Where Did All Your New Money Come From?

Last year I read this article about the many standard devices that are combined into a smartphone, and I considered getting one.  As I shopped around, though, a scary fact slapped me–while the initial cost of a phone could be reckoned with, the monthly fees would be impossible.

Articles such as here, here, and here tell me that most of you out there with smartphones are dropping about a hundred bucks a month to use those things.

So how is everybody affording this?  Whenever our water or power bills go up five bucks a month, we all complain about it until we’re blue in the face.  Riots practically ensue any time gas prices inch up a penny or two.

And yet, sometime in the last several years, as smartphones have become as common as ripped jeans, Starbucks cups, and lower back tattoos, the average American just happened to find an extra hundred dollars a month to spend, in the middle of the worst recession in 70 years?

Where the heck is all this new money coming from? Where was it before you had a smartphone and you were barely making ends meet?

I want answers on this because, without someone showing me the way that the rest of you are making this work, I have to assume the obvious–that millions of you are ignoring your budgets and sinking yourselves into debt each month so you can have the coolness and convenience of the fancy gadget that all the other kids have.

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5 comments on “Where Did All Your New Money Come From?

  1. my monthly deal is 23.90 euros. i pay the differential of 3.95 from my old deal for unlimited web downloads, while my package for 500 min + 100 msg is the same. my 10.95 broadband gives unlimited data at 12 mbps to enough separate boxes. it’s called competition within the EU. there are only about ten or so alternatives available of any connection in these semi-rural areas, though.

    to quit bragging: surely, that c-note is not on top of the “stupid” phone’s bill? i expect quite a few people had a cell phone previous to the smart one, and you can get 450 min plus unlimited text and data for 80 smackaroonies per month, if that c-net piece is anything to go by.

    but i get the part about the utility bills going up… i’ve complained more than i care to remember. money for discretionary spending seems easier to come by than for essentials, perhaps because the latter are by definition not optional so we feel less eager to spend it, no matter how illogical that is.

  2. Of limited value: we don’t have any children yet, and I think that makes the monthlies a little easier to bear. Two smartphones from sprint run us about $180/month–which is about a $40/phone increase from our previous plan (Sprint). We did ditch the landline, which helped. We also played with the idea of using the smart phone as an internet hotspot for our computers. I’m a little leery, of course, ’cause how would I read blogs at a slow connection speeds? #notarealproblem

  3. Thanks for the feedback, friends. I still wish someone could account for all this disposable income that seems to suddenly be lying around when a great new toy comes out.

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