I recently made the decision to give my cellular company the proverbial extended middle digit and cancel my cellular plan completely. They tried desperately to salvage the relationship but like a abused partner that has just had enough I decided to move on to something different.
Coincidently when I was writing this post a video popped up in my YouTube about Ed Sheeran getting rid of his cell phone and going 100% tablet and communicating via email. He said it was his new years resolution to get rid of his phone! I figured if a mega famous musician like him can do it, so could I.
To be honest with a little planning it wasn’t that hard to do. Simply make a list of WHAT you use your cell plan for and see if you actually NEED a cellular contract for it.
The Money: I have a friend who spends $110 a month on his cell phone. That’s $1320 a year. Over 10 years that adds up to $13200. My cell plan was only $60 a month which isn’t too bad but an extra $720 a year to put into investments can make a huge difference over a decade.
Maps & Directions: I bought a GARMIN 2495 handheld GPS unit used off the internet with 100% free map updates for life. I know my way around fairly well but if I need directions to an address it performs flawlessly. YES, you have to carry around another device however I just leave it in my glove box.
Buying Things Off Craigslist or Kijiji:
Almost all people selling used stuff on the internet communicate via SMS texts which can be annoying for someone with out a cell number. However there are alot of free websites that will allow you to send and receive texts via a website.
It’s a good idea to meet some place that offers free wifi which is almost every eating establishment these days so you can monitor the website for incoming texts. Some people will just sit in their cars and text “i’m here” expecting you to come out. The website may take time to update so this could annoy them and they could drive off. Talk to the person if you can via voice to clear up any issues with meeting.
Here are a list of 10 FREE SMS sites to get you started: https://www.raymond.cc/blog/top-10-sites-receive-sms-online-without-phone/
Not a perfect solution but it works.
Social Media: I do have facebook, twitter, instagram, and snap chat accounts but they can all be used when connected to wifi. I used to spend hours a day on social media but I realized I wasn’t getting anything done and the content on them was kind of pointless. I do still check them a couple times a week though. If you are the type of person that absolutely NEEDS to be connected to social media constantly then you should probably take stock of your life and think if this is really what you want to be doing.
I have a streaming music account that I use everyday. When I am out and about sometimes I like listening to stuff while walking around the Walmart so I don’t have to listen to the music blaring from the store speakers. Almost all streaming services support offline listening so you will just have to plan ahead and only listen to the playlists you save on your phone. Do you REALLY need 24/7 access to the entire music library of the planet?
Depending on the country you are in you can dial 911 with or without a SIM card so just keep any charged cell phone around and you will be fine.
Talking to people via VOICE:
I call people via skype or my gmail account if I have to talk to them voice. If you have parents or grandparents who are simply incapable communicating without a phone number then you can always buy a skype # for $6 a month they can call. Same goes for your employer if they demand you give them a phone number. Of course it will just go to voicemail if you are out or not connected to wifi and you can call them when you get in. If your employer deems this unacceptable then they should pay for your cell phone.
I Need A Data Plan for Work because my job is SOO boring:
I 100% understand people who feel this way because I have been there too. Having internet at work can really make the time fly by. Consider this though. Instead of spending time on your phone chatting with co-workers or hanging out on social media you could instead learn new skills. Get a book or even just read the books on your phones Kindle / iBooks app. Many great people have improved their minds on someone elses dime. Albert Einstein worked on his theories while employed as a patent clerk. Quentin Tarantino watched movies over and over at his video rental job. Imagine if you managed to complete just ONE book a month while working you would be so much smarter and farther ahead than 99% of the people around you.
You could also have the goal of taking those new skills and creating a second income which would allow you to quit the boring job in the first place!
One major caveat to the previous: Make sure you are not reading trash. Read books that inspire you and / or teach you something. My personal rule is to read 4 non-fiction books for every 1 fiction. It’s up to you of course, I am simply passing along what I do.
Privacy: Alot of people don’t give their privacy a second thought however in an age where we KNOW for a fact our government and other shady organizations are spying on us ditching the little device that gives them complete access to your entire life is probably wise. There are even websites out there can triangulate the location of most cell phone’s for a fee. (http://www.55vi.com/)
“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”
So there you have it, my top 10 list of reasons why I ditched my cell phone. I will write an update post 30 days from now and let you all know how it’s going!