I come up with crazy ideas. Here’s another one: Ditch My Cell Phone.
Why? $397/year is why.
I’ve been thinking of this idea for a while and even tried out Skype wifi phones back 4 years ago. I sold it last year for $8 on eBay as it was broken for no apparent reason. That was then.
Now there are iPhones and Droids and more! Oh boy! So many selections and stuff works better.
So here’s my plan and why:
Current cell phone plan (300min, 400txt): $34.98/mo
Actual cell phone bill: $41.27/mo with taxes
Annual cell phone cost if I never went over on minutes or text: $495.24
Actual 2010 cell phone charges: $707.89
My thought is to use Skype on an iPhone, iPod Touch or Android phone, but only in wifi mode. I checked out Verizon’s packages and 2GB of data a month is $20 (before taxes). This is compelling and I still might consider it. But I honestly think I can get away with only using my phone when I am near a wifi hotspot. If this is the case, I can get a Skype annual Unlimited US/Canada (North US) calling plan, which includes cell phones and landlines, for $3/mo. On top of that I already have a number for Skype and that is $60 paid annually, so $5/mo. $8/mo total.
I do need to buy or steal some kind of iPhone/iPod/Android. My current thinking is to get a new iPod Touch which has the dual cameras and bells and whistles. And you can use Skype on it. I have feedback from about 5 people saying they use that setup or an iPhone and it works well. There were a couple of people saying be cautious and my plan is to give it a whirl before ditching T-Mobile (who I’m on hold with right now so this feels all dirty…they don’t know I’m thinking of leaving…sigh).
I’ve been asked, “What the heck are you thinking?!” when I mention dropping my cell phone. I do love the convenience. I’m thinking that I can get by with not being 100% reachable 100% of the time (which isn’t true because I plan to be out of the country for about 9 weeks this year and my cell phone doesn’t work internationally). I’m thinking voicemail does work and I rarely, if ever, is a call super urgent. Yes, I do think back to the days before cell phones and wonder “how we ever survived” but the fact is we did survive, and life really was ok. There are certain times when a cell phone is vital, I just don’t think it happens (knock on wood) enough for me to pay $700/year.
Doing the math: $8/mo x 12 = $96/year + phone purchase first year (max of $250 including taxes) = $350 for year one and $100 after.
What inspired this idea was being off social media, interactively, for five days. I learned things weren’t nearly as urgent I made them out to be. The number of people who contacted me via old fashioned phone or email was minor and easy to attend to by checking a few times a day. I was left wondering if the seeming need for constant contact via a cell phone is just all in my head and if life is ok without it. I’ll still have a phone number and when my phone is near a wifi hotspot, including home and quite a few airports like Sea-Tac, I’ll be instantly reachable. And I do spend a lot of time at home, believe it or not.
I doubt this idea will work for everyone. It takes being ok without instant communication when you want it and most aren’t ready to cut that wireless cord. Or something. I’m guessing you’re still scoffing at this post. Bristling even.
I would love to hear your input one way or the other. Have you ditched your cell phone for another form of communication? Do you nearly faint at the thought of losing your phone? Drop me a line in the comments section below. Or just give me a call while I still have a phone (but make it quick, I’m nearly over on minutes again!).