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Do you really need a cell phone?

August 11th, 2008 at 06:24 pm

What did we do when there were not cell phones? We lived! I realized around six months ago that I really didn't need my cell phone. I work at home, I rarely have it on, and I have NEVER used it for a "real" emergency. I now realize it is a convenience incase of a "what if." However, a "what if" hasn't happened in 10 years.

So now I have a phone plan that is only $26 a month. I get 200 minutes during the day and anytime minutes starting at 9pm on weekdays and all day on weekends. However, I still do not use it. The other reason I do not use my cell phone, is because I believe cell phones are not good for your health. When I have used it, I end up with a headache and a hot spot on my head where I had the cell phone.

Also, I do not need my cell phone for long-distance, because I have unlimited long distance on my landline, and hardly anyone has my cell phone number anyway. It's a convenience that is costing me $312.00 a year. For some people a cell phone is a necessity, but for me it is not. Unfortunately, I have a two-year agreement. However, if I continue to pay monthly for a service I never use, I will say bye-bye to the cell phone.

Do you really need your cell phone or is it more of a want and convenience?

13 Responses to “Do you really need a cell phone?”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    I've used my cell phone for a number of emergencies, so I would say I need it. I can't imagine not having one, for personal safety.

    But we have always had low minutes and largely used it for free long distance on nights and weekends (all our relatives are long distance and we call them often).

    I would probably ditch the land line (another question to ask) to keep the cell phones. But I just prefer not to use my cell as my main phone. I don't answer it and use it on a regular basis. More emergency and to call the fam. As such, not ready to ditch the land line. I like to keep my cell phone # largely secret. Wink
    But I am sure that is eventually the way we will go. Ditch the land line.

  2. JanH Says:

    Travel...give me the cell phone anyday. It makes me less nervous when I can call from road in the middle of nowhere. I hardly use any minutes, but recently got text messaging. I can use the texting so much easier to contact Hubby in a meeting out of town or a kid between their college classes. I found I love the feature. I used to only have the phone for emergencies, but now I use it more often. To me, it is like a microwave. I used to do fine without it, but I really don't think I would want to totally give it up. I do make it a point to take a phone call in a restaurant outside so I won't bother anyone. And I've wondered about how it might damage the kids since they use theirs so much. But, I wonder if the home cordless has some issues, too. I just don't use the phone that much anyway.

  3. gruntina Says:

    I am rarely ever home due to working full time and school. I need the cell phone to keep in touch with my husband.

  4. PauletteGoddard Says:

    I could use two phones: one pay-as-you-go or prepaid phone, and another for use in Canada. So-o-o convenient to be on the go and not have the roaming charges. I won't be renewing my two-year contract when it expires.

  5. Slowlygettingthere Says:

    Our plan for 3 phones/700 mins is ~$106 a month. We have had the phones since May. Initially we got them so our teenager would be able to call us if she had any car problems- more peace of mind for us. But it is still an added expense that last year I would not justify. I can't ditch the landline because we need it for the internet. I think that my real irritation with the cell phone is that I can be reached just about anytime. However, I have started turning the phone off after 5pm. That cuts our family interruptions.

  6. Personal Finance Student Says:

    I only have a cell and haven't had a landline for almost 5 years, except for a two year period where I couldn't get a signal in the house we were living in. Even then, I would have gladly traded back to cell only. It's convenient and since all family (and most friends) live long distance it saves a ton of money. When we started cell only even our jobs were long distance calls from each other.

  7. swimgirl Says:

    Need.

    We use ours a lot. My husband travels for work, and I cannot imagine him not having a cell phone to stay in touch.

    We live in a town where everyone rides bikes everywhere. Three of my kids (who are old enough to ride on their own to get somewhere, say, the pool !) have phones, and I have a phone. My kids ride and check in, check in and ride home. I would spend tons more on gas without the phones because I wouldn't feel comfortable enough to send them on their own.

