Give Up Your Cell Phone! Five Reasons You’ll Save Money

There are many modern conveniences which we may not truly need but which remain quite useful. I would be lost without my computer, or the internet, or my television or a host of other gadgets and services. I value each of these things and use them every day, even though they may add a little bit of cost to my budget. I suspect you use such conveniences as well. Where I am sure we differ, however, is that I will not use a cell phone and you probably cannot be separated from yours!

In general, and with one exception that I shall explain later, I believe that there is no legitimate reason to use a cell phone. If you use a cell phone in my presence you will immediately drop a few rungs on

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70 Responses to Give Up Your Cell Phone! Five Reasons You’ll Save Money

  1. justme says:

    LOL love this !

    I have to point out that I do not have a cell phone,I once did but I hated getting calls while I was in the car or at the store;-)
    I am a business owner, full time employed married with children and have no need for a cell phone
    but I am sure everyone else does in fact need a cell phone LOL

  2. Miranda says:

    I have a prepaid cell phone. I put a couple hundred minutes on it every four months or so. I have it so that my husband can call me if I’m not at home. And we have it for roadside emergencies. We thought, briefly, about getting a plan, but when we saw how much it cost, we thought of several other things we’d rather do with the money.

  3. Dutchgrrrl says:

    I’m with you!

    I have a prepaid that I use for emergency calls only (and I must say the 2 times I’ve had to use it were well worth the cost)- no one has the number so I can’t get any annoying incoming calls.

    I can’t believe the number of people that seem to think the rest of us are interested in their personal details that they yell to each other on the cell phones. And why DO people speak so loudly on them?

  4. Gloria says:

    I have a prepaid cell phone. The last couple of years, I just add minutes once a year, and have some left from the previous year. I have it for emergencies. Fortunately, there haven’t been any emergencies, but it does offer peace of mind. I do use the cell phone some, and family and friends have the number, but it is still seldom used.

  5. RC says:

    BAH HUMBUG!

    You, sir, are a luddite. While you make a case for saving money, there are other options that can make the cost of a cell phone less than the cost of a land line (like prepaid phones, basic services without all the bells and whistles, etc). If you then don’t have a land line, you are actually saving money.

    Not only that, but to say that if the rest of the world – who has moved on from the tether of a land line and can now be mobile and still be productive – has to cowtow to your whims in order to do business with you, or that you look down on people with cell phones… makes you seem like a complete ass.

    While I don’t care if you choose to own a cellphone or not, to look down on those of us who use them only shows your ignorance and pompousness. You certainly wouldn’t get my business if I couldn’t get in touch with you when I needed to.

  6. Carolina Bound says:

    You are not considering the possibility that a cell phone can completely replace a land line. People who live alone are better off to pay for a cell phone and skip the land line. I pay $45 a month for my phone. I always have more minutes than I can use and I make all the long-distance calls I want to. A hundred times better than when I had a land line.

  7. Caoineag says:

    Hmmm…I always find it interesting that people think the cell phone users are rude for having a conversation in front of them but think nothing of two people having an even louder conversation in front of them. Maybe you are just upset that you can’t hear both sides of the conversation?

    I would have no use for a landline, I am never home. Most of my family and friends are out of state so a landline would probably cost as much while being useless.

    If you aren’t going to bother with voicemail, you really should just cancel your landline and stick to email since no one can get ahold of you (unless you are permanently a homebody).

  8. catmom says:

    Rather extreme point of view! Yes, I have a cell phone. It’s $23 per month with one hour of anywhere minutes. You generally have to ask for a plan like that as it is rarely offered. The phone is free with a two year plan, and when it dies promptly at two years they send me a new model with a one year renewal. I have it for emergencies and it is rarely used. If I want to make a long distance call there it is, without adding to my land-line bill. I use dial-up still for my computer which means my land-line is tied up all night. Anybody that knows me either emails or knows to call my cell to get me off-line. You can have the tv. I just got a used junker last month after going without for three years. I watch videos and I watched the debates, otherwise it’s off. The cell phone also has an “off” button for times when you don’t want to be disturbed! I thought about getting a pre-paid phone but you have to pay for the phone and the models I’ve seen and heard about seem to have issues with quality and or coverage. Yes, I agree people get totally carried away with their cell phones but I live alone, have no family around and drive a junker. It gives me peace of mind that is invaluable.

