Wait – What? Hello? Are You There?
If you find yourself saying this multiple times a day, then you are probably a cell phone user. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, but there should be a question that you are asking yourself: is it necessary?
Yes, in the past we have written about cutting off the land-line as a means to saving money, but there are times that the cell phone may not be the best solution. Absolutely, there are many people, businesses and jobs out there that require the electronic leash, but do you need it?
On average, people pay about $50-$60 dollars a month, and many of us know people who pay well over that amount. Based on how popular smart-phones are becoming, and the data-plans they require, we can only imagine this average moving steadily upwards.
If you are like many, you have access to many different means of communication including e-mail, work phones, and house phones, and often times cutting the land-line is suggested to save money. This is often suggested to be replaced by a cellphone for convenience sake, but where does convenience, sanity and cost intersect?
The Cost Factor
Few would refute that cell phones can be cheaper than land-lines. This paired with the convenience and portability of a cell phone makes it a tough bargain to turn down. This was true up until the recent advent of “smart-phones.” Smart-phones are phones that use an operating system, much like personal computers use Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS. These phones typically need access to the Internet in order to get the full “experience” such as mail capabilities, using apps, and web browsing. This data plan comes at a cost, and often a high cost.
On many of the networks you can easily end up spending anywhere from $30 – $75 on the data alone, and that isn’t including your phone service! If you’re a talker or a texter then be prepared to grab for the unlimited packages or risk being smacked with a surprise bill if you don’t pay attention.
Cell phones didn’t get the nickname of “the electronic leash” for no reason. Cell phones make a person available like never before dreamed. You could be in the middle of nowhere (assuming you still have signal) and still be reachable. You can check your news, view the weather, check out the family drama on Facebook, all from the middle of nowhere. What are we getting at here? Do you talk to your husband or wife on your way to or from work? Have you noticed that the two of you don’t have much to talk about anymore?
What about fights? Do you get into arguments over silly, little things while on your cell phones? Without the cell-phone you wouldn’t have had those arguments (necessarily), and you wouldn’t have already spouted out all of your talking points for the day! It just might assist your relationship!
What about emergencies? Simple, get a prepay phone with a minutes card and keep it in your dashboard, or put the minutes on your phone and keep it on you but tell people to only call you for emergencies. Beware, prepay minutes will often expire so be sure to verify how long they are good for, and what the company’s coverage area looks like. PFFirewall has a great article regarding his experience with prepay phones. Problem solved, and you don’t have to blow all of your talking points on the drive home. Money Funk has an excellent article about how unplugging can positively impact relationships. This method won’t be for everyone, but as always, we are simply trying to provide the different perspectives.