You Are Rarely Stuck With Something

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

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5 thoughts on “You Are Rarely Stuck With Something

  1. I recently got a smart phone however i did so on pay as you go. I disable mobile network most of the time and use it only when there is nothing else to do (taxi rides and such things)….. Responsible use is essential for me to keep the device. If it starts taking over the bill will grow and the phone will have to go!

    1. That’s a good idea! Never checked into whether that was an option because it didn’t seem like it was with Verizon.

  2. My wife doesn’t really use the cell phone all that much. For us it was waaay cheaper to go with a prepaid phone. The price per minute is way higher but she only keeps her phone for emergencies and the occasional call. I paid $120 for 900 minutes and that will probably last her all year (it would be longer but they expire after one year). Compare that to the $30 per month we were paying. We went with TracFone and they have excellent nationwide coverage even in the not so suburban area we live in. If you just need a phone you can’t go wrong that way.

    1. Great suggestion for low-need users! Between the two of us, we probably talk 1,000-2,000 minutes a month, but for a lot of people, especially with house phones, a pre-paid makes all the sense in the world.

  3. Another option for those who aren’t in the Metro PCS coverage area is Virgin Mobile USA. I get unlimited texting and 300 minutes/month for $25/month. It’s only $40/month for 1000 minutes, for those who talk more.

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