  9. Julie says:

    I have never had a cell phone and have no desire to have one. It annoys me too, to see everyone walking around talking on a cell phone, especially when they are in a car or a restaurant.
    My husband does have one, but it is only so that he can order building materials without having to drive 20 miles to the building supply place. I will not let him use it when he is driving at all.

  10. justme says:

    #7 if you are NEVER home keep your cell phone save money by giving up your house instead ;-)

  11. Jenna says:

    I once had a cell phone and realized that I didn’t like people being able to find me 24/7.. I do own a prepaid but it stays in the off position and in the glove box of the car- which I hardly drive– trying to be green.. I find them very annoying and not needed as well and most likely if I do break down the person stopping has a cell phone I can use…

  12. catmom says:

    toooo funny justme! and bah humbug said what I REALLY thought!

  13. princessperky says:

    I used to only have one phone, and my husband would borrow cell phones to call and let me know when he would be late, saved me quite a bit of worry (he was rear ended three times in one year!)

    Now we each have a phone and we loan it to folk to call spouses (recent trip son was expected and X time two hours later mom called dad to hunt up adult contact, mixed signals on time, kid was fine) Again saved some worry.

    So I like our phones, but…I don’t carry it in my pocket, I hardly ever know where it is during the day (playing/working with my kids) and I see no need to answer it when out (it is usually in my backpack so I can’t hear the buzz anyway) So do I need it? No, but I like it for the worry instances. I do not like to abuse it though.

  14. Aya @ Thrive says:

    I have to agree with Carolina; most people have replaced their cell phones with their landlines. I agree with you to an extent, only because I don’t use my cell too much, but I feel like a lot of jobs would be hard to do without one, and you’re basically expected to have one. I’m sure similar arguments can be made about laptops vs desktops or something, but I don’t think bashing a technology that we’ve all gotten accustomed to is the way to save any money.

  15. April says:

    I disagree.

    My landline at my home (which I have to have for internet-we homeschool & have to have internet) with no frills on it except for basic dialup cost us $44.00 a month.

    My cell phone is 9.99 a month, with free long distance, and after 7pm all calls are free.

    What is a person to do when they are out and need a phone? Our small town has no payphone. There used to be one the next town over at the grocery store, but the removed it due to lack of use.

    I’d say I probably even save money by using my phone–being out in the country I’d rather have a family member call me to pick something up while I am in town than to come home and have to go back again wasting fuel.

    In fact I even MAKE money using my cell phone as I sub teach. The schools go down the list and the first they call and accept gets the job–they don’t leave messages. To have my cell with me ensures I can get that call regardless of where I am at.

  16. Annie Jones says:

    I fall somewhere between you and the Bah Humbug commenter.

    My husband and I have the least expensive plan available from our carrier. I very rarely call anyone other than my husband, and the calls we make to each other are free on our plan. We talk to each other daily when he is on his way home from work, which may be anywhere in the city. Knowing where he is and that he is on his way saves me a lot of worry.

    It often saves us money and time, too. He asks daily if there is anything he needs to do or buy on the way home so that I don’t have to get our other vehicle out on the road.

    My elderly parents have cell phones strictly for emergencies that may happen while they are on the road. This eases my mind tremendously. I use my phone to call them weekly, which has turned out to be much less expensive than even prepaid landline phone cards.

    But like you, I absolutely hate seeing and hearing people talking on their cell phones in stores, in cars, at restaurants, at their children’s activities, etc. I wish they would just leave their phones turned off, or at least not take/make calls in these situations.

