The Cell Phone Update

So after not having a cell phone for the last six years I started 2013 by actually buying one.  Yet after having one for a few months I thought perhaps this was a good time for an update.

Well first off, let me say this:  I rarely use my phone for calls I have like two calls in the last three months and one of them was a spam call.  Um, so why do I have a phone?  Apparently texting.  Seriously I do a lot of texts to people.  It’s my primary way to ask short questions and often plan social events with it.  Actually now that I’m also on a cell phone my wife and I have noticed a serious drop off in the number of calls we get to the house.  Instead of a call to go over for coffee with some family we now often just text instead.

Other than that I’ve really like having the camera on my phone.  I’ve put more photos on my personal Facebook feed in the last three months than the previous three years.  It’s just easy.  Take a photo..then wait until I get somewhere with free wifi and upload the pic.  I still don’t have a data plan with my smart phone and I don’t think I’ll bother most of the time (I may breakdown on vacation..I’m still deciding).

Yet the truly great thing about a my smartphone…Evernote.  Seriously useful.  It’s my electronic memory bank of all sorts of things.  If I want to remember a quote from a book, take a photo and upload it to Evernote.  Remember a good bottle of wine at a dinner, take a pic and upload.  Like a movie preview, update my ‘To Watch’ list.  Need to remember a book to read, update my ‘To Read’ list.  Heck, most of my next book research is on Evernote.  It was literally worth buying the phone just to be able to use that app alone.

And what do I pay per month? $5 for 250 texts and $5 for the 911 fees and odd call or at most $10/month. So I have to admit I’m utter confused on why the hell people pay $65/month phone bills for unlimited text, data and local calls.  I could get it if it was to replace your home phone and you were often away from wifi, but for most people working in the city neither is true.  I suppose it is hard for people who get used to having data everywhere to clue in that you don’t actually need it if you are willing to just wait a bit.

Anyway, that’s been my frugal experience with my cell phone so far.  Obviously depending on your usage, the costs can change dramatically.  So what features do you use on your phone?

7 thoughts on “The Cell Phone Update”

  1. I have several e books loaded onto my phone, as well as a few games.

    My fave 2 right now are my diet and fitness tracker, and my password keeper. When I had a BB, there was a password keeper built in, but for my android I had to download one. I use Universal Password Manager (UPM)app now.

    Another app I use is called Grocery Tracker. It has a steep learning curve, but in a nutshell, you create grocery lists on it, can sort by store and if you have a coupon, it also keeps track of prices (like a price book) and you can create menus and update what you have in your pantry as well. It can either use manual entry or the barcode scanner.

    All the apps I use are free.

  2. I read my favorite blogs on my phone when I take my dogs for a walk in the mountains, including this one.

    I have the Galaxy Note II with the largest screen today. Besides watching Youtube, Amazon and Netflix videos, two way facing cameras and video recorders, calendar, gmail, contacts, messaging that syncs to all my other devices, facebook, twitter, google drive, craigslist for free advertising, Square for Visa processing, Amazon Kindle app to read my books, Chase for depositing checks, sometimes I actually use an app called a phone. And that works pretty well too;-)

  3. The one thing I miss about a smartphone is having a map and the internet to quickly look up things like addresses (if I get them wrong), or if a store is open.

    Other than that, I only use my cellphone for calls. No texting, no data plan, just telephone calls.

    At home, I use my iPod Touch like a mini smartphone without the voice (just data), and use it to scan for email across my 25+ email addresses.

    I hate.. hate …. HATE texting. Odd, right?

  4. Most people don’t buy their smartphones outright. In Canada at least, the carriers make you sign up for at least three years with a plan that is at least $50 to get the full phone discount. That’s why people pay so much for their plans. So after three years they’ve paid at least %1800+tax for a $500 phone.

  5. I pay $100 plus tax per year for my phone. 15 cents per text but I don’t text. $1 per minute for calls but I only call if I am late or lost. Highway at night in the winter is the entire reason I have it.

    It is not turned on unless I am travelling. Work does not have my number.

  6. Like Tim, I was also on a $10 plan per month. I was somewhat ostracized by my peers who all had smart phones and I (unfortunately) caved to see what the rage was all about. For the most part, it is a waste, however having a GPS on your phone at all times has come in handy on multiple occasions. Plus, I do text quite a bit and now I am not always calculating how many texts I am using per day to ensure I don’t go over the 45 texts I was allowed per day.
    I use coupon apps that save me anywhere between $5-$10 per month which is some savings. The plan I am on is so good I could easily cancel my home phone. I have decided not to go that route due to having a family. The home number feels like a good “home base” if that makes sense.

    Anyways, feel like I am using the data part of the phone more than I would have thought. I have internet access at work, but it needs to be limited as Big Brother is always watching.

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