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Is Your Cell Phone Necessary?


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The cell phone, which may also be a smartphone with internet connection or a data plan, has supplanted the household telephone. Rather than a single central phone in the home - many family members now carry cell phones. The Wall Street Journal reports cell phones are eating the family budget. They don't mean that people are feeding their budget to the phones. It just means spending is on the rise.

Does this make sense while our households are still struggling?
Income is down, Debt is up

Median income continues to drop. According to the census bureau, the 2011 median income was $50.054. This is down from the peek in 2007 of $54,489.

On September 20, the federal reserve announced household debt increased. According to the report, "Household debt rose at an annual rate of 1¼ percent in the second quarter, the largest increase since the first quarter of 2008."
The Data Plan

The NASDAQ community recently stated, "[cellphone] packages and pricing for voice minutes, text messages and data change frequently and differ from carrier to carrier, making plan comparisons tricky." The authors of this piece suggest consumers should "do the legwork" and compare offerings. Next, watch the data plan. Simply limit consumption by connecting to Wi-Fi whenever possible.

Finally, to save money - don't allow roaming. It is not necessary. Period. Therefore, while you are looking at cell phone plans, always start with coverage.
Is it necessary?

Having a cell phone can be important for your job. Important emails, messages, and even presentations may be done with the cell phone. However, if your income has dropped then the first place to look for savings is in the smartphone bill.

Now, stop spending and start saving.
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