    Also, if I leave home and forget my phone, I don’t rush back to get it…I do without it for the day and don’t miss it. Except for the clock; I find I use the cell phone as a substitute for a watch.

  17. Caoineag says:

    Actually #10 you are right on the money. That is why I will never spend a fortune on a house because it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me. Its just somewhere to sleep and occasionally hide when I don’t want to see people (now you know why I don’t have a landline, if I am home, there is a reason and I ain’t answering). :D

  18. Sammy says:

    I do have a cellphone, but I only use it when I have some free minutes available. Other than that I phone from work which cost the same as normal landline.

    Cellphones can be useful in emergencies and I don’t think I will be able to do without it completely.

  19. audrey says:

    I carry a cell phone and will continue to carry one I have seven people in my home they range from my 81 year old mother to my 4 year old grandson, with only two cars and two drivers, yes my husband and I need to remain in constant contact, we have had many trips to the er. And if you don’t like me talking on my cell don’t easedrop!

  20. Cindy M says:

    David, I’m with you. I’ve got a prepaid cell phone I got strictly for when I babysit with the grandnephews at their home; would otherwise get rid of it. Nothing more aggravating than getting behind some loudmouth gal with a cart in the grocery store who’s hollering at somebody at the other end of the phone. You wonder can these people even go to the john without taking their phone with them. Sign of the times, people isolating themselves in their homes or driving all over the place with cell phone in hand, eating fast food as they go, faster and faster to nowhere, really. My 6-year-old grandnephew can’t wait to have one. What in the world do they all have to talk about?

  21. RM says:

    I’d suggest a go phone type deal where one does not sign a contract if they rarely use a cell phone. I actually have done away with my home phone 30 dollars month Vonage. But, I am a rare case I think as I rarely use a phone at all. This is a recent and onging exp. since I only recently stopped my home phone.

  22. ThiNg says:

    I think people need to post their age when they reply to these posts. Seriously, how many of you anti-cell phone people are under the age of 50?? You sound like I do when I complain about the need for MP3 players everywhere??? My mom complains about needing an email address!! There were people who used to say we didn’t need cars, a good reliable horse and buggy is all they needed!

    Now apply your frugalness to saving money on your cell phone bill instead of bashing new technology… You wouldn’t be posting on the interenet if you didn’t accept something new… unless you wrote a letter and they posted it for you?

  23. David G. Mitchell says:

    I have been enjoying the comments to my article and, contrary to the allegations of some of my readers, I am neither a Luddite nor a an aged Ebeneezer Scrooge. I am about 40 and I have embraced most new technologies as they have emerged. The reason that I am so opposed to cell phones is because I do believe that they are more expensive than landlines (especially if you are a parent with multiple children) and because they diminish our quality of life. I am also serious about my concerns related to the health risks that cell phones may cause. That said, I do respect diverging views so please keep your comments coming!

  24. Eva says:

    In Haiti they have all pre-paid cell phones and the land lines never work; you pay only for outgoing calls, can transfer minutes and even ask someone to send you minutes (free) or to call you (free). If our cell phone companies were more like Digicel in Haiti and if people learned they can turn them off? they are a good thing with a headset.

