Adventures of Frugal Man Issue #2 – New Phone Woes

Today I have a short goodie for you all and a major lesson to take with you. For the past two months my iPhone 5S has been tripping heavy! My battery was not cooperating with my life and by that I mean it would go from fully charged to 50% in a matter of 15 minutes. Other times it would have 30% charged and shut down completely. It gave me numerous headaches and I had to carry my phone charger on me at all times. Felt like a robot that couldn’t stray too far from a power source.

Side note, if this problem sounds familiar with your iPhone then your not alone. For some odd reason phones have a pattern of breaking down when a new update comes around. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence and not the “man” trying to squeeze more money out of us.


Consequently being the frugal man I am, I didn’t concede into the “man’s” plan. Also, the new iPhone didn’t even look good, the headphones looked confusing and I don’t care for change that much. For the past two months I struggled with having a phone cut off on me during a conversation or reading the Huffington post. After the two months I had enough and quit my fight. To not let corporate America win completely I figured I would get an iPhone 6 to save money wherever possible.


While still training in Tampa I called a close-by T-Mobile store to see how much it will be for a new phone. I planned on paying with cash since I had been saving my per diem. Click here to read more on my per diem savings. Speaking with the representative my frugal side took over first. Instead of asking the price of a new phone I explained that my current phone battery has not been working properly. I provided my account information and the representative offered two things:


  • I’m eligible for a new phone upgrade. But that would raise my monthly bill.
  • T-Mobile will give me a refurbished phone if I trade in my current phone.


In a matter of a second I said “hell yes” to option #2. The next few minutes I was still skeptical of the process but learned more. Depending on the cause of the phone malfunction anyone may be eligible for a refurbished phone. Being that it was the battery and somewhat out of my control my situation met the criteria.


Overall a refurbished iPhone 5S ended up costing me $5.95 and that was to cover shipping. My frugal a** jumped for the moon while walking out the store.

Lesson to Be Learned


Review all options when you begin to look for a new phone. Never assume that the only option is purchasing a new phone. Check for refurbished phones or old models. And the main lesson from this issue is to always talk to your provider for options and blame it on your battery.


Until next time when my frugal inner hero strikes, stay frugal my friends.

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