my new outlook is like my new cell phone cheaper but it knows more stuff

August 5th, 2007

My new outlook is like my new cell phone — cheaper but it knows more stuff

About 6 months ago we moved into a new (to us) house. Once we moved in we discovered that our current cell phone service would not work inside our house. The cell phones worked down the street, around the corner, anywhere but within about a 20 foot radius of our home it seemed. Apparently we live in some kind of Tracfone dead spot.

We don’t use our cell phones very often, generally I just carry mine around with me “just in case” I need it, and text my friends occasionally. I have two small kids and don’t want to be caught on the side of the road broken down without a phone to call for help. My spouse hated the phones not working in the house because he gets some work-related calls on his cell, and I admit the fact that I couldn’t receive any texts when I was home made me a little cranky. We use prepaid service, for how little we use our phones it ends up the most cost-effective. I loved Tracfone because right on the front screen of my phone it told me the date I needed to add more minutes by to keep my phone active, and the number of minutes I had left. And the price was very reasonable for what we used it for.

But, we moved into the Tracfone deadspot so we decided to see what else was out there and potentially make a change. I always get the absolute cheapest phone (usually whatever they are offering for free when signing up) and Tracfone was no exception. My phone was a black and white screen, no camera or upgrades or web ability or anything like that. I shopped around for a new service and finally settled on Virgin Mobile. I chose my free phone from them and it was a much fancier model than the phone I previously had. It is a flip phone and has a color screen and ability to download stuff (for a fee) from the web. Still no camera though. And funnily enough the service is actually cheaper on a per minute basis (much cheaper) than my Tracfone was. It still actually costs me the same amount in how often I have to add airtime to my phone to keep my service, but I get a lot more minutes for my $20 every 90 days.

It is funny, because my new phone is arguably much MUCH cooler than my old one, but less expensive. Gotta love how fast technology depreciates.

I feel like I am changing in a similar way. My new outlook on my finances and my focus on improving our overall financial picture is helping me to make smarter, yet in many cases less expensive, choices for our family. Kind of like my cell phone. I’m cheaper (or maybe more frugal) but I know a lot more stuff than my previous, pre-financial wakeup so to speak, version. And I didn’t have to go through technology depreciation to achieve it. Just a lot of questionable or not well-thought-out choices. ;)

The jury is still out on arguably cooler.


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2 Responses to “My new outlook is like my new cell phone — cheaper but it knows more stuff”


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