Is the Smartphone a smart purchase?
This week I had to stop, pause, and ask myself was I really being smart when it comes to my wireless smartphone? Was the smartphone smarter than me? Yes, it is true, my smartphone delivers on all the promises that are advertised. Yes, I have a seamless interface with all my other devices. Yes, I can connect to my social media, pay my bills and surf the net in a matter of seconds. After reviewing my bill, I asked myself do I really need all the bells and whistles. I began to think, I was so connected and available, I had unknowingly given away my life by becoming 100% accessible.
I have been waiting all summer for the new release of the smartphone model that I have wanted. Now the questions is “what will the new smartphone cost me?” So off to the phone store I went. I arrived 10 minutes after the store opened and still had to wait 20 minutes before a Rep could talk to me. That should have been a sign.
When it was, finally, my turn to talk to a Sales Rep, I asked him to first break down my bill and tell me what I was currently paying. This was an eye opening experience. It was one that caused me to question if I really needed a new smartphone.
Cost for the plan
The Plan cost me $50 per month (I should have periodically checked my plan, as you should to ensure you are getting the most for your money). By asking the Sales Rep to check my plan I went from $80 per month for 4G to $50 per month for 5G plan. Yes, I got a better plan and saved myself $30.
Cost for the data package
The cost of the data package was $15 out of contract compared to $40 in contract. Again, just for asking the question, I went from $55/month to $30/month because both my smartphones were now past the contract period.
Cost for insurance
The insurance for our smartphones was $7 per phone, however there is a $150 deductible. When I asked the Sales Rep what was the trade-in value for my smartphone he said $30. It did not register, until I was driving home that the deductible cost was more than the smartphone was worth. I went right in the house, and called the Sales Rep. I cancelled the insurance policy on my phones. It is no longer necessary since my phones are older making it an unnecessary cost!
Let’s review. My monthly bill was $150. Now my monthly bills is $80–not including tax.
- Plan cost went down from $80 to $50.
- Data cost went down from $55 to $30.
- Insurance cost went down from $14 to $0.
Cost for the phone
Now that I understand what I was paying for my service, what was the cost of the new smartphone? If I get the latest and greatest phone of my choice that would be $35 per month for two years. That is $840 over two years.
Do I upgrade?
This odyssey started because I wanted to upgrade to a new smartphone. After reviewing my bill, I must say that I am not convinced that I really need the latest bells and whistles. Can I really justify spending $840 for features that I may never use? I know I will use them because I am a gadget person; but, do I really need them is the question.
I am still on the fence, however, I promised myself I would wait at least until I received the new bill. Then I would review all my changes before I would purchase a smartphone. I am going to shop around for the best deal. There maybe a better option available than on the proposed purchase of my new smartphone.
This exercise taught me a lesson. I must review my plans.
For all auto-pay bills that I am paying blindly, watch out Cable Rep, Insurance Rep and all the other Reps, I will be calling to review my bill.
I am smarter now–thanks to my smartphone adventure. I going to review my plans. I want the best bargain. Who knows, maybe I can find an extra $840.
Roxanne Wilkening M.S. Ed