If you’re a lover of Apple products, like myself, dropping some serious coin on the latest devices to come out of Cupertino is par for the course. Whether it’s upgrading to the latest iPhone, strapping an Apple Watch Series 4 to your wrist or investing in a new MacBook Pro — it’d be nice to see some monetary return on investment.
While the perks of owning and using the latest Apple technology are myriad and undeniable, let’s take a look at how to save some money by using the very same Apple devices we own.
- 1. Cancel automatic billing.
- 2. Free up storage space on iPad and iPhone.
- 3. Repurpose your old iPhone to an iPod touch.
- 4. Borrow e-books for iPad and iPhone.
- 5. Buy a used or refurbished MacBook.
- 6. Convert an old Mac into a kid-friendly computer.
- 7. Limit cellular data on iPhone and iPad.
- 8. Cut the cord on cable with Apple TV.
- 9. Protect yourself from scammers.
- 10. Sell or trade-in your old Apple devices.
- 11. Troubleshoot iPhone yourself.
- 12. Set up a ‘dumb’ phone.
- Cancel Apple Music and all renewing subscriptions
- Monitor and manage cell data usage on iOS
- Stop iCloud from syncing desktop folders and documents
1. Cancel automatic billing.
One of the best, and most common, ways to save easy money is to know how to cancel long-forgotten subscriptions on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV. If you’ve been trying out some apps like, say, Pandora or HBO Go, and want to cancel a subscription or automatic billing before your trial runs out, AppleToolBox has you covered. These unwanted charges can quickly ad up on your credit cards with hardly a notice.
Learn how to cancel automatic billing and subscriptions here!
2. Free up storage space on iPad and iPhone.
If you’re all about Marie Kondo and her tidying up tips, why not learn to tidy up your iPhone or iPad by de-cluttering and saving storage? This will free up lots of space and help you avoid paying more for storage, which can quickly add up. In the United States, for example, you’ll be paying an additional $0.99, $2.99 and $9.99 per month for 50GB, 200GB, 2TB, respectively, of storage.
- Photos: Learn how to free up storage on iPhone by storing photos to iCloud and then deleting them. Our step-by-step guide will show you how. The next time you take a photo, you will not have to see the annoying message ‘Storage full cannot take photos’.
- Messages: iOS creates an amazing and rich Message experience for iPhone. But, all those added features have a price, mainly iMessage data. iOS 10+ and particularly iMessage now consume so much more of our iPhone’s data and memory. Read on for our tips on managing iOS iMessage data.
- Emails: You can also save valuable storage by completely deleting unwanted emails. Here’s how to delete emails completely from iPhone.
- iCloud: iCloud storage is used for backups, photos, videos, documents, emails, and app data. But as you get more Apple devices, you don’t get more free storage. Those complimentary 5GB can vanish pretty quickly. Before you contemplate paying for the upgrade plan, try the following tips to clear your iCloud storage.
3. Repurpose your old iPhone to an iPod touch.
The current going rates for a brand-new iPod touch are $199 (32GB and $299 (128GB), respectively. If you’ve got an old iPhone lying around, you could either sell it or repurpose it by converting it to an iPod touch. The money you save will be cash in pocket or can even go to a latest-gen iPhone.
4. Borrow e-books for iPad and iPhone.
While I still love the act of opening a traditional hard-copy book, the advantages of loading up reading material on an iPad really has its conveniences — especially if you have kids or love to travel. You can load up any number and variety of e-books to iPad and include something for everyone. And, iPad has benefits like backlighting and font-increase for those who may struggle to read tiny print.
But, best yet, is the ability to borrow e-books online for free. Just as you would in a library, you can ‘rent’ e-books as you would a library book. Generally, your e-book borrow has a limited lifespan on your device (usually 14-28 days depending on your local library’s policy).
Check out four great apps for borrowing e-books for your entire family, and save money on buying hard-copy tomes.
5. Buy a used or refurbished MacBook.
Apple launched its new MacBook Air last fall and it’s as gorgeous and revolutionary as it gets. Starting at $1,299, its price tag mirrors that of MacBook and MacBook Pro — and that’s just for the base models. For those not wanting to shell out that much cash for a new-model MacBook, there’s some good news: When Apple releases new Macbooks and Macbook Pros, you’ll often be able to secure some great bargains on used MacBook. That is, if you know where to look.
Macs and, particularly, MacBooks are built sturdier than their PC counterparts, and the high quality of these machines is hardly a point that needs discussion or debate. In fact, people have been known to use their MacBooks for years and years. AppleToolBox has created a list of essential tips to consider when buying a used MacBook.
