, you will be astonished at how fast you learn. All of those for free.

Most dictionary apps are available even without internet. So, you don't have a reason for not being productive once your Wi-Fi is offline.

Dictionary store price

A decent dictionary costs around Php 300 in bookstores.

9. Expenses Tracker

Expenses tracker apps on smartphones are free to download.
Imagine this costly budget and expenses planner on your smartphone for free plus with advanced settings to fit your needs.

Also called expenses manager, it's the equivalent of your old-fashioned book where you record what you buy and their corresponding prices.

With that traditional method, you compute the total, say, before bedtime.

With your smartphone and at no cost, you get to just enter names of each item that you bought or each of your expenses and their prices in the corresponding fields and then attend to other tasks you need doing.

At the end of each day, just look at the total. It's pretty fast, saves you a great deal of time. That's only a basic once you downloaded an expenses tracker app for free. Here are other amazing tasks it does:

  • You set a budget for a month, a week, or a day — you decide.
  • You set your alert amount. Once your expenses exceed your alert amount, your phone will notify and buzz you even before the full budget amount is maxed out.
  • You also get to see, at a glance, your running budget balance and how much has already been spent.
  • There's also a section for description that you can utilize for some notes aside from dedicated pages for long notes.

Now that's crazy, right? I know. This one is my most favorite app.

Expenses record book store price

Even though the traditional hardbound record book can't rival an expense manager app, it can go as far as getting you organized. But it will cost you around Php 300. Not to mention the cumbersome 'manual' tasks that come with it.

10. Calculator

Calculators are now things of the past as all phones have calculators.
This calculator costs money, and you have to look for it when you need it. Your smartphone is always there for your calculator need.

It's a no-brainer. All smartphones and even dumbphones for that matter have calculators.

It's just in a smartphone, the built-in calculator has all the basic functionalities of an actual calculator, more user-friendly and contains the record of your computing history, which is a boon, certainly if you're a type of person who always backtracks your accounting but not good in handling books.

Another thing, sometimes a calculator you bought last year needs hard press on each button today as dusk or elements penetrate clearances between them.

So enjoy using your smartphone calculator app and have fun doing your daily basic mathematical calculations.

Calculator store price

Calculator price ranges from 175 to 350 pesos.

11. Compass

Smartphone compass is always available unlike the traditional that always misplaced.
You can download a compass that can do the job of this traditional one likewise.

How many of us have a compass? Or should I ask how many of us have no compass? Was it non-essential that most of us don't have it? Or was it hard to find?

Either way, the compass is a huge help when there's no internet, and you can't open Google Map. Just knowing your north would give you a big sigh of relief in unfamiliar places.

The good news is you can carry a compass anytime without even thinking about it. Have an offline compass downloaded on your smartphone and, you're always ready to go.

Compass store price

If you buy a traditional one, this travel tool would cost you Php 250 give or take. Another amount of money saved, huh? Well, we're just scratching the surface.

12. Newspaper

Newspaper app is user-friendly and better than of traditional newspaper.
Reading daily news is more convenient and fast on a smartphone compares to newspapers.

Perusing a newspaper is a good way to start your day, especially if you're into current events. The problem in newspaper reading is that it slows down your daily activities. Why? 3-reasons:

  • First, a daily newspaper contains an intimidating number of pages.
  • Second, stories are continued on separate pages.
  • Third, these pages are found in far sections of the thick newspaper itself.

But with a smartphone or tablet, you can enjoy your favorite newspaper in a more streamlined design so that reading quickly is achieved and getting through a number of news stories is fast.

Most of the major daily newspapers have their own mobile apps. If they don't, it's 100% sure that their news websites are mobile-friendly.

Newspaper mobile site/app difference

  • Open your favorite newspaper app or home page.
  • Skim the headlines.
  • Tap a headline title
  • In less than 3 minutes you would have read the entire article without clicking any “link to continue.”

Newspaper price

A monthly traditional subscription for a daily newspaper would cost you Php 400.

13. Magnifying glass

Magnifying glass app is great way to save your money on extra tool, i.e., magnifying glass.
Yes, you can use your smartphone to magnify text or small stuff, just like this magnifying glass.

You might dismiss magnifying glass as not important because you're certain that you don't have any use for it?

However, f you think of it as a tool on its traditional form and shape ready at your disposal anytime, you know that in cases that you need to make out very tiny objects, you don't need to grope in the dark like turning over a chest or a drawer in search for it.

You know that it saves time to have readily available equipment when badly needed and it's actually money that you save whenever in that situation. Furthermore, it's a boon for those who have vision problems.

Magnifying glass store price

Approximate price of a pocket magnifying glass today is Php 300.

14. Flashlight or torch

Flashlights and torches in phones are boons as they are always there when you need them.
This flashlight is big alright. And that is the reason why the torch on your phone is preferred by many.

If you're taking for granted the built-in flashlight of your smartphone or if you're not using it because of the usability issue like lack of shortcut or the hidden gesture just to access it or turn it on, I can't blame you.

However, you may reconsider if the flashlight is docked in your home screen, which means it's just one tap away on your dock. Come to think of it, emergencies are inevitable. It happens.

An app that you don't get to use often is hard to locate on some smartphone model. But since you always see your flashlight, using it at times that you really need it is automatic.

How do you going to do that? Just change your default launcher with the one that contains flashlight on its dock or at least you can edit it to add any app you want there.

Flashlight store price

A regular flashlight costs only Php 175, but you don't get to bring it as that conducive as a smartphone can be.

15. Map

Map apps save money for us in amazingly different ways.
The convenience and all those value-added features of maps on smartphones trump this traditional map behind.

Who doesn't need a map? Does anybody ever say they don't need a map?

We are so lucky today that maps are built-in apps on our smartphones and tablets. Back in the day, folks used either a wall map or a map book.

They would look at a wall map before they head to a destination if they didn't have one of those city atlas traditional book which if they had, they would flip-through while driving or on the road. Can you imagine how cumbersome it was?

Map store price

Without a map app, a traditional map in book form would cost you 200 to 300 pesos while an average size foldable wall map that you can also carry would cost 150 pesos.


A fully utilized smartphone is a softhearted companion who finds it difficult to deny you a boon.

And if you look at the total amount of money you will have save when you reach the point that most of the objects you use are provided by your smartphone, you will realize that a smartphone is actually an excellent instrument to save money.

But, as said already, it must be fully utilized to the max.

Have you discovered a tool or app on your smartphone that you thought still sold today in stores? Do you have use of your smartphone that you think you will buy if it is not on your phone? Let us know in the comments below.

Share this

Vernie Mallorca is an entrepreneur and blogger with years of experience in selling to institutional accounts. He gradually shifted to blogging when he found out that it is his calling to write timely and helpful articles online that can help others to save money, make money, and secure their future by handling their income smartly. In this blog, he shares both managing your finances, however small it is and valuable information on running a small business.

1 Response to "How Smartphones Help Save Money by Giving Priced Items Free?"