“I Tried It” is a series about testing happiness. Some of these trials are to save money, some are just to see what is possible. Going without now will help me achieve my other goals later, but its scary sometimes to make a permanent change. These are my adventures of just trying it out.
Remember back in the day (2007) when we didn’t have data plans? Were we all miserable when we couldn’t check Facebook at the grocery store?
Its amazing how quickly the hedonic treadmill works. I got the first generation iPhone when it first came out. That hunk-of-junk was amazing to me then. I had a little computer that fit in my pocket. Guys, check it out! I’ll make this picture bigger just by pinching my fingers on the screen! Wanna see what happens when I turn the screen sideways? Presto!
Of course all of those things are boring to me now.
By trying out living without a data plan, I have been able, to a degree, to transport myself back in time to appreciate the amazing technology I already have instead of complaining about how slow the connection is (which is probably 82 times faster than the EDGE connection I used to have).
And I’m saving money, to boot.
Time to Party Like it’s 2006
Had I not started studying financial independence, frugality, and happiness, I would’ve continued down this road of the SAB (standard American budget). But then I discovered there are other ways.
One way I found is through cell providers that are not the big four. My cell phone plan is $10/month + tax from Republic Wireless. I get unlimited talk and text, and data over any wifi connection. It runs on the Sprint network.
Had I saved $60 a month from not having a data plan for me and my wife since the iPhone came out, I’d have $8,271.04 with interest saved towards the freedom of financial independence.
But I wouldn’t have been able to check my email while I’m on a date with my wife.
My wife makes an iPhone work at around $10/month through a pre-paid cell provider, although that means she doesn’t have unlimited anything. Works for her.
I Tried It — It Worked
I tried going without a data plan, and I found out I’m not missing a lot. I actually ENJOY most of the time when I can’t look something up. Its relaxing, like having to turn off your electronic devices on an airplane (ok, being on an airplane isn’t that relaxing, but I hope you get the point).
Like other things I’ve tried, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. Especially when I realize that like a lot of other things, there are lots of options out there for getting things done.
If I do NEED to show someone that the dress is blue, not gold on my phone, there are some amazing FREE data plans all over the place. They’re called WiFi hotspots. I can just go to any Starbucks, McDonalds, Home Depot, Target, or every other place that offers free WiFi and win my arguments there.