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Posts tagged with: cell phone

Phone Cost and Should Kids Pay It


I think almost every person in debt struggles with the cost of phone service at some point or another. There just don’t seem to be any cheap AND reliable options. And then add to that, the cost the phones these days. Yikes!

The Situation

This was brought to the forefront in our home this week when Princess, who is super responsible and takes very good care of her stuff, accidentally dropped her phone and it shattered. If this was Gymnast who literally breaks EVERYTHING or History Buff who threw his phone to the ground to test the “shatter-resistant” claim, I would think nothing of it, they would just have to do without.  But Princess is devastated and this is highly unusual for her.

Princess and Gymnast have iPhone 5s (I think that’s what it’s called.) I got a really good deal on them earlier this year. I wanted them to have a way to stay in touch, especially since we were moving states and I was beginning to work outside the home.

The mom in me wants to get her a replacement as soon as possible. On the other hand, I want to make better financial decisions.

What are your thoughts?

She does have money, she has a healthy spending account and some savings. I guess my question is do I leave the burden of replacing her phone on her at 13 years old with no regular means of working and earning money. Do I match her in some way? Do I just replace the phone, knowing this was truly an accident and not a pattern at all?

I pay for her service (and her brothers’) and am under contract.The service can not be cancelled to save the monthly fees until she gets a new one. Although I think Verizon offers a way to put the account on hold for a certain period of time, but it extends the contract period.

I am torn. Your guidance is greatly appreciated.

Bad Decisions?


After my not so nice request to my employer to please stop contacting me while on maternity leave, I experienced a wonderful time of peace and quiet.

That didn’t last long.

On Wednesday, the calls, e-mails, and texting started again.

Maternity leave is great, but keeping my job is important – especially since I use my paycheck to pay my mortgage and pay down debt.

Sure, I understand that they can’t legally fire me for turning off my phone while on disability, but I’m a bit concerned about what will happen AFTER I return to work. You can bet my employer will remember I ignored calls.

All day Wednesday, as the calls came one after the other and I pressed the ‘ignore’ button on my phone, I told myself I deserved just one more day of quiet. I’d get to them on Thursday.

Thursday morning, I woke up to more voicemails and decided…

I’m not going to return any more calls while out on leave.

Bad decision financially? Maybe.

But I only get to spend a few precious moments with my newborn son – and I’m going to enjoy every single one.

Cell Phone Woes…


I opened my first cell phone bill since the big switch last month. Expecting a lower bill (as promised by the sales guy – of course), I happily opened my bill to discover…

A big fat number reading – $324.

Cough. Ack!! $324?!?!?

Thinking my husband or I somehow went over the minutes or violated some sort of agreement, I searched the bill looking for answers.

Overages: none.

I waited a minute or two for my blood pressure to return to normal and called the cell phone company. Turns out, activation of new service requires you to pay the current month, one month in advance, activation fees, and taxes on everything. They did give me the amount I will be paying in future months and, yes, it will be lower than what I was paying but… a little warning about the first month would have been helpful.

I’ve got to sell a lung real quick.


To lose your sanity, press 1 now…


My husband’s cell phone contract expired a few days ago. He’s kept his service with the same provider for more than 10 years and we decided it was time to make sure we were saving all we possibly could. Since I’ve been with the same provider for 14 years and he’s been with his for 10, it’s safe to say we haven’t shopped around recently and were totally unprepared for the insane sales pitches from every provider in San Diego County. And of course, all of them have ‘the best service’ and ‘the lowest prices’.

Sigh. It was an awful way to blow a Sunday afternoon.

But, we found a provider we both liked, he got a cell phone that actually works, AND, we’re saving $30 a month. It turns out, we were paying for services he wasn’t using on his old plan and we didn’t register numbers as our top 10 friends and family for free calls. I felt REALLY stupid when the plans were explained and I discovered all the mistakes we had been making.

