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If you must have the latest iPhone, consider these 10 tips

My daughter threw my iPhone 5 into the toilet shortly after I got it. Once I fished it out, as moms do, Siri was silenced and my home button was rendered perpetually wonky. Still, it does everything else I need it to do (except retrieve itself from gross places) so, even though I don’t like to think about where it has been, I have no intentions of trading up for a newer phone any time soon. Those suckers are just too expensive.

But there are plenty of die-hard Apple fans who will happily plunk down $649 come Sept. 25.

Apple’s new monthly payment plan will tempt plenty of others. It lets you buy the new unlocked, 16 GB iPhone 6s in 24 installments of $27 with no downpayment. Once it’s paid in full, you can use it on any of the four major carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile. If you’re considering buying the latest iPhone on the installment plan, personal finance expert Andrea Woroch urges you to keep these 10 things in mind.

1. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile already have monthly payment options. Check to see if any of those carriers can offer a better deal than going straight through Apple.

2. If you’re that guy who upgrades his iPhone every year, consider joining the iPhone Upgrade program. It adds about $5 to your regular iPhone monthly installment, but allows you to get a new iPhone every 12 months.

3. Payments are much lower if you go with an earlier generation phone. With Verizon, for example, you’ll pay just $18.73 per month for the iPhone 5s 16 GB. It’s the one I have and it works like magic.

4. How much phone do you really need? If you’re making phone calls and sending texts, you don’t need as much storage or processing as the person who is taking pictures and streaming video. Why pay for it?

5. Check the deals at warehouse clubs like BJ’s and Sam’s Club. They often have great deals on devices with two-year contracts and mail-in rebates.

6. You can save up to 40 percent when you opt for a previously owned, certified, refurbished smartphone. Try Amazon and

7. Repair instead of replacing a phone with a cracked screen, broken charging dock or weak battery. Try a repair shop, such as MacSolutions Plus, which is an Apple-certified repair outlet in the Eastern Hills Mall, or an online repair company, such as

8. Start a smartphone emergency fund. Apple’s upgrade program covers only two instances of accidental damage. Set aside money to cover unexpected repairs.

9. Wireless carriers mark up phone accessories by as much as 60 percent. Instead of buying a case, charger or screen protector at your carrier store when you pick up your phone, look online for better deals.

10. Consider selling or trading in your old phone for cash toward the new one. Target, Walmart and Amazon have trade-in programs, and trade-in websites like NextWorth, Gazelle and Buymytronics pay cash for old phones.

You can also drop your old electronics into an ecoATM, which will give you cash in exchange. There are ecoATM machines at McKinley Mall, Boulevard Mall, Walden Galleria, Eastern Hills Mall and Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls.

Got consumer tips or questions? Email, tweet @discountdivasam or “like”

I have no intentions of trading up for a newer phone. Those suckers are just too expensive.