In these trying economic times, buying a new phone is a luxury like it has never been before. Despite the ever-present pressure to keep up with the latest trends, you might want to stick with what you have until your upgrade is due for renewal.

Just because you can’t afford a new phone, it doesn’t mean you can’t make your old one feel brand new again. Here are some quick tricks to do it, and hit a few birds with one stone, while you’re at it.

1. Give it a good old rub-down

Did you know that 1 in 6 mobile phones have faecal matter on them? Studies have shown that our cellphones are covered in 18 times more bacteria than the door handle of a public restroom, so it goes without saying that we should be sanitising our phones a lot more than we actually do. To do this simply use a towel that you’ve dampened with water and vinegar to wipe your phone.. Take care not to get moisture in any of the ports or other little crevasses.

2. Tidy up your screen

Take a few moments to carefully consider which apps you should actually keep on your phone. Haven’t used an app in the past 90 days? Delete it. It’s using up unnecessary space, probably also using data you can use elsewhere, and cluttering your phone. Organise the apps you actually use so they make sense (use folders) and are easily accessible when you need to use them.

3. Get rid of what’s unnecessary

In the past few years, we’ve been spoilt with memory space on cellphones. Remember when you had to get rid of sentimental SMS-messages because your inbox was full? We don’t either! Still, the perfect photo opportunity might arise one day, only for your phone to inform you that there isn’t enough space to take it. Delete old photos that you’ve already uploaded to your social media accounts or a cloud storage service. Delete those annoying marketing messages – it’ll make you feel better. Freeing up some memory will also make your phone function a bit quicker.

4. Update your phone’s look

Gone are the days of your phone not reflecting your personality. Change your background, wallpaper, theme and notification tones. These cosmetic changes are like giving your phone a new haircut, and you know what they say about change…

5. Make sure everything’s up to date

Update the remaining apps on your phone to make sure they are functioning the way they should be. If you have access to a Wi-Fi connection, even better – it won’t drain your data. When you’re done, check out the settings for each app and turn off data usage for it if you don’t need it. You’ll notice it on next month’s bill.

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