Health, Personal Finance, Saving Money

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 the ladder of my esteem. If you call me on a cell phone, you can be assured that you will not get either my business or a return call. If you employ me and tell me to carry a cell phone, I shall politely decline, regardless of the risk to my job.

You probably have a cell phone plan and, I assure you, you are wasting your money and jeopardizing your health. You are also very likely rude, whether or not you realize it. If you are reasonable, I hope that you will consider all of the reasons there are not to own a cell phone and get rid of yours as soon as your carrier allows you to do so!

There is No Need for 24/7 Access

Growing up, we had one land line in my home. There were four of us and we got on quite well without the need for a personal telephone number for everyone in the house. For that matter, we did not have call waiting or voicemail. If the phone were busy, the caller would call back later. The world did not end just because one of us could not be reached the first time a caller tried to reach us. If it were a true emergency, an operator (an actual human being) could break into the call anyway.

Why then, must everyone in a household now have their own cell phones that they carry with them wherever they go? There is no reason for it. Instead of a single phone line, which might cost $50 per month, the telephone industry has persuaded people the world over that every house needs to have phones and phone numbers for everyone old enough to press the buttons on a keypad. With add ons like internet and texting, people everywhere may be paying hundreds of dollars per month just so that they can take phone calls when they wander about outside the home or office. Give up the cell phone and put that money back in your pocket and you will really find that no one had anything to say to you anyway!

Cell Phones May Cause Health Problems

The incidence of certain brain cancers is on the rise. Studies have recently suggested that cell phones may be at least in part to blame for the increase. Indeed, when a friend was admitted to the hospital after being diagnosed with a tumor, doctors asked him if he used a cell phone a lot and if he generally used the cell phone on the same side of his head that developed the tumor. For that matter the head of a hospital in Pittsburgh recently sent a memo to all staff members urging them not to use cell phones unless absolutely necessary. And it is not just the brain that is at risk, another recent study suggests that men who keep a cell phone in their front trouser pockets may be increasing the risk of having damaged sperm.

Decades ago, the tobacco industry concealed risks from tobacco from unsuspecting consumers. The phone industry is also large and has a vested interest in preserving its cell phone user base. Think what studies might definitively demonstrate over the coming years of the dangers of cell phone use. Give up your cell phone and avoid unnecessary medical problems and the costs that come with them!

Cell Phones Make Driving Dangerous

A quick search of the internet reveals numerous legitimate studies which conclude that cell phone use – even cell phone use up to 10 minutes before an accident – significantly increases a driver’s risk of being involved in an accident resulting in injury. Apart from the risk of serious injury, use of cell phones while driving can greatly increase your risk of incurring costs through accidents. This has been demonstrated both with traditional cell phones and with hands free models. Give up your cell phone and avoid unnecessary motor vehicle accidents and the costs that come with them!

The Hidden Charges of Cell Phones

If you own a cell phone, chances are you also have a case for your cell phone and perhaps other gadgets that go along with your cell phone. Cell phone accessories cost money that you do not really need to spend. Your land line does not require accessories. Give up your cell phone and never spend another penny on accessories for a phone!

The Opportunity Costs of Cell Phones

If you carry a cell phone, you probably only need access to it when you are doing something out of your office or home. If you are doing something outside of your office during business hours, you should be doing something meaningful. Whether that means you are with a client or recharging your own batteries at lunch, you should be focused on the task at hand. Cell phones only allow you to introduce distraction where you need focus. Address the matter at hand and leave phone calls to a later time when you can check voice mail messages at work. Unless you are a doctor waiting to perform crucial surgery or you have some significant role in national security, chances are you are just not important enough to need to be available all the time.

If you are doing something outside of your home during your own time, you have even less justification for needing a cell phone. I have yet to encounter a person having a meaningful conversation on a cell phone. If you cannot go to a grocery store and decide what to buy when you get to the produce aisle, you should not be grocery shopping. If your child is old enough to be left home unattended, you should be able to trust that your child is old enough to handle any problem that comes along or you should not be leaving your child at home.