  25. Mk says:

    EXCELLENT! Finally, an article that tells it like it is regarding cell phones. I( and my family) have been cell phone users for years. It has cost us thousands of dollars. We have lost our house to foreclosure, we have lost a car…but always maintained those cell phones, so that we could be like “THE JONES”.
    We have a huge SUV, in which we talk on our cell phones. Recently, due to our economic struggles…I have pulled the plug on all the cell phones, extra tv channels, and made major adjustments to our food budget…just so that we can survive, and heat our home this winter. If I could only go back in time, I would never have bought the line of materialism in the first place. We have risked our childrens health as well as our own, not knowing if the cell phones were causing physical damage. Not only this, but we found out that our teenage daughter was spending HOURS on the phone late at night, because those were the “free minute” hours.
    It just does not make sense. Now we have a landline and internet for
    $ 65.00 per month. The extra money saved from the $ 275.00 monthly family plan is going towards paying off our debt, and being more responsible people. While the children were not happy with the cell phone loss, they are going to be better people for it. Time now is spent reading, sleeping, or best of all…STUDYING! And when they make friends, it is because of who they are…not because of what they have. An excellent lesson learned. And to all of you that are die hard fans of cell phones, and the ability to be reached at all hours, more power to you. It is actually more stressful having that phone around all the time. Never knowing who is calling, and the guilt of not answering the phone, as well as being inconvienced by having to always check your messages. It is stressful, compared to being in control and having a budgeted expense each month, where you(and others) have to think twice before making those non-needed calls. Oh, just a hint…IM’ing and email is free, and seems to me a more personal and caring way to communicate. Take care, all!

  26. Carol says:

    I have mixed feelings about cell phones. I like the convenience, but the cost is prohibitive. I cannot imagine paying $275 per month like the previous poster, we pay $95 per month and it feels like a lot. I like being able to be in touch with my daughter, now that she goes to a high school on the other side of town. It is in kind of a rough area, and if she ever missed bus or had to stay late I would be worried with no cell. I prefer my landline for general conversation though; I’ve never been one to have these intimate conversations in public.

  27. ThiNg says:

    Post #25 is missing something big in their logic. The cell phone is not the cause of the problems they are listing. In fact, it sounds a lot like self control issues for using the cell phones. You could replace any technology in the post and it would be the same. For Example: We spend too much on Cable, we watch TV for hours, everyone has their own TV, etc.

    The cell phone is a tool. Like a credit card, internet, cable TV, automobile, etc. It needs to be controlled and used in MODERATION. You can’t blame the technology for a personal inability to say no.

    I’m not judging the poster, in fact, if you substitute ‘Eating Fast Food’ into their post, you have my weakness.

    I could do like most people and blame the fast food industry and media, or I could ‘own up’ and admit I have a self-control issue when it comes to spending money on crap that makes me fat.

    This is the problem with the original article, aside from the health issues, everything else is a matter of moderation. I could even argue that if you practiced moderation, the health issues would be mitigated as well.

    Don’t paint the technology with the flaws of the users. The people who interrupt a personal conversation to take a phone call are rude. THE PEOPLE ARE RUDE. Not the cell phone. They have no self control.

  28. catmom says:

    Excellent response ThiNg! You have what I greatly envy…clarity of thought (logic).

  29. April says:

    Those of you who have no cell phone, I take it you either make no long distance calls or you make them on someone elses (work?) bill? There is no way I could make all my long distance calls for less than $9.99 a month, which I pay for my cell which has free long distance. Everywhere I call is long distance in this little town–even my doctor (this town has no doctor, dentist, pharmacy or any of that-population is only 2000). I only know of 2 other people who thought it was too expensive to have a cell, and one of those got fired for calling long distance on her work phone.

  30. ThiNg says:

    LOL Thanks Catmom!

    I’ll trade some logic skills for some willpower any day!

  31. justme says:

    LOL someone had to acuse the cell phone-less of being unethical ;-)

  32. Alain Theriault says:

    I don’t have a cell phone. Most people do but I found it’s not worth it. Sure it’s convenient but for the time you use it it’s not worth it.

  33. catmom says:

    ThiNg…if I had some I would share! :)

  34. Pingback: Carnival of Personal Finance No. 177

  35. kat says:

    Hmm. Well, I agree with your arguments but not with your conclusion. I have a cell phone instead of a landline. I find that with the least expensive plan, it’s cheaper, especially since I spend a few hours on the phone with my (out of state) mom every week. She’s really the only person I have actual phone conversations with; the rest of my calls (and texts, even better!) are short ones and usually revolve around coordinating plans or finding directions.

