If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ll have learned that I am a planner. I live and die by my day planner (or agenda, as my kids call it). If it needs to happen, will happen, may happen, could happen, didn’t happen or happened, it’s in my giant 9″x12″ spiral-bound, monthly-tabbed planner. I record our LIVES in my annual day timers and I take a considerable amount of time finding just the right one (because let’s face it, planner needs change over time, amiright?) and have been known to purchase two within a week of one another when the first one just doesn’t quite “feel” right. This is me. I’ve come to accept that.
But in one area of my life, I live “plan-less” and it’s by choice. I’m talking of course, about my mobile phone. I’ve had one fairly constantly since they were little bricks that looked like this:
My first provider was Telus. They had a low-cost monthly plan that I could afford ($20ish a month), plus they had a really cute ad campaign). Not that I used the phone much at all, I admit that I often forgot to charge it and when I did have it charged, found that I didn’t really have that much need to speak to people on it when I was out and about. These were the days before texting, wi-fi and internet EVERYWHERE. It was just another device to lose in my purse, feel terribly adult for having and to chat on (or club someone over the head with if they were being inappropriate). Nonetheless, I had a cellular phone then and I continue to have one today.
I’ll resist the urge to bore you with my personal evolution from cell phone to smart phone, but this point of this post is this. I live, survive and thrive, quite happily without a cellular phone “PLAN.” I have never had a data plan, unlimited calling anywhere, or unlimited texting. My monthly cost to operate my smartphone of choice (iPhone 7+, which was purchased outright for me as a Christmas present two years ago, by my lovely husband) in 2018 was $9.42 a month, or $113.00 for the year. For that amount, I was able to text as much as I liked (I text about four people consistently, iMessage the others while in wi-fi range) and take or make the occasional urgent call.
$9.42 per month. I’ll just leave this here.
The beauty of my pay-as-you-go, non-plan plan is that I am not locked into a contract, there is no temptation or incentive to always be looking for the next phone ‘upgrade’ and I am completely off-line whenever I leave the house, unless I purposefully tap into some free wi-fi (which I will admit to doing at times, although mostly to access my Flipp app to price match groceries).
What never ceases to amaze me though is the almost weekly “Special, exclusive” offers I receive via text message from Rogers. This one came in on Tuesday afternoon:
So basically, I can go from having everything I need for $9.42 a month on pay-as-you-go (no commitment, fees, or contract), to having more than I need for a minimum of $33.90 (taxes included, extra fees excluded) a month? Now, I’ve never claimed to be a mathematical genius or financial guru, but it sounds to be like Rogers is trying to tell me that I’d be getting a much better deal if I spent $410 a year rather than the $113 a year that I currently spend. Except, I still would not have a data plan and I’d be out an extra $300 a year. Calling it a “no tab Plan” doesn’t change the fact that it is, in fact a “Plan” and by definition, at least in my experience, “Plan” = $$$$.
Look. I’m not a doctor, lawyer or pimp. I do hold a pretty high position, but it is within my family unit and to them, I am always just a holler away. Heads of State do not need to reach me at all hours and when I need to price match a head of lettuce, the grocery store has free wi-fi for when I’ve forgotten my paper flyer at home. I do not feel the need to be online and entirely reachable 24/7. I almost always have my phone charged and with me, but more often so I can take pictures and video of my kids and other absurdities in my day, track my steps (phone and watch sync strangely) and keep an eye on it for texts from any of my people. The ringer, notifications and sound features are almost always in the ‘Off” position. I do not allow apps to flash notifications on my screen when someone posts on Instagram or Facebook or sends me an email. I’ll check everything in good time.
For some people (doctors, lawyers, or pimps, say) it may make real sense to have an expensive data plan with all the bells and whistles, 24/7 access to the internet, maps, GPS, etc. etc. I get that. I suppose, what I really want people to know is that for most of us OVIP’s (Other Very Important People), it is a choice and there are options out there for those, who like me, want to just have what they actually need, rather than what we’re constantly told that we need or inundated with media telling us that it is what we all really want. For me, I would rather spend that $300 on a great day out as a family or register one of my kids for an activity they want to pursue. If I were single, I would rather add that $300 to my travel fund, RRSP or towards an adventure (that I would document using my plan-less phone *grin*).
P.S. Join me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sometimes, I post info, ideas or photos everywhere, and other gems (and duds) only get posted in one place. Some things are totally worth skipping, occasionally there are things well-worth sharing. Either way, I’m happy for the company (as long as we can both stay in our own homes, in our jammies, with no actual face-to-face contact. #IntrovertProblems). Also, please feel free to like, comment on and share any post, for any reason, including blind rage and mockery. I dig it.