Regardless of where you are using your cell phone, you are distracting yourself from whatever it is that you are doing. Give up your cell phone and attend to matters at hand!

The Exception that Proves the Rule

I agree that there is one occasion when it does not hurt to have a cell phone, and that is during an emergency. If you are going to be driving until 3am and you do not have On-Star in your car, having a pre-paid cell phone can be a true safety net. Similarly, if your kids are venturing out on their own and you really worry about their safety because of where they will be (and assuming you cannot prevent them from being there), it is not a bad idea to give them a pre-paid cell phone so that they can reach you. That said, those pre-paid phones should only be used in the event of a true emergency and not for any other reason.

Can you give up your cell phone to save hundreds of dollars per year or more?

70 thoughts on “Give Up Your Cell Phone! Five Reasons You’ll Save Money

  1. They also save lives. At one time in my life I was a paramedic and my DH moonlites as an EMT. Most auto accident calls come in on cell phones.
    Also, many home fire calls come in over a cell phone as you can’t stay behind to call 911 in a burning structure.
    If someone wants to drop a phone line to save money, you’d be better off in my opinion to drop your land line, or drop something else such as your cable TV or dish.

  2. Mr Mitchell’s argument is based almost entirely on anecdote and his own personal experience. He says he will not conduct business with people using cell phones and that using one in front of him immediately drops the user a few rungs on his ladder. He sounds like a crank!

    You’re welcome to your lonely ladder, Mr Mitchell…or is it a pedestal? I’ll climb a different one, thank you very much, one that didn’t top off when rotary-dial phones were the pinnacle of interconnectedness.

  3. I was one of the holdouts that didn’t get a cell phone until about a year and a half ago. I didn’t like the idea of people being able to get ahold of me whenever and whereever. But I finally caved when I moved and decided to not get a new land line and get a cell phone instead. The main reason was price. I don’t talk on the phone very much, but most of the calls I did make were long distance. Landlines are not cheap and with the long distance calls, I usually ended up paying $70-80 a month! So I switched to a cell phone with a minimum number of minutes and free long distance and evenings / weekends, and free voicemail. I now pay $47 per month, period. Its definitely worth it for me. Plus when I’m traveling, I don’t have to search for a (usually nasty) pay phone to make a call. In the past 1.5 years I have gotten 2 wrong number calls and no solicitations. With my former landline, I used to get up to 20 wrong number/sales calls/etc. a day, so I never answered the damn thing without screening the call on my answering machine. Overall, my phoning patterns haven’t changed much since I switched to a cell phone. I still don’t talk on the phone very much, I keep the ringer on vibrate, I turn the phone off when I don’t want to receive calls, and I ignore calls I don’t want to take. I find that its actually easier to not take a call with my cell phone than it was with my landline. Nope, I won’t be going back to a landline if I can help it.

  4. I like how – according to the author – cell phones are a waste of money but OnStar is acceptable.

    No, for me, my cell has been nothing but beneficial. I have enough self-determination to turn it off or silence it when I don’t want to be reached. I don’t have a case, or a car charger, or a holster. It replaced my land line – it is in fact, cheaper for me when long distance is considered. I use it as an alarm clock when travelling or if I want to take nap on my lunch break. It has replaced any need for an address book. If in an accident, the camera feature will then come in handy. I’ve used it to get football scores when away from my team. It was an absolute dream when I was in Iraq – before all the chat rooms and phone banks were there. (Although that wasn’t this specific phone – I’ve replaced in the last 5 years!) So yeah, for me, it’s been great.

  5. I couldn’t live without my cell phone either. I can’t get calls at work and if anything happened to family I need to be in contact with them. I have a very sick grandfather and have gotten some calls already that he had to be rushed to the hospital. Luckily he’s always pulled through, but I would be devestated if something really did happen one day I wasn’t there.

    I also do save a bundle, but using the cell phone for all our long distance. Plus it’s saved me countless trips to the store. Instead of getting home and having my wife send me back out for milk or something I can pick it up on the way home.

