Monday, January 5, 2015

Why I Got Rid of My Cell Phone and am Not Replacing It.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the sad demise of my cell phone. Well, following that, the next step was to go about replacing it. I'm going to recount that process to explain why I'm ultimately abandoning cell phones forever.
After my phone broke, we contacted Verizon to find out our options. "Luckily", we bought insurance, so I could file a claim and replace my phone. Well, upon filing the claim, we found out we had to pay half of what we initially had to pay to buy the phone. On top of that, it was quite expensive to pay the data plan and everything on a monthly basis. I was so upset because realizing how much money my phone was costing me, the life value was just not worth it, even before Nicky's little mishap.
Especially because my husband will begin school in the fall, we're really trying to pay down our debt and live within our means. The last couple months have left us with not very much extra cash. When my phone got lost within the depths of our couch early last year before I replaced it, I knew I couldn't be responsible for a cell phone. I wanted a landline. I kept using Nick's phone to text my mom, though, so after a few months we upgraded to smartphones. It was nice having a phone especially with a nice camera. Well, all I really needed was a time telling device (I have a watch), a small camera so I don't have to take my DSLR everywhere (we have a point-and-shoot that fits in my purse), and a phone, so I can call people especially during the day when Nick has his phone at work. Anything I use the smart stuff for I can use on Nick's phone or my iPad.
The cost and the headache of being responsible for a cell phone are the biggest reasons I'm not replacing it. Not just how expensive it is, but how expensive it is compared to the value of how it enriches my life. It just is not worth it. When we found out how much money we will save every month, I realized I can get more supplies I need to continue working on Nicky's baby scrapbook which has been on hold because I ran out of pages. Now, I can buy some. I was overjoyed when I found that out.
I continue to mention how I am incapable of being responsible for a cell phone and how stressful it is. Well, over the years I have lost my phones many times. Usually they are found, but especially after becoming a mom when I have so many other priorities than "Where did I put my cell phone?" I realize that I just don't want to keep track of it. I don't like wasting time trying to find it because that seems to be a daily task. I have enough frustration finding all the ingredients when I'm trying to make dinner, I hate having to do that with my cell phone too.
In the Christian life, it is important to live simply in order to focus on what really matters. Everything we do needs to be in support of our values: faith and family. We can't spend every moment in the Church or with our family, so any time away from those two should still support those values. Our careers, for example, should be done in order to support our family and to serve God. If our careers compromise our Christian faith in any way, we should consider other options. Getting rid of a cell phone is a huge simplification in support of my values.
Ever since I realized we can't take everything with us when we move, I have been purging our apartment of anything that is a waste of space. Anything we take with us will cost us time and money, so we have to decide how much each of our possessions are worth to us. Obviously we can't get rid of everything, but we can get rid of anything we don't need or that compromises what's important to us. The same is said of our finances. When I realized how out of control our spending was, I realized that what we both really wanted was a comfortable life. We had been trying to live the extravagant life, even with the excess smartphone. Living in extravagance now could cost us comfort in the future. Getting rid of my cell phone both simplifies my life and my budget. With our spending under control, a purging of our apartment in progress, hopefully our lives will be more comfortable and more joyful.
So, how am I replacing my phone? No, I'm not getting a pay as you go phone or even a cheapo cell phone. (Don't want to keep track of a cell phone, remember?) Our internet currently has a deal where for an additional $10/month we can add basic cable and a phone line to our plan. Today, the cable guy came to install everything. I love OnDemand. :-) Yesterday, we went to Target to buy a phone. I bought the absolute cheapest which is a corded phone without a speaker or an answering machine, and I'm very happy. Yes, whenever I get a phone call, I will have to stand awkwardly next to the TV, but at least I have caller ID.

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