Reduce costs on your mobile phone – DITCH the CONTRACT and the DATA yo!

iphone 4G shadowI’ve never really seen the point in a smart phone…or GPS for that matter because I don’t like trusting computers (but that is another story). Let me digress a little….when Kana and I moved to Japan in 2004 we went to get mobile phones (this was before the iPhone which came out in 2007) and the sales person was going on about the camera, the video options, the texting….and I said “Kana could you ask her if it is a phone?”. Kana asked and the sales person who looking a little puzzled said “Yes it is a phone”. I said “Good let’s buy 2!”. I wanted a phone and I wanted the cheapest one…the cheapest one to purchase and the cheapest monthly rate.

Now fast forward to 2011, we’re living in Canada and everyone and their dog has an iPhone. Kana, being wooed by the bling of the thing wanted one because her old school, texting only mobile phone (which cost $20.00/month) wasn’t cool enough (ALERT! debt jihad has a cost….you might not be cool with your friends…but your friends aren’t paying the interest on your bad debt are they…). I argued against it because I had heard the horror stories of friends being locked into 3 year plans and paying between $55-$85/month for the phone with the data plan. So for a 3 year plan Kana would pay between $1980-$3060 while on her old phone she would pay $720 (saving us between $1260-$2340 over 3 years). I came to the conclusion that we could not afford the phone, that many of our friends were locked into their phones and it was going to be over my dead body before I would add even more overhead expenses to our lives with no increase in income or savings to offset it.

However being a husband who loves his wife very much, I couldn’t just leave it at that. I was wondering how could I get my wife an iPhone without a 3 year plan and without paying for data. Then I had an epiphany, why couldn’t I just buy a used iPhone and swap it out on Kana’s account and then use wi-fi at home and free wi-fi where available when outside the home? Well that is exactly what I did. I found a used iPhone on UsedVictoria ( for $200.00 and then bought a SIM card from the Telus store for $10.00 at our local mall and came home, swapped it out on Kana’s Telus mobility account and WHAMO she now had a fairly decent iPhone for a capital cost of $210.00 and ongoing cost of $20/month for a total 3 year cost of $930.00. She uses SHAW wi-fi in the house that we already pay for and free wi-fi when she is out and about although she rarely requires internet when away from home.

Now some of you are out there and are already on contracts (commonly referred to as plans) and you can’t break them without paying a penalty. But you can turn off your data and just use free wi-fi where available and when your contract comes up for renewal ditch the contract and buy a used phone. Remember folks, this is TOTAL WAR on debt…you can’t afford a new phone, a 3 year contract and a data plan…so choose accordingly.