This is a post from Make Love, Not Debt staff blogger, Abby.
Readers of this blog will recall the vehemence with which I railed against smart phones. Not for me! I cried. You’re all wasting your money! Plan ahead, and stop texting during our coffee dates! From my high horse, I came up with dozens of reasons why my plain old little non-data phone was, and is, good enough for me.
And then my husband went away for the summer, and there were a dozen or so moments when I realized how handy a little smart-phone might be. Notice that someone’s pretty late, and that you haven’t heard from them? There’s a good chance they emailed you, and you have no way of knowing, because you’re smugly on time at the bar, waiting for them to show up, with nothing but your half-decade old Samsung in your pocket. Realize it would be really convenient if you knew where the closest [insert store name here] is? A smart phone would come in handy. Indeed, while I still found myself functioning just fine without one, more and more frequently I realized that it might, in fact, be useful to be in possession of that which I’d rallied against for so long.
But the turning point didn’t come until more recently. I asked a friend of mine – one far more versed in technology and investments related to them than I – “Why should I get an iPhone?” (He uses one, you see).
“So you’ll have something else to complain about,” he replied.
Well har har.
But after discussing the various merits of each smartphone, it became clear that I might benefit from investing in one. And while I’d had a terrible experience with Apple once before (it involved my husband buying me a new iPod Nano, which was promptly incompatible with my very old Mac, and ended with me giving a stern lecture to the Apple technician the next day), my well-versed friend informed me that he thinks the iPhone is the best smartphone for the money.
Lest you think I’ve completely given up my frugal phone ways, let me clarify that I was not online moments after the announcement of the iPhone 5, waiting to buy one of my own. There was much more planning involved. This summer I finally replaced my incredibly outdated computer (protagonist of the aforementioned iPod failure) after literally everything on it became obsolete. Through a computer recycling program, I obtained a $100 Apple gift card. I’ve also picked up a bit more income on the side, and cut a few things from my budget. With all of these factors combined, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and purchase the new iPhone. The cost of the phone itself, given the gift card and other, unexpected income, will be negligible; with the cuts to my budget, the money is there for a slightly increased phone bill each month; and this phone appears to be the right one for my needs (it’s also no longer made of glass, which was sure to shatter within instants of my purchase) (ed. – actually, the front still is glass, so be careful!).
Am I a hypocrite? Possibly. I could get along with my simple phone just fine, and continue to veer behind the technology curve. But this is a purchase I feel good about. And I’ll still never tolerate texting at the table.