Do you make exceptions to your budget for phones?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| Published: October 19, 2012

I think we can all safely assume that the reason we are here on this beloved website of ours is because we are all bananas over cell phones, and the ever-changing technology they have to offer us. However, such constant changes being made to this industry inevitably means that new phones are being released on the regular. That’s means people who share the same “Want it now, got to have it now” mentality with me are going to have a harder time keeping the wallet closed during phone launches.

If you’ve been reading my articles up until this point, you probably realize that I’m a very wishy-washy person who can’t decide whether to stay or to go from my iPhone 4S. It’s true that I see Androids offering more than my phone does currently, but the differences weren’t all that black and white when the 4S originally came out. The main problem I have with my indecisiveness to upgrade isn’t that I hate my 4S and need something else. It’s more along the lines of I have a lot of time to think about what I want before my next upgrade is available, and during this time I do a mixture of pondering and scheming.

I used to work at Sprint, and there truly is no easy way to get around your scheduled upgrade date. Sure, people have found loopholes, but generally they’re not going to just move your date up just because you ask politely (or not-so-politely).  Should such an attempt to move your upgrade not work, you’re stuck in situations like mine where you want the latest and greatest, but you’ve got a budget to stick to and you can’t just break it for a new shiny toy every time you want one, especially if it’s a new shiny $500-$800 dollar toy. That doesn’t always stop me from giving my good friends at the call center a ring and see what they’re up to, and casually ask how that upgrade date is coming along. Generally that doesn’t work, though.

Sprint does have a buyback program where you can trade your old phones in and get credit towards a new one. The catch with this is if you decide you don’t like your new device you’re out of luck. Your phone is their phone – always and forever. So, if I decided to take that route (which I do get a pretty penny for my phone at the moment) I would have to be absolutely sure I don’t want my 4S anymore. The thing is, it’s not that I hate my 4S and would never want to use it again. I just like to experiment with new devices, and I like to switch back and forth between phones. It’s a hobby of mine, and I’m sure many of you can relate.

If I could, I would go out and buy every phone I ever wanted. Once upon a time I acted as if I had all the money in the world to spend on phones, early termination fees, activation fees, every kind of fees there ever were. I didn’t though, and it showed later when I didn’t have any money for gas when I needed to get somewhere or any decent food for a day or two. Now I’m older and have a toddler to take care of, so such frivolous purchases are no longer acceptable, even if I’m practically frothing at the mouth for something different.

It’s both unfortunate and rewarding to have such an expensive hobby. On the one hand, I’m limited in my options when it comes to actually owning a new device, and most of the time if I want to experience something first hand I have to settle for visiting a store. On the other hand, I enjoy having knowledge about this technology and have the ability to teach other people about such fascinating gadgets.

So, the question to you is this: have you ever done anything out-of-character and crazy so you could be the proud owner of a new device? Did you feel any regrets afterwards, or was it one of the best decisions you ever made?


Image via Zdnet

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