My wife and I locked ourselves into a contract with At&T two years ago, and thankfully it is finally over. We’ve been shopping around for a new provider, because the $90/month we’d been paying for text and talk on two regular phones was ridiculous. A couple of coworkers mentioned Ting to us (Chris even wrote a blog about the service), and when we checked it out we realized that for $50/month we could have two smartphones with text, talk, and a decent data package.
We’d be saving $40 a month and upgrading. Win-win.
… or was it?
Ting is a no-contract provider, so you pay retail up-front for phones, instead of getting a discounted or comped phone like you would with a big, contract-bound provider like Verizon. The cheapest smartphone Ting offers is $145. So, two would run us $290.
That gave us a little pause, because when you’re counting pennies (like we are), 29,000 is a lot. Both of our parents raised us to not make hasty decisions, but that advice is easy to ignore when the siren call from sexy-smartphone bodies is ringing in your ears. Luckily, that little pause forced us to actually sit down and assess the situation.
Yes, smartphones for honeycakes (I’ve never actually called my wife that) and me sounded great, but did we really need them?
We have Internet at work, and at home. Most hotels and coffee shops have wireless now, and we always take a laptop when we travel. Was the ability to surf the tubes from the palms of our hands and instantly faux-retrograde every cell phone snap with Instagram really worth spending more than necessary? After all, a text and talk plan with two regular phones would only cost $26/month with Ting.
The answer was, no. Smartphones were a want, not a need.
It’s hard to turn down that persuasive voice pleading with you to pamper yourself with non-essentials: especially when the splurge will cost less than the previous normal. Resist the temptation, unless you have enough disposable income to not notice the difference.
We’re a week into the new $26 plan with Ting, and the extra saving already feels good.