My kids and I have been on a family contract plan since 2007, with each person paying his or her own bill directly. For us this fee ends up being right around 70 bucks per person. On one level, I feel that's a hefty amount. On another level though, I feel that we use our phones a great deal-and our plan includes unlimited calling, texting and data within the US.
I purchased my phone in Texas right before hitting the long, lonesome and windy road in my 26 foot U-Haul. Two years later, my "contract" is over. I could have gone paying month to month where I was, upgraded my phone, or left and taken my phone to a pre-paid plan. I really hesitated to do the latter, because it would have put the rest of the family plan off kilter, requiring us to make adjustments (and my tablet is still on that plan).
|Just a sight difference in size between the new Samsung and the old Motorola|
I honestly use my phone a great deal-and often for good. While a post will probably be forthcoming on this, I have lots of apps on my phone that make my life easier, as well as saving money. I have apps that give me coupons and discounts for places from Jo Anne crafts, to King Sooper to Kohl's. I have an app that lets me upload all the gift cards I have (from gifts or online earnings) so that I don't have to carry the cards. I have a quilt calculator on my phone that lets me figure exact yardages. I have an app that lets me make a hair appointment and walk in, and I have an app for my bank that allows for remote check deposits. I have a bible and a book of common prayer on my phone.
Of course, I also have the frivolous app here and there, including dare I say it, Words With Friends, I also have an app that counts my steps when I work out, and a diary and notebooks. (for those who are curious, all this can be synced from my tablet to my phone).
|Things like his big keyed calculator, large keyboard and interface make it really easy for this blind girl to use!|
I would also be lying if I said I did not a great deal of texting. I have a sister in law, and two kids who work and go to school full time as well as have piles of obligations. Texting allows me to send a message to them without disturbing the status quo, and allows them to respond to me as they are able. If I waited to call them, we could be voice messaging for a week.
Anyway, the bottom line was that I decided at least for now to avoid the pay as you go plan. Next was whether to upgrade or to stay with the current phone. The one thing my phone does NOT have is a decent camera. Which means I'm taking my point and shoot digital camera and my phone wherever I go-be it a quilt show, a meeting, a road trip or a family gathering. This was, frankly, getting old. I wanted a camera that would take decent pictures for this blog and my new one, Facebook, and to send to friends. (Eventually my goal is to improve my skills and move up to a DSLR, but that will be a different time)
All this rambling is to say that I now have a much larger, much newer, very pretty piece of technology. My Galaxy Note 4 is much easier to read and use, and has a 16 MP camera with stabilization built in. At six inches by three inches it's much larger than my old camera and takes some getting used to.
For what it's worth this camera did not require a contract as such. It was purchased at a discount and increases my phone bill about four dollars per month. If at some point later I choose to go prepaid, I would pay this off and move onward to a prepaid option.
For many people, this kind of upgrade would make no sense. For me, at this time in my life it does-especially as I have no land line and this is often my only technology when I travel. Oh, and for those who have an IPhone? Apparently it's not possible to sync a Verizon tablet with an apple device, which left that out as an option for me.
Frugality (in retirement or any time) means spending little or no money so that when you want to get something really nice, you can-or at least consider it. For now this is right for me-and I got to keep my old phone for wi-fi only usage. What more could you want?
Note: That new blog is getting closer. If any of my readers with more technology knowledge than I know someone who would migrate this blog to that one, please drop me a line. HTML code is a language I speak not, if you know what I mean!