Kathy wrote in as a response to my recent post about smart phones and their expensive plans:
“Just read your article this morning and completely agree. After fighting the temptation for ages, I caved and got a smart phone a few months ago. Yes, it’s fun to play games, check email, surf the web while on breaks at work…but I used to read books, go for drives, take walks…I am now wishing I had that monthly fee to help pay down debt, put in savings, etc…
So, in 16 months (ugh) when the contract is done and I get a new phone (Verizon’s New Every Two is the only way I could afford the phone, anyway) I will go back to simple. Wish it could be sooner, but…made the bed, gotta lay in it…”
Thanks for the comments, Kathy, because it brings up some great points that I didn’t mention in my last post about our switch. While it was definitely a big lifestyle decision, it was an equally important financial decision. Let me explain.
In June of this year, we enjoyed a month-to-month contract with Verizon after our contracts expired, but also faced degrading phones after years of heavy use, and a desire to upgrade to something more “connected” (which, as we found out, was not what we wanted after all).
So we took a quick trip down to our local Verizon office and picked up two Blackberry phones, completely free of charge. The catch, of course, was a 2-year contract with a hefty monthly price tag. If you’re not familiar with Verizon’s pricing plans, there’s a mandatory data plan attached to the deal.
Two months ago, we had a wake-up call. Realizing we didn’t want to continue being attached to our Blackberries and their price tags, we had a choice to make. Unfortunately, Verizon makes that choice difficult with a steep $350 per phone price tag for cancelling a contract.
Fortunately, we are saving more than $110 per month after the switch with our new phone provider—Metro PCS. Do the math—we are going to make back our contract cancellation money in just over 6 months.
Over 21 months, the remaining time we had on our Verizon contract, we’re going to save $2,310. That’s a decent vacation, guys. Certainly nothing to blink at, and definitely worth the temporary hit.
The moral of the story: Even when it feels like you’re “stuck” with something for a while—there are options available, and sometimes they make a lot more sense. Evaluate every option!
Photo by egor.gribanov