Back to School: 6 Tips for Not Overspending on Tech

School is just about to start, and if you have a kid heading for college you're probably grimacing at the thought of all those bills. You're on your own when it comes to soaring tuition and housing costs, but there are ways to spend less on your student's technology needs while still giving them what they need to succeed.

Be warned: Some of these ideas will meet with serious disapproval from the young person who wants the coolest gadgets you can buy. But, hey, it's your money, spend it wisely. And here are six tips that will help you do just that.

"Smartphones aren't a necessity," says Andrew Eisner who works for Retrevo, a shopping site specializing in consumer electronics. "Feature phones do a lot, including texting, and they have the virtue of not requiring an expensive data plan."

And given that most carriers are dropping unlimited data plans that carry some serious charges, that's a great point. Eisner adds that some of the functionality of a smartphone can be had by buying an iPod Touch. Yes, they are a bit pricey, but since they work on Wi-Fi only, you won't have to deal with data charges.