We can’t live without our cellphones. Really, we need them anywhere we go. That’s fair. They’re worth having. We need them for our work and for emergencies. However, they do cost us quite a bit. We may never stop to think about how much money we spend on our phones.
Truth be told, there are many ways our phones drain our bank accounts. Especially when it comes to today’s super-fancy smartphones. Is this meant as a knock against smartphones? Heck no. We are all about smartphones. Still, this is nice food for thought.
Hit the jump to read on.
Most of us with smartphones want some accessories. Let’s take a look at the basics. Really, the most basic. Users usually want a case to protect their investment. A good case can run $30 to $50, and sometimes more. Still, it’s better than a shattered screen. Right? A car charger can run maybe $20 to $30 bucks unless you do some bargain shopping around the internet. Either way, expect it to realistically be $20 to $30 at your local Best Buy or Wal-Mart store.
Apps are wonderful…and evil. Seriously. How many times have you ever checked out a cool app and said, “Oh, it’s just a buck” or “It’s just two bucks.” Yeah, we all have. Now I have over a hundred apps, and if I had to guess, I’d say a good portion of them ran between $1 to $10 bucks. Most those $1 to $5 purchases were probably impulse buys.
Going hand-in-hand with the impulse App purchases is the tendency to shop just because you can. My favorite example is the time I was playing around on Amazon and ended up being the proud owner of a 5-disc Blade Runner collector’s set. Happened with Back to the Future, too. Not that I’m complaining, and altogether that was probably about 80 bucks of Blu-Ray. Still, it’s easy to find yourself buying the occasional movie or whatever and not really thinking about costs until you start adding it up. Imagine having access to this anytime. Soon, the bus ride home becomes an Amazon shopping spree.
4) Biggest Baddest Phone Around
Apple is said to be releasing two iPhone models this year. For the sake of reference we will call one the iPhone 4S and we will call the other the iPhone 5. While we’re sure that some will go for the iPhone 4S in order to save some money, we think that the iPhone 5 will be the big seller. Why? because people have a tendency to want the best there is. If the difference in price is $50 or $100 bucks, many would probably rather just spend the extra cash and have the latest and the greatest. We’re all guilty of it at one time or another. Still, that’s just a more money spent.
5) Killing Your Sleeping and Work Patterns
Many of us work. We want to buy all these great things. However, folks such as myself work from home. That means having the discipline to wake up in the morning and work 7-8 (sometimes more) hours each day. I don’t get paid by the hour. I get paid by the piece. There have been a few times that I’ve wasted a good two or three hours in bed because I started browsing the internet. Before I know it, it’s 2:30 or 3am and I have to be up for work in a few hours. What happens the next morning? I sleep in and stumble out of bed at 10am when my alarm was set for two hours ago. That’s two hours of work spend sleeping! It adds up at the end of the month.
Sure, that’s obvious enough, right? But think about it, how much do you really spend each month keeping your phone usable? There are plenty of cellphone plans out there, but lets say you pay $70 for an unlimited plan. Then you want some of the extras like tethering. You will easily find yourself paying $100 a month for some serious cellphone usage. At the end of the year that’s $1,200.
Live Within your Means
We should always live within our means. That can be tough when we want all these cool gadgets and devices. Still, we have to know how to buy the phone that fits our needs and budget. It’s not easy to see how much we actually spend on our devices until we take a look at what we pay and start to add it up. Oh yeah, careful about using your phone while driving, too. You’re more likely to cause an accident, and you don’t want to know how much that can cost you. Plus, if they can prove that you were on the phone (and they will if they have to)…you’re going to have a heck of a time trying to convince anyone that you weren’t at fault.