    I don’t use the phone while driving, and disapprove, as you do, of people who insist on subjecting others to their conversations. Nor am I averse to just switching the phone off, leaving it at home, or not answering it if I don’t feel like being available! The trick is just to realize that just because you have it doesn’t mean it has to have you. :) The phone is for my convenience, not everyone else’s.

  36. Pingback: » Blog Archive » 5 valid reasons to stop using cell phones

  37. Burnme says:

    #5 obviously needs his cell phone but he does NOT, CANNOT comprehend living without a cell phone; likely has it stuck to his ear like most of the BORG I see out there. My wife has a cell phone for HER convenience and it is NOT that convenient but IT IS more costly than my landline BY FAR!!! (#5) so geographical differences can be involved.
    As the writer said; it

  38. Burnme says:

    just want to add: like many things in life that are not predominately needed; it can be better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!
    You have a bus system; do YOU need it; likely not but it

  39. elinor white says:

    What is this “prepaid” business?
    I own a cell phone but only have it
    for an emergency. I do not give out my number to anyone except spouse. Can you tell me who issues these phones and what the charge would be??
    Thanks!

  40. DR says:

    You’ve articulated a rational case for a position that may be hovering toward the backs of more minds than you realize.

    However, I suggest that you’ve disregarded the over-riding significance of the cell phone’s social aspect and the role it has come to play vis-vis class and social status in contemporary society.

    As any number of case studies from the early era of Anthropology indicate, the wasteful expense of a social utility that represents one’s status in the community (or society) is not one that can be argued down by appealing to any rational sense of economy (not unlike the fashion system itself).

    Your position is sensible and one that many people who remember a pre cell phone era probably share, but it would be a tough case to make to those born into this era, no matter how well articulated.

    Now, if you could tie this cause to the necessity of giving up one’s facebook account and actually make some headway, you might have the beginnings of an unprecedented movement. I can only imagine this happening by means of a significant portion of parents succesfully inculcating alternative values on a fresh generation. Possible, but unlikely.

    Alas, the tide is against you. The possesion of a cell phone and a popular facebook profile at an ever earier age are now all but essential rites-of-passage in mass culture.

    To shun either might one day be the privilege and prerogative of a cultural elite, but to all else the practice will likely represent too great a threat of being beset with a stigmatizing social disability.

  41. Bebe says:

    OMG, why do Americans like conspiracies? Oh right, we can’t take responsibility for our own actions: it’s the phone industry, or the govt., or the other guy/gal…not me. Get a life, and use the cell when you need to.

  42. James Tanner says:

    Kudos David. Wiser words were never uttered. People have become slaves to technology to the point that they have forgotten how to simply live life without their conveniences. Too many people see themselves as “self important”, thus being completely accessible 24/7 feeds that fire. They gain little and lose much, including remembering common courtesy towards people around them that don’t want to hear their idle chatterings. I’ve used a cell phone now for 1.5 years, but when a call comes in, I don’t run and answer it. If it’s someone I need to speak with later, maybe I’ll call back. If not, what did I miss? Same with texting. Use it when you need it. Don’t sew it to your body. Thanks!

  43. captmark says:

    I can’t tell you the number of times that a cell phone call has saved me a ton of money, damaged relationships (both business and personal), and wasted time. A typical example is getting a last-minute call while I’m enroute to a meeting, informing me that the other party will be seriously late or needs to reschedule (or my placing a call to an important someone informing them of the same delays regarding ME). With today’s traffic nightmares (and the cost of wasted fuel) it inconceivable to me how anyone could seriously suggest that instant mobile communication is a frivolous expense.