    It’s also much easier if I have to pick up food some place. I can order and have it ready when I get there instead of ordering there and waiting 20-30 minutes for them to cook it.

    I think my cell phone pays for itself. My time is valuable.

  6. I’m 23 and I want to know why everyone is more concerned with how much money they will spend or save than with how much their brain/ sperm count/ etc is damaged!! idiots

  7. May I suggest that Mr. Mitchell take his reasoning one step further, and also get rid of his computer. Think of the money he’ll save! And we won’t have to read such inane commentaries. To select one of the many modern gadgets to rant about is very selective. I have a cure – delete the link to this blog!!

  8. all i can say is BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!

  9. 20 years ago people coped with car accidents and emergencies without the aid of cellphones yet now for many people it is inconcievable to go without them. It depends on your lifestyle. We don’t have one, although 7-8 years ago I had one as I was often out of town on business, but I resented the fact that my coworkers would call me on my cell phone using up my minutes to talk about work–I wasn’t getting reimbursed for those minutes. The cell phone was for my use to keep in contact with my sons when I had to be out of town. I don’t know why people spend their own money on cell phones and expect to use them to be at the beck and call of their bosses with them! If boss wants you to be in constant touch, he/she whould be paying for your phone AND for your on call time.

    Thankfully we have left that life behind. We rarely get calls and let the answering machine pick up on most of them and during the weeks preceeding the election, we let the answering machine pick up all calls as it was a nusance to answer the phone to only hear computer voices telling us who to vote for. We only answer phones during set times and family members know this and have been told that if there is an emergency to says so on the message and we will pick up the phone.

    I too get creeped out seeing people walk around with those ear things as if they have to be in constant contact at all times with all people. These aren’t OB doctors who may have to dash off to deliver babies, but ordinary people who I doubt if they get more than one IMPORTANT call a day.

    I’m glad the one poster has seen the error of his free spending ways, but too bad it wasn’t sooner to save him and his family from the financial mess they are now in. I wonder how many other posters in their love for their cell phones can actually afford the bill–maybe that bill is paid on time, but are all the other paid in full? I don’t understand how families can afford the cost of all these gadgets and that is what they are.

    I well remember being limited to 10 minute talks on the phone with my boyfriend back when I was 15 and my sister would get her 10 minutes and we could actually keep the phone humming most of the evening. Of course we only had one phone in the house and it was in the living room so all conversations could be monitored by mom. How many kids would be better off if parents were actively monitoring their kids conversations and phone time?

  10. I avoided owning a cell phone while I was in corporate. I was working VERY long hours and refused to have something just so my bosses could reach me during those few hours I wasn’t there! LOL

    That being said, I now own a cell phone. Do I know what the number is? No. (I’d have to look it up. LOL) Is it ever turned on? Only for the short period of time it takes me to make a call. Why do I bother to have it? I live in the country and there are some mighty long stretches of lonely road and critters that like to run into the road. When I return to “civilization” for doctors’ appointments and to visit friends, I feel safer with it sitting in my purse beside me.

    I think I’ve used it 5 times since I got it. Once, a tanker had overturned and getting past the resultant mess made me 2 hours late for a consulting job. I waited until I could pull off before I dug it out and dialed to let them know I’d be late and why. The other times were to let friends know that my appointment was completed and to meet me at the restaurant.

    As for the guy who called you a luddite… if he’s not in some sort of a support position, I’d love to know when was the last time he got a call from a customer at 9pm or 1am and actually answered it. LOL If he calls a business outside of business hours for anything other than an emergency, I’d say that he’s a totally self-centered, mannerless pig.

    Some people do find a cell phone cheaper than a landline and I applaud them for researching their options and finding the cheapest way to go, but to insist that all businesses have to be accesssible 24/7… I think not!

    This discussion has reminded me that it’s been a couple of years since I researched all of my phone options based on my needs. Sigh. Another thing to add to my task list.

