Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Downgrading Cell Phones, Upgrading Future

While it seems that everyone else is getting smart phones, we just downgraded to plain jane phones & pay as you go plans. This cut our bill in half from $80 to $40/month for 2 cell phones. It pays to evaluate how many minutes/texts you really truly need & are actually using & adjust from there. Our iPod Touches are fun to use where there is wifi, and those have no data charges. I personally find it liberating to not be connected all the time. Believe me, I get enough connectivity on my laptop at home! I guess I just want to focus more on being in the present & not being so connected to a screen. We also have an Ooma home phone (VOIP) which after paying for the unit, which we got at Costco, only costs under $4/month. This saves us approximately $35/month. I know some people need the smart phones for work obligations etc. I'm just putting this thought out there for some to ponder about . . .Remember when cell phones were for mainly for emergency use? Do you really need to be this connected all the time? I do agree that cell phones are handy to use if you're meeting friends when out & about etc., and I still plan to use mine for those purposes. Our savings by doing these things is $75/month or $900/year. Think about what you could do if you had similar savings. Pay off debt? Put it to a better use? If you have kids think about this: If you put that money in a savings account, not even adding in any gains on investments, you would have $16,200 in 18 years. Now that's a nice chunk of a college fund! Even after taking into consideration the costs of the units ($29 per cell phone, $229 for the ipod, and around $200 for the Ooma), the breakeven points are really early on & you start seeing the savings right away. I'm sure some people think we're a little crazy for cutting back like we have been lately, but doing without some of the little things that are truly wants for us and not needs can really pay off in bigger ways in the future. Thank you Financial Peace University for inspiring us! I hope some others out there are inspired to do things like this too :) It's so much fun to save!  As Dave Ramsey says, "Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else."