Once again, we come to the fork in the road of a want versus a need. Once again, Tim and I differ on which, exactly, this falls under.
Tim believes I need my own phone.
He’s a little sick of handing the phone over when I have to run an errand. But more importantly, WhatsApp is on the phone. This is an app that allows you to text people without it counting as an actual text. Our trivia group switched from regular texting to WhatsApp when they found out that Tim and I don’t have unlimited texting. They’re swell like that.
I downloaded WhatsPad (the iPad version) so that he doesn’t have to hand me the phone when one of our prodigious group chats gets going. But he still has to see the notifications, interrupting whatever it is he’s trying to do on the phone. And we can go back and forth for quite a while. Unfortunately, WhatsPad only works if you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, so we can’t just delete WhatsApp off the phone and keep it on the iPad.
Still, this is obviously a want rather than a need.
I mean, technically, we don’t even need the first phone. It’s nice, and I’m glad we got it (especially now that I use it to keep in touch with the trivia group). But 98% of the time we were doing fine without it. The only times it was a problem was when we had an accident, and on the rare occasions that we needed to deviate from the route mapped out on the iPod (and weren’t near some place with WiFi).
So while I understand his frustration, it’s hardly enough to justify a $600 new phone — or any phone that costs multiple hundreds of dollars. Especially since we just shelled out around $3,500 for the HVAC repair and insurance deductible. And especially especially since this would only increase our phone bill. I doubt I’d use a phone enough to push us into the next usage tiers on Ting, but it’s still an extra $6 a month per active phone. Given our relatively low cell phone bill, that’s a 20% jump!
That said, it’d be nice not to have to ask Tim for the phone every time I go out or get dirty looks when a group chat gets going. Just not $600 nice.
Luckily, I mentioned this ongoing argument to Mom. As it turns out, my cousin upgraded her phone not too long ago and still had her old one sitting around gathering dust. Mom brought it down with her when she came down to help with the party.
I was excited until it turned out that the “old” phone lived up to its name. It was an iPhone 4S. I guess the fact that she didn’t trade it in should’ve been a red flag.
Still, a little online research (courtesy of Mom) showed that people were still happily using their 4S phones for basic stuff, which is all I need it for. So I sent off to Ting for a SIM card, got the phone unlocked (which sounds a lot more difficult than it was) and got it set up.
So how is it?
Well, it’s tiny compared to our iPhone 7. It also, if I’m understanding it right, will only ever have 2g speeds. But you know what? It’s a way better than no phone at all, and it’s worth $6 a month if Tim can stop being annoyed every time someone in the group decides to text. Our bill for two phones will still be under $40.
And if I do get annoyed by the screen size or notice a lag? I can just repeat to myself that a new iPhone 7 will be just over $600 after tax. That should cool any phone envy I get.
What’s the latest want vs need you’ve wrestled with? Anyone else out there still rockin’ a 4S?