In our quest to live below our means and be Happy With What We Have, we have given up several things that society says we need. You don’t have that? How do you get along with out that? Doesn’t everyone have that?!?
And in our frugal journey, one thing that we easily and often observe is how proud adults are of their toys. Especially their technical, digital toys.
We get a big kick out of commercials and their “my cell phone can do more than your cell phone” sales pitch. But what really makes us laugh is that it works! The more buttons the better… sign me up and take my money with you!
Our cell phone costs us $8.34 per month. We only have one cell phone, because we only need one cell phone. We prepay $100 once a year, and then we don’t have to think about it until the next year. We never run out of minutes – in fact, the last time I loaded our minutes we still had a whole year’s worth on there that roll over.
Obviously, we do not use our cell as our home phone. That wouldn’t work for us because…
- I want a land line for when the electricity goes out. (Our power was out for the majority of 5 days last winter during an ice storm.)
- We don’t get great cell reception where we live.
- I want to know where the phone is if ever there is an emergency. (And I don’t want to deal with dead batteries.)
- I want my children to always have access to the home phone and know where it is if they ever have to call 911.
Here’s the thing. What do you really need your cell phone to do? Actually, let’s talk about what I need my cell phone to do…
- I need a sense of security when I’m driving alone (or we are driving) with the kids.
Hmmm. That list was shorter than even I thought it would be! I just can’t justify putting the following wants in the needs list… (although I do accomplish all of this with my cell phone)
- I want my husband to call me if he’s going to be late from a hunting excursion so that I don’t worry.
- I want to let him know my schedule, if I’m driving home from somewhere.
- I want to check in with my family once in a while if I’m gone for some reason.
- I want to call Lance with an addition to the list I’ve given him for an occasional late-night grocery trip.
- I want our family to be able to contact us if they need to while we’re away from home.
- I like the convenience of “call me on my cell” when I’m out running errands and want to meet up with my sister somewhere.
- On the rare occasion that we have a babysitter, I like that I can give her our cell number.
Some things I definitely don’t need or want from my cell phone…
- I don’t want to be distracted while I’m driving.
- I don’t need 423 ways for people to contact me. My life is busy enough, thank you very much.
- I don’t need games, e-mail and whatever else they can add now.
If you’re striving to simplify your life, or live more frugally, or you just can’t justify spending oodles of money on something you don’t need, consider purchasing a prepaid cellphone plan.
For more frugal ideas, visit Biblical Womanhood.