  11. I have a cellphone just in case I get lost somewhere. If I didn’t have a cellphone I would have been stuck in an elevator for like 1 day!

  12. Amazing how many people make comment to the fact we had no cell phones 20 years ago and we survived. I agree we did. However, there are a lot of items we have now that we didn’t have in the past. Therefore, does that make a cell phone non-essential?
    I only have a cell phone, having done away with my landline service back in 1999. At that time, I was paying $60 for a landline and $45.00 for a cell phone.
    The cell phone was more convenient, so the landline was canceled and I never looked back.
    The costs associated with a cell phone,if kept over a two-year period, is not expensive.
    I get a new cell phone every two years, and I have spent $30 more this last time to update to a better phone. DC car charge is $20 and that prevents having to purchase an extra battery. So, $50.00 for equipment for two-year period. Is that really that expensive?
    I also use a blue tooth device to keep the phone away from my ear; thus there goes the health issue, and the blue tooth is over two-years old and still going strong.
    Cell phones are not for everybody, as landlines are not for everybody.
    This guy needs to get off his high horse and get a life and stop condemning people for no reason.

  13. Very interesting article and comments!

    I dislike a lot about cell phones

    – the annoyance of having my train of thought during a client appointment interrupted by the client’s phone ringing,

    – the poor sound quality when I am the recipient of a call from a cellphone, usually because the caller is calling from a moving car, a public street or other place with high ambient noise,

    – being forced to listen in on lengthy, loud, inane conversations when I’m trying to have a quiet lunch in a restaurant or admire a sunset at the beach or pick out my produce at the grocery store (and yes, people do speak more loudly on cellphones than in a face-to-face!)

    – the bad manners implicit in all of the above.

    That being said, I have one. Of course, I have a prepaid (phone and 1100 minutes for $150) on which I’ve used 234 minutes in the last nine months, mostly when I’ve been on vacation road trips.

    In three months, I’ll pay another $10 to get 100 more minutes and renew the ones that are left from this year which will probably be over 700. Assuming I can do that for one more year beyond that, my average monthly cost for cellphone and minutes will be less than $5. The emergency security and on-the-road convenience is definitely worth that amount.

  14. i have a cell phone and completely gave up my landline.i gave up my landline years ago and the cost of using the cell comes to about the same amount as my landline did(per month).some of the comments here have been pretty sarcastic and rude.others have not.i don’t see the pint ion being rude as a person can easily comment here without getting all huffy and puffy.this is called maturity.after reading the article here,i actually understand where the the wrtiter is coming situation differes from his but i don’t see getting all rude and smartass about it.and i actually ave read many times that cell phones are suspected of possibally causing brain tumors.that the reason there’s no proof one way or the other is that cell phones haven’t been in use long enough that there could be any productive study established as to whether or not they’re absolutely without a doubt dangerous.

    the article had some valid points.
    makes one tink a bit about whether not using a cell is necessary or even sensible to be for thought.

  15. I have Straight Talk on the Verizon network. Bought it at Walmart and it’s an amazing deal. The Samsung Finesse is a very cool smartphone and paying only $45 a month for unlimited everything is the best deal going!

  16. I love this article, I’m 18 years old and I had been thinking about turning my phone off for good. On April 1st, I went to prom on a party bus with 14 of my friends. People were texting on the way to prom but still having a good time, when we were on our way back the bus was dead silent. I looked around and every single face was light up from the screens of their phones. Nobody was doing anything, they were all checking Facebook and Twitter. It was a shame to realize that we all called each other friends and we didn’t even look at each other. I didn’t even stay around for the after party with them because I just wanted to get away. I went home and woke up my mom, I told her to cancel my phone service as soon as possible. She suspended my service for 3 months, hoping I would change my mind. I’ve been without my phone for 3 months now and my sleep has been better, my social skills have gotten better, and I realized who truly matters to me. I don’t plan on ever getting my phone back, I don’t want it, need it, or like it. I hate when you try to talk to somebody and their head is down and they can’t hear you because they are in an artificial conversation.

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