I bought my first smart phone.
I still feel weird about it, but I'm adjusting.
Basically, when I switched to Ting a while ago, I could not get my picture messaging to work. I never thought I would consider picture messaging a necessity, but being without it for two weeks was driving me crazy. Not only could I not see pictures sent to me, but I also couldn't take any to send to myself or other people. I like to take pictures while out running, so I knew I would miss that, but I just didn't realize how much I rely on that feature.
I emailed back and forth with Ting's support staff, who were really great, but eventually I came to learn that Sprint is discontinuing that feature for all non-smart phones. Since Ting uses the Sprint network, that meant me as well.
One of the great things about Ting is that there are no contracts. One of the drawbacks of not having a cellphone contract is having to pay outright for a phone. That means, depending on what kind of smartphone I settled on, I was staring down the barrel of a very big charge on my credit card. So I waited.
I managed to go a whole month without my beloved picture messaging, but finally, in the span of one afternoon I:
- Found a really good deal on a used phone via Amazon
- Got a picture message of a friend of mine wearing Google glass that I couldn't actually see
- Got offered an extra shift at job #3
These occurrences were the perfect storm I needed to make me pay the $226 for an excellent condition Apple iPhone 4s. I ended up going with the iPhone because pretty much everything else I own is Apple (which makes me feel a little hipster and filthy), and I just wanted the transition to be as easy as possible.
Now, I'm $200 over on my cell phone budget according to mint.com, but My monthly bill is half what it used to be, and I intend to use little-to-no data, so my bill should stay low. I'm also going to keep track of the money I save via various apps, and count that toward how long it takes to recoup the expense of the phone. I've already used Target's Cartwheel app to save a cool $.63 and earn a badge! It's amazing how excited I get about badges which both do and mean nothing, so I'm well on my way.
Now I need help from my frugal friends. What apps can you not live without? How do you save money using your smartphone? I shelled out a lot of cash for this thing, I want the savings to be worth it!