Ditch Your Smartphone

By replacing your expensive smart phone with a budget friendly feature phone or canceling your mobile data plan, you will not only save big bucks but can free up time as well.

Let’s face it. Most of the features on smartphones aren’t worth the extra expense. Yet, we happily shell out close to a thousand dollars a year for the mobile data plans necessary to run most of these features when outside the signals of our home or public WiFi. This doesn’t even consider the cost of the actual phone.

When the iPhone first came out, the price of the basic model was $499, which at the time seemed a lot to spend for a cell phone. Now, with Apple, Google, and Samsung’s latest models selling in the $800 to $1000 range for even the basic models, $500 seems like a deal when shopping for a new phone. But if we apply our return analysis on these Smartphones is what you’re getting really worth it?

What am I giving up with a feature phone?

Mobile data, which powers all the apps and browsers when WiFi is not available. If you want to give it a try without committing to abandoning your smartphone, turn off your data for a month either by changing your plan or turning off mobile data use for all of your apps. You’ll find that you can use your phone for texting and calls and not much else.

So how much is a feature phone?

For less than $100, you can get a new flip phone for any carrier. If you’re willing to go used, you can find older phones with slide out keyboards, touch screens, and other features. Odds are you might even have a perfectly good feature phone tucked away with your old iPod and other forgotten tech. However, these older phones may not be able to utilize 3G or 4G LTE services for calls.

I can’t imagine texting without a keyboard.

Predictive text has come a long way in the last few years, but you will need to learn how to say more with less using the keypad. If this seems impossible, the older phone route is your best bet.

But what if I can’t live without my email or the web?

WiFi only tablet devices have gotten cheaper and cheaper as phones have cannibalized the market. For less than the price of the average smartphone monthly bill, you can purchase a more than capable tablet to keep tabs on email, the web, and other apps at home, work, and anywhere public WiFi is available.

What about my music?

MP3 players are still around, while the Spotify Mighty and a few fitness trackers offer portable devices that can store playlists or even stream songs without mobile data plans.

Sorry, but no way I can live without my social feeds.

You’ve probably never given it a try. Too much social media usage has been tied to increased depression, anxiety, and stress. While the constant pull of social feeds has been linked to lower attention span, increased inability to focus, and lowered intelligence. Give yourself a break and maybe you can afford to meet up with your friends (in person!) a few more times a month.

What about my games?

Mobile games are purposely designed to be easy, repetitive, and addictive. For less than the cost of the original iPhone, you can buy portable game systems that play the latest titles to preloaded libraries of classic games, which offer a full gaming experience and not the click click pay cycle of mobile apps.

How do I get around without my GPS?

Ranging from $80 to $300, Garmin provides GPS navigation with lifetime map updates with lifetime map updates and traffic updates on certain models. All without eating up high-priced mobile data. If you just need directions, you can always plan your trip ahead of time and print directions online. They also still make paper maps!

Just about every major feature offered by Smartphones can be replaced either by sticking to old technology or purchasing devices specific to the service. And given how expensive the upfront costs is, not to mention the price of monthly data, replacing your smart phone with a flip phone and 1 or 2 of these alternative devices can still save you a significant amount of money. At the very least, canceling your data plans and only using apps over WiFi will save you a lot of cash each month. If you’re just trying to make a drastic cut to expenses, you’ll find that there is life after a smartphone. You may not even miss it.

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