Why I Don’t Have a Smartphone

I have had a crappy, piece of poop phone for far too long two years. Now it does what I want it to do – which is make calls and can send text messages – but as a hard working, intellectual, bright, human being, I feel that after such a long time, I feel that I deserve to have something a little more shmancy.

However, I am also a frugal, broke, college student who can’t afford to pay $30 a month for a data plan with a smartphone because I am a.) in college and b.) my parents don’t pay for it. Which I don’t mind, because I am almost nineteen years old and currently not living at home, except for the fact that my 26 year old sister and my 27 year old brother both have smartphones and neither of them pay for their data. (Nor does my 27 year old brother pay for rent, food, insurance, or anything else besides bumming around and not working – but another rant for a different time.)

My contract ended three days ago, so I can do one of three things:

  1. Get a smartphone. But in this case, that would mean that I have to fork over $30 a month for something that I can’t even substantially touch or feel. Which as a frugal person, I can’t really see myself doing. I can see myself using that $30 to slowly pay off student loans or for a new pair of boots or buy poptarts. (And I have to pay off this semester of college still and that is more than I would like to currently share.)
  2. Get a “dumbphone.” Which means that I’m stuck with another phone that I’m not completely satisfied with for another two years and that I may/may not like it. Plus, the one I’m looking at costs $100 (which is absolutely ridiculous for a non-smartphone), plus an activation fee. I’m too broke for these things. :( I was really leaning towards this option, minus the cost and minus the bad reviews for this phone. Poooo.
  3. Keep the phone I have. While it’s nothing fancy, my phone that I have does what I want to do it just fine. And it is practically indestructible; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped my phone on concrete, or off of my lofted dorm room bed onto tile floor, or sent it flying out of my jacket pocket on the tennis courts. But it is also very beat up and really needs to be upgraded.

So in short, I hate not having money, I hate Verizon, I hate that my parents will pay for some family member to have fancy things but not others, and that I feel like a loser. Bahh.

At least I have a phone, I suppose.

12 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Have a Smartphone”

  1. Gah, that sucks having parents not pay for you! I have the same issue, my parents pay for my brother’s stuff but when it comes down to me (aside from university tuition), they want me to pay for my own bills, foods, etc.

    I’m not too sure about America, but I’m sure you guys have it too, do you consider getting a flex data plan? That way you can still get the phone you want and not pay so much of a high bill since you’re pretty much paying for the data you use. My plan has 1GB data included and I don’t even use that much so I’m looking into downgrading to a data flex plan to save some money :’)

    1. No, Verizon requires a data plan if you buy a smartphone and the cheapest one is $30 and the most expensive is $40. :( Otherwise! I wouldn’t have this issue, haha.

  2. I recently got my first smart phone a two years ago for Christmas and I thankfully do not have to pay the phone bill. However I can understand how much that really sucks; paying an extra 30 bucks is ridiculous! I really don’t like that about phone companies, considering that they should find a way to make everyone’s bill include it somehow to cover the costs.
    I hope you find a better phone! I switched to AT&T with my family because Verizon had really crappy customer service and we NEVER got any bars in my house. I can’t say that AT&T is too much better, but they are usually more understanding.

  3. Ugh that really sucks, it sounds like no matter what if you get a new phone it is going to cost you. I don’t know about in the states but I know with Telus even if you get a smartphone on a contract you still have to pay activation fees. Also if you don’t get your contract for three years than you still have to pay for a portion of the phone, it’s annoying. Phone companies nickle and dime you every which way they possibly can!

  4. Okay I have an iPhone and I’ve had one for about a year. Let me tell you, it’s great and I’m addicted to it. But sometimes I wish I didn’t have it. I feel like everyone is so consumed with technology that it interferes with face-to-face conversations.
    I’d keep your old phone if it works fine. Can you still get on the Internet? Cause you can do Twitter, update your site and go on Facebook on normal phones. iPhones has its perks but don’t feel bad if you don’t have one.

    1. I CAN do internet on my phone, but it really sucks. But I don’t really care about the internet so much. It would be a nice feature, but it’s not worth $30 a month to me. It’s more of the other features that I would want.

  5. Does it suck to get my Sprint bill to pay for my iPhone each month, absolutely! I know the struggle of paying bills on a broke college student budget. But, I’m also glad I made the investment and got the smartphone. My old phone was not reliable at all, and going to the city, having a functioning phone is crucial. Sometimes you can get “luxury” things just by reevaluating how you budget your money.

    In all, a smartphone is not the most important thing! Like you said, at least you have a phone!!

  6. I wanted a smartphone and I got one finally last year…. but then I realized my balance is getting over in about a fortnight with this phone when it used to easily go on for more than a month an a half with my previous phone (I’ve prepaid account, because my parents say that I’ll unnecessarily waste money over the phone, and I don’t mind it…) Usually I recharge my balance with Rs.150…. which is about $3… pretty cheap right? And if I go for a data pack… there are various data packs available in my service provider. One of them is rs 16/month for Whatsapp and Facebook and that’s pretty good, cuz I require only FB and Whatsapp daily! In spite of all this, my balance is used to pretty quickly and then I feel like my old simple phone was better.

    What type of features are you looking for in a phone?

  7. I’ve had my phone for almost 3 years. It’s not contracted, and I recently ordered a new battery and charger for it. Fingers crossed that it’ll work! :) It would be much cheaper for me to do this and test it out than buying a new phone, because buying a new phone means a new plan. :x

    I find it odd that your siblings’ phones are taken care of but that yours is not, especially your brother’s. You’re in college,a nd he’s living at home. :x

  8. The only reason why I have a smartphone is because I can check my emails online, go on the internet when I’m not at home, to play games (lol) and to text for free. And I think I pay around €25 euros for it each month.

    But a “dumbphone” isn’t bad at all, in fact, those are the ones that never dies! I wish I had chosen for that kind of phone, but I really wanted the internet on my phone. If you can live without internet on your phone, why not choose for a cheap phone? :) Goodluck with your decision.

  9. That’s not fair that your parents don’t cover your phone bill, but they pay for your siblings :( Maybe you could see if getting in a family plan with them would at least lower your costs a little? My mom originally went the “dumbphone” route, but they aren’t made very well anymore. Companies seem to be focused on smartphones now. After several frustrations, she gave in and got a smartphone too. I do like having a smartphone though, even though the data plan is annoying to pay for =/

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