Do iPhones Help Moms Live Better?

As one of the Walmart 11Moms, I've been given great opportunities to try new things and share them with my readers at the places I blog. Earlier this year, some of us went shopping for an iPhone at our local Walmart stores, in hopes of learning about the shopping process and whether the phone could help Moms to live better -- or quite possibly even save money. In full disclosure, the phone was provided by Walmart, and so was a portion of the service plan. Here are my findings for you to read. (I was just as surprised as you might be!)

1. Shopping for phones at Walmart can be just as frustrating an experience as buying them from any other cell retailer. I was there a long, long time waiting for my phone to be activated (1.5 hours, to be exact.) The associates couldn't have done a better job, I might add -- it was the way the system was set up that made it such a laborious process. The staff was friendly, helpful, and sincerely apologetic that it took so long to set up a new account, buy the phone, and activate it. (My kids, on the other hand, cried for snacks and melted down on the floor during the event.)

2. An iPhone can be used for so much more than calls and email. Having never had a "smart phone" before, I was skeptical that a then $300 phone and a $80 a month phone bill were ever going to be worth it -- especially for someone as frugal as myself. (I didn't even own a cell at the time.) Since I am also a freelance writer, marketing consultant, and a homeschooler, and a wife, there is an application (a free one) for most every organizational or home task I do. I have saved so much money using comparison shopping and money-management tools (see my article at Tom's Guide for details). I have also found some clever ways to parent more effectively (my article at PC Magazine tells more.) Oh, and can you see from my articles how I've been able to sell more articles? LOL

Would I have gotten an iPhone without it being part of a free test-drive program? At the time -- probably not. I didn't have it in my budget for a phone, and it wasn't something I figured I'd use. Now... with the price of a phone way down, and the return so high, I will plan on using it for much longer than the 11Moms program will support. It's helped me become a better Mom!

To see if an iPhone is available at your Walmart, you'll need to go to the website and find the store nearest you. (I had to call around to find the exact phone I wanted, however. You never know if they'll be in stock in a smaller store.)