  44. Ori says:

    I have two, i talk on the phone for hours a day. This is my Job as a locksmith. How would you feel not knowing if i am coming… It is part of progress. Get a life

  45. sandi says:

    Hey,
    So I guess I’m smack dab in the middle: I HAD a cell. My kids all HAVE one…but y’know, I REALLY love NOT having one…I must prepare to go “out”. I know that when I am out, I must 1.) call before showing up, or 2.) show up either with or without an “appointment” at which time I must be a HUMAN and take my place in LINE!! and I MIGHT maybe pay ATTENTION to the ones I am physically with!! in line!!
    All joking aside, really, I do see that the cells are good in case of emergency, but unfortuantely, sometimes that happens where there isn’t any coverage (been there) and then we’re stuck with the kindness of passers-by, anyway… And really, I did find it really wearing to be “up” (available) 24/7…plus the cost was pretty much, really considering the amount we (my husband and I) used it.
    Well, to each his/her own..

  46. Storm says:

    This guy assumes that people have pure landlines. I dont know a person under 30 that has one– unless they have it a legacy, ie using their parents phone, or kept the shared landline from a roomate..

    Baseline is that a cellphone is on par with a landline for price. So why choose to keep a landline.
    Assuming you dont spend your daylight hours in the home, how do you manage a spontaneous lunch with friends. Phone booths are GONE, and being unavailable to your friends would be unfair, and deprive you of quite a few “lunches with friends”

    This author assumes that people are inside workers with access to a phone regardless.. Beyond naive.

    The solo video store adventure.. When the movie you want is out there is only one way to find out if she wants to see movie x.

    And the author assumes that people stay at home for any reasonable chunk of time.. Sure there are people who have settled down, but for someone with a decent social life, its a rarity to be home at any sort of appropriate calling time.

    So the author is right for a household of homebodys, that dont care about spontaneous plans.

    Oh, yea.. and if a prospective employer sees that you dont carry one, expect a lower chance of getting a job. They like to know that you are reachable.

  47. Zanne says:

    Does anyone else find it somewhat ironic that ads for cellphones are posted right beside the anti-cellphone article? I suppose it’s just a keyword-connection, but I thought it was amusing.

    Someone asked how many ‘anti cellphone types’ are under age 50. I am. I’m 24, do not own a cellphone and never plan to. And yes, I have family responsibilities, so before anyone lectures me about how I’ll change my mind when I have children to look after, be assured that I already do. And a husband, and elderly relatives, and dreadful winter weather, and all the other “potential emergency” reasons to own one.

    How many people here have read Farenheit 451? Not to posit a conspiracy, but I bet the author would have been pretty scared if he’d seen our technology situation.

  48. SiliconDoc says:

    I have noticed that ALL the young ladies walking around the city during the daytime or at night CONSTANTLY have the cellphone on one of their ears as they are walking along.
    It occured to me it was their safety and anti-rape handykit a while ago. They weren’t just trying to be cool, or look cool or with it or able to afford an extravagant device. It actually is their safety net and threat to all ne’er do wells that they are 3 key presses away from 911….
    Yes, that’s why cellhpones are so darned popular for the young ladies, not just because nearly none of them can tear themselves from their phone – but because it’s their personal bodyguard and security blanket.

  49. What?! says:

    Explain to me what Fahrenheit 451, about censorship, has to do with cell phones…. And, by the way, the author, Ray Bradbury, is still alive.

    A cell phone, especially in place of a land line, is an often more affordable (free long distance) and convenient (I don’t have st switch my phone number and switch my service every time I move) choice. As for driving while talking, taking calls at inappropriate times, and, OMG, talking on them in public, well, that reflects more on the person than on the phone, now, doesn’t it?

  50. Juan Rivas says:

    thank you, my wife doesnt have a cellular phone. I do. she wants 1 one, but tell her not to get 1, because of the all the charges, I pay $65. a month. But this is what I will do for you: I will give my cellular phone to my wife for a month. I see that i can live without my cellular phone i will and might be saving $65/00 a month thanks to you.
    Juan Rivas
    In Denver CO..

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