Rather than simply write a check for your cell phone bill this month, make sure you are on a plan that fits you. You may be flushing $30 a month!

Public Transit Love Affair Ends…


Last month, my husband had a serious talk with me about my public transit use. As a frequent user of public transit, I follow a very strict set of rules when travelling. I don’t talk to others, I don’t carry or wear anything expensive, and I avoid eye contact with everyone except the driver. This system has worked well for me for years and I can honestly say I have enjoyed zoning out for two hours each day. Unfortunately, things have changed. A new, unwelcome group of riders have started travelling my route. I wrote about a problem a few months ago where I had to call transit security but… there have been more problems since. Some not as bad – some worse.

I like to think that, for the most part, I can take care of myself. I’m acutely aware of my surroundings. I carry a cell phone and a can of mace. And I’m a pretty mean fighter thanks to the several years I spent in training after college as a self-confidence booster.

But each passing week, I feel less strong and more vulnerable with the changing crowd.

I thought it was just me but each time I’d share an incident with my husband, I could see he was uncomfortable. One night, he came home from school and said, “You aren’t taking public transit anymore.” On his ride home, a man had pulled down his pants and started urinating everywhere.

Really? That’s what set him over the edge? I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’ve seen men do the same thing multiple times before and… I’m kinda used to it.

I put up a half hearted fight about how driving was expensive and how driving a vehicle on a Southern California freeway was just as dangerous as riding public transit but he said, “I’d rather have you die in a fiery car wreck than from a stab wound!”

How romantic?

So, I drive to work now. My husband may be breathing easier but thanks to my car emissions – the environment, my wallet, and future generations won’t be. Forgive me.

I’d like to think I’ll go back to my love affair with public transit…

But I guess we’ll have to see.

Catch Up…


I wrote some short posts over the last few months and even though they aren’t debt related (well, most of them anyway), I thought I’d share. No, this won’t become a baby blog. But be generous. Give me today and I promise I’ll shut up about it. If anything, I hope you can smile at my misery.

November 10th:

There was an extra pink line on a pregnancy test this morning.

I woke up my husband who said, ‘I don’t think that’s a positive’ and goes back to sleep.

November 14th:

Tried again. Definitely positive.

Took a photo with my cell phone and texted it to my husband saying, ‘HA! I told you so!’

Not exactly the romantic moment I anticipated.

November 25th:

Today is the first day morning sickness hit… and when I say ‘hit’, I mean ‘knocked me off my feet, can’t even think of food anytime this century’. Leave it to my kid to announce itself on Thanksgiving.

My husband, who heard that lack of morning sickness could mean a miscarriage in the future, said, ‘I’m so glad you’re sick.’

I didn’t hit him… but that was only because I lying on the floor with a cold towel across my forehead and couldn’t reach.

December 7th:

At 2:00 a.m., I have an argument with the baby. I demand not to be sick between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

The baby thinks that’s hilarious.

I wake up my husband. If I’m miserable, he’s going to be miserable.

December 20th:

Dropped off a pair of pants to be shortened at the alterations place. The cashier told me they would be ready next week. ‘But they won’t FIT next week!’ I whined. She looked at me confused. ‘Uh. Christmas weight.’ I muttered, apologized, and walked out.

December 24th:

Tell my husband’s family about the baby. There is a solid 3 minutes of shocked silence.

December 25th:

Tell my family about the baby. No one believes me.

I’m starting to see a theme here.

My mother asks how Chris reacted when he found out. I made up a story about how we both cried for joy and embraced. Heaven forbid she finds out it was via text in an ‘I told you so’ message.

January 6th:

Still in salary negotiations for the new position at work. I don’t want to come to the table with a ‘handicap’ so I don’t mention the whole ‘baby’ thing. At three months, I’m not showing at all. I’m crossing my fingers that my ab muscles will hold tight at least 3 more weeks…maybe 5.

Feb. 1st:

The promotion is in the bag so I can finally share the news!!