Should I buy an iPhone?

23 Apr

Kim Youngblood, Purdue Report Writer/ Data Support Specialist
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

iphone

Iphone

flip phone

flip phone

What is an iPhone I ask myself?  I was part of the ‘in’ crowd back when Motorola had the market cornered and Cingular was the primary carrier.  In the mid 1990’s being a new graduate with a new level of income, a cell phone was one of the first items on my purchase list.  I didn’t think about wants vs. needs.  It was the latest and greatest technology and I wanted that phone.

Over the next nine years, I carried it with me everywhere I went.  I even upgraded through that time becoming a dedicated user.

I took myself out of the cell phone saga in 2007.  My saga ended when Cingular changed cell phone towers thus requiring me to upgrade my working phone and sign another two yearlong contract.  Since my contract had expired and I still had a home phone, I politely asked them to shut off my cell service.  The time had come to focus on the needs in life instead of.

At the time, I didn’t realize how easy the transition would be.  I thought giving up the cell phone would be a greater challenge.

I have to admit I like my current plan I’ve had for the past 5 years.  It has unlimited minutes, but no texting and no data.  Pure, clear, voice!  I’ve been asked how I can continue to live without a cell phone.  My usually response is I simply don’t miss the bill.  I don’t miss being available 24/7.  I enjoy my alone time.  Yes, I had to give up my cell phone to realize how much of my life I was giving to the item attached to my being.  I don’t miss the monthly fee, the worry about going over minutes, roaming charges, and burdensome two-year contract!

Money wise an iPhone would be a nice luxury only if you have no other debt.  Ask yourself, what interest rate you are paying on other bills to keep the debt afloat, while still paying for your iPhone instead.  A good example of what you could do with the extra funds not spent on an iPhone would be applying the “saved” money to the interest payment on a credit card instead.  You could be applying the “saved” funds to other principal balances on outstanding debt.  In other words, determine the true cost of the phone rather than the flat cost you pay each month to the cell phone provider?

There are other items to consider before purchasing and iPhone.  What is your action plan if you can’t pay your monthly bill or can no longer afford to pay the cell phone bill?  Do you have the hundreds of dollars to pay your way out of the required contract?

Have you considered a prepay phone with no contract?  Could you use your internet for data and live without texting?

These are just a few of the money wise questions you need to ask yourself before signing up for a luxury like the iPhone.

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