Once you’ve determined what you need to know before buying used, check out this list of vendors for refurbished MacBooks:
- Apple’s Certified Refurbished section
- MacSales New and Used Macs
- BestBuy Refurbished Macs
- Amazon Refurbished Macs
As with every big purchase, be sure to check out the warranty and return policies for any refurbished Mac.
6. Convert an old Mac into a kid-friendly computer.
Kids love electronic devices and are often as adept at interacting with them as their more mature counterparts. If you’re a parent or have children in your life, you’ve undoubtedly seen kiddos nimbly entertaining or educating themselves via the touchscreens of iPads or iPhones. And, in this day and age, kids knowing how to use a computers and e-devices is nearly as necessary as learning to tie one’s shoes.
But, if you’re not ready to spend upwards of $300 on an iPad or other electronic device for your kid, you can easily convert an old Mac to a child-friendly and safe computer with all the parental controls in place.
Read on for some great tips on how to set up your old Mac for kid-friendly use.
7. Limit cellular data on iPhone and iPad.
Let’s face it, additional chargers for cellular data overages is how carriers make money. For those of us with monthly data allowances, or for folks that travel and use data roaming, it’s important to know exactly how we’re consuming that data and how to limit cellular data use.
Luckily most iOS versions offer great features to track and limit cellular data usage. You can do a few things in order to monitor and limit your data in the future. Here is what you can do to limit cellular data on your iPhone or iPad.
8. Cut the cord on cable with Apple TV.
In today’s day and age, traditional cable TV set-top boxes are being thrown to the side in lieu of the explosion of streaming services like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Cable TV, with all the bells and whistles, can cost upwards of $200 per month. With streaming services, you’ll pay a significantly less and be able to pick and choose what you actually want to watch. For example, basic plans for Hulu and Netflix run from $7.99 per month, while Amazon Prime will cost around $119 for an entire year. You do the math.
The Apple TV has become an extremely great option for those looking to cut the cord. It’s now possible for you to save money and rely only on your home internet to watch your favorite content by way of the streaming services mentioned above and additional services including Sling TV, DirecTV Now and YouTube TV. But, before you completely switch off the cable box, check out the best ways to cut the cord with Apple TV.
9. Protect yourself from scammers.
Scammers are always targeting Apple users. Unfortunately, there are many ways for malicious entities to scam unsuspecting iPhone, Mac and iPad users. While scammers aren’t exclusive to the Apple ecosystem, protecting yourself from them not only gives you peace of mind, but also saves you from financial worry.
In our guide to protect yourself from these malevolent forces, we’ll show you the common ways an iPhone can be attacked via email, text, browser, call and app-based scams. We’ll also give you a handy checklist in which to protect yourself and your devices from scammers.
10. Sell or trade-in your old Apple devices.
Ready to upgrade to a brand-new Apple device, but not sure what to do with your last-gen iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac? Trade it in! Apple offers a great buyback program (now called Apple GiveBack) where you can trade in your eligible device for an Apple Store Gift Card or a refund on your next purchase.
If your device isn’t eligible for credit, Apple will recycle it for free — which is very eco-friendly.
Or, you can simply sell it on one of these scam-free sites:
11. Troubleshoot iPhone yourself.
Save time and therefore money by learning to do some basic iPhone troubleshooting yourself. Forget about spending hours at an Apple store waiting for assistance. And, get ready to pat yourself on the back with this list of common iPhone issues that you can solve on your own. Our comprehensive how-to guide covers just about any iPhone issue you encounter including tips to make your iPhone last longer to a non-working camera. It’s all in our iPhone Troubleshooting Guide.
And, check out the AppleToolBox YouTube channel for some great additional iPhone troubleshooting tutorials. Here are a few of our readers’ favorites:
- Fix a dead, non-charging iPhone.
- Get your text messages to show up on iPhone.
- Fix an iPhone stuck in Headphones mode.
12. Set up a ‘dumb’ phone.
Most of us can stand to spend less time on our electronic devices. This is the purpose of a basic, or ‘dumb’, iPhone – it’s a reliable means of communication without all the distractions of social media apps and the like. That’s the whole purpose of a dumb phone. It’s a device you pop your SIM card in during the weekends to get you away from social media, work emails, and other facets of living in the digital era.
A non-smart phone is also perfect for children of parents who’d like to delay their kids’ use of smart technology and its potential risks.
mi is an editor and writer based in San Francisco. Past experience includes managing the Reviews and How To channels for Cult of Mac and created the company’s first online store featuring bands and other products for Apple Watch.
She helps shape the content for AppleToolBox, enforcing style and clarity of content. Ami also conducts social outreach for the company.
Other clients include Wired, Apple, Restoration Hardware, Gap, Sephora, Charles Schwab and dozens more.