How to Purchase Your Own Phone As a Teenager

A phone is a great piece of technology for a young adult to keep in touch with people all around the world. A great bonus is the social benefit, with phone calls, texting, and social media applications. Here are a few ways to purchase your own cellphone as a teenager (in parts).  It is probably a good idea to check with your parents before getting one.

Making Money

Work around the house.

Offer to do some serious cleaning that could take the burden off your parents…for a fee. Charge a small sum of money for each chore, depending on the type of chore. The more undesirable, the more you should ask for. Set a maximum asking price depending on how well set off your family is.

  • You could offer to clean the bathroom, shovel snow, rake leaves, water the garden, make the beds, do the dishes, wash the car, clean your room, or organize shelves/cabinets.

Get a job!

You can go and get an actual part-time job at a small establishment or work around the neighborhood. If you work around the neighborhood, you can charge more than you would for your parents. Once again, charge by the chore and the undesirability.

  • You can offer to tend or water a garden, clean their pool, clean the patio, rake the leaves, or shovel snow.

Save money!

You probably get money from your siblings, family, and extended family for your birthday, allowance, and holidays you celebrate. Keep a jar or piggy bank for the money you collect. Store some cash for yourself as well. You could keep sticky notes that remind you how much you need, your current balance, and what you’re saving for.

  • Save up some extra for your first payment(s) on your future phone.

Doing Your “Homework”

Select a phone.

Go onto your best local service provider’s website and search for a phone. Make sure the phone suits all of your needs, and has any functions that your parents request. Maybe you’re busy with an internship and need blue-tooth for hands-free calling, you travel a lot and need GPS, or your parents have requested parental controls – make sure the phone you want has these.

  • The advanced search option found on most sites can help you find a phone in your price range, and the type you want (flip, slide, touchscreen, etc).

Learn more about it.

Find more information about the phone, such as features, versions, model, size, quality, battery replaceable, etc. It can also be of great help to check owner reviews, unboxing videos, hands-on/first impression reviews, and in-depth reviews.

  • Keep the size of the phone in mind – a man can fit most sizes in his pocket, but a woman who doesn’t wear a purse will have to pick a phone that fits in hers.

Keep track of the information you collect.

Make a checklist of features and functions you want, and make a mark for every one the phone has. This will be great for the presentation of the phone to your parents. At the same time, write down other features and functions that you hadn’t thought that would be useful in your phone.

  • Depending on how tech-savvy you are, the ability to use a phone varies. You might want a simple Nokia phone or an iPhone, depending on how well you think you can adapt to using it.

Know the prices.

Keep in mind 1) the price of the phone and 2) the cost of data. Depending on the phone, a phone can cost anywhere from 20 dollars to 600 dollars, and data can cost a ton! If you use lots of data, you may want a cheaper phone and vice versa. However, remember that not only will you have to pay for the phone, but you might have to pay for the data as well. Find a cost that’s right for you.

The Presentation

Tell your parents you want a phone!

This way, you have the chance to show your responsibility and hard work. Show the information you’ve collected over the previous period of time and get them thinking. Mention the money you’ve been collecting, and show them your container for proof.

  • Don’t sneak around your parents’ back and buy a phone – there’s no way they won’t notice!

Put together a presentation.

Use a program such as PowerPoint to collect your work, information, and research in a nice slideshow. If you can, make graphs, or compare the phone you want to others (more and less popular phones, your parents’ phones, etc).

Show your presentation.

Collect your parents at a good time for them (not when angry, not right after coming home, etc) and go through the slideshow. Mention why things would be good for you, pros and cons, and so on. Show your savings and present the type of phone and data plan you would like.

  • If your parents are mad or busy, don’t pull them away for the presentation!


  • Go through as many phones as possible before selecting one.
  • Drop hints to your parents to engage a discussion.
  • Pick a data plan that suits your needs.


  • Remember that cheaper isn’t always better.
  • Don’t go behind your parents’ backs and buy a phone, they will notice!
  • Don’t get a phone just because your friends have them! At the very least, don’t tell your parents that’s why you want one.
  • Don’t attempt to force your parents to buy you a phone.
  • Don’t misbehave on your phone.
  • Don’t whine or complain if your parents don’t say yes straight away.

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