    And I have gotten calls on my cell phone when my kids were sick at school or my best friend had a medical crisis, or I ran out of gas (gas gauge doesn't work and I don't think it's worth it to fix it, so I keep track, but one time I was "off")

    Anyway, for five cell phones (free calls between them) and gobs of minutes that we could never use, we pay less than $70 per month. Worth every penny because I can always get in touch with husband and kids. I have thought to try to lower the minutes, but seriously, how can we pay less for 5 phones?! We got in ages ago under some promotion with the husbands corporate discount, and I think they forgot we're here!

  8. Broken Arrow Says:

    I rarely use a phone at all.

    However, I do need one for work and to keep in contact with my family.

    Therefore, a phone of some kind is a necessity. What I don't need is both cellphone and landline. I only need one or the other.

    So my real goal is to find the cheapest option that will still fulfill my need. And oddly enough, it turns out to be a pre-pay cellphone.

    With a pre-pay cellphone, I can get a cellphone for as low as about $50, and from there, my minutes will average roughly $10 per month. Contrast this with my soon-to-be-gone landline, which costs $18.75 per month. It doesn't take many months before the pre-pay cellphone pays off AND I can conveniently carry that everywhere I go.

    If Ma Bell offers me a landline for even less than that ($5 a month?) then I'll gladly switch right back.

  9. debtfreeme Says:

    i do not have a land line or access to one as i rent a room in a house. I didn't have internet access for 5 years until just last november.

    Having a cell phone is a need but just because i have it doesn't mena i have to answer every call. often i let it goto voice mail and call back at a more convenient time.

  10. sillyoleme Says:

    I think it's a need for us. But then again, I haven't had a landline phone since I started college. Even my parents have recently cancelled their home phone service and use only their cells.

    BF & I get free calls to both our families (they have AT&T too), free nights & weekends, and more anytime minutes than we need (450/month). The 450/month is the lowest option, but when pretty much everyone we talk to is free, we end up having rollover minutes.

    I can't imagine travelling 45 minutes one way to work and back on the interstate, travelling to different states by myself for work, or even us driving back home if we didn't have a cell phone. I use the internet application on my cell at least a few times a week for driving directions or to find a phone number for a business.

    debtfreeme- I agree totally... I will never understand why people feel the need to answer EVERY call the SECOND they get it, no matter what they are doing. Right in the middle of dinner, checking out at a store, talking to someone in person, UGH!

  11. disneysteve Says:

    I can't say I'm surprised by the responses, even here at SavingAdvice. It is amazing/disturbing how quickly cell phones have become something that people actually believe they need.

    Before we had cell phones, we had spouses that worked out of town.
    Before we had cell phones, we had children who rode their bikes or walked to school or went out with friends or needed a ride after soccer practice.
    Before we had cell phones, we all had jobs that periodically needed to contact us when we weren't in the office.
    Before we had cell phones, emergencies happened, cars broke down, people got into accidents, fires started.

    Guess what? We managed somehow.

    Cell phones are WANTS. They are LUXURY items. They are NOT NEEDS.

    Yes, I have a cell phone. I got one when I was a medical resident and started taking call from outside the hospital. I needed to be reachable 24/7. Back then, doctors were about the only folks around with cell phones. Today, I no longer take call like that and most months I use my phone for no more than 30-40 minutes, and those are virtually all calls that I could live without. Yes I like the convenience. Yes I like the feeling of security. But the bottom line remains that it is not a need. It is just an affordable want.

  12. luxlivingfrugalis Says:

    Mine is a want and I don't want it very often. That's why I have a pay as you go. I bought about 150 minute card way last year and have probably used 20 minutes of it so far. Not a need at all. Convenient for travel but not a necessity by any stretch of the imagination. I used to have a contract w/U.S. Cellular, but no more. Just an inexpensive tracphone and a prepaid card.

  13. Cindy Says:

    I know I'm a little late commenting on this, but I saw a news clip somewhere about how you could transfer your cell phone contract to someone else. I searched MSN News and found they had an article about this company
    http://www.celltradeusa.com/
    I don't know if this is any good or not but you might want to check it out or search for others like it to get rid of your phone contract. I believe this service costs $20. Just a thought.
    P.S. No - I don't have cell phone.

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