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Old 09-13-2012, 03:25 PM   #16
chimilady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimalie View Post
I don't think people are shocked. I know I'm not. Saddened is more of an appropriate word. IT's sad that people think their cell phones and cable tv are more important to spend money on than necessities like food and electricity.
I agree.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:32 PM   #17
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I only see this as a problem if people are paying the money they should for necessities like food on these toys and then begging for help for the things they need. If you're on government assistance or taking handouts from a food pantry then no you should not have expensive luxuries. If on the other hand you pay you bills, and put food on the table and have enough left over, go for it!

It's all about choices. I choose not to be in debt, and to never spend more than I have. With the money I do have I choose what to spend it on. We do pay quite a bit for iphones for me and DH, but we're not TV people so we have no cable or satellite service, we get no TV reception at all. We pay 8 bucks a month so the kids can watch their Disney shows on netflix on our ancient, square, TV from 1997 There are some things I'm extremely frugal on and some things I choose to splurge on. As long as I have no debt, and am not taking handouts or asking for any assistance, I'm happy with my decisions
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:36 PM   #18
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In a new study, one in five adults said they pay more for their cell phone monthly than they do for groceries.

Furthermore, 33% responded they pay more in carrier monthly charges than they pay for utilities like electric, gas and water, 57% pay more than for cable, and the huge 71% pay more in cell phone bill than their home Internet service costs
I believe it.

And I am not flame-throwing, or anything, but every time cell phones (particularly, the prepaid stuff) appears on a post, you'll see one or two posts from a random DISer stating they have this "great" family plan that costs a couple of hundred bucks a month.

So, yes, paying $200+ per month for smartphones for the whole family definitely trumps your average utility bill...

I went prepaid a little less than 2 years ago -- haven't regretted it one bit!
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:38 PM   #19
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I'm too cheap to do that. BUT it didn't say that people are starving while they pay big $$ for cell phones. People like them, they use them to stay in contact, text, facebook. If that's what they want to do with their money. It's more of a statement on how cheap food is now. I don't have #s at the time, but I've seen that as a % of income food budgets have fallen quite a bit in the last 100/50/25 years.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:43 PM   #20
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My cell phone bill is $45 a month, no data, no smart phone.
My cell phone is also $45 a month -- with all the same bells and whistles everyone else is paying $100 a month for (and it's an Android utilizing the Verizon network). It just doesn't have the carrier's name embossed on the handset -- seems to me, people who choose phones over utilities/food have an obsession with name brands...
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:46 PM   #21
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Needs vs. Wants

I have a cell phone. We took out the home phone, so it is my family's primary phone and I do use it for work calls as well. My bill is $59 a month. DH has a cell via work. DS on a Tracfone but he is not a talker so I am getting off cheap there so far!

I really WANT an iphone. DS knows I would like one too, but he also knows my extra money for that is sunk into his trumpet rental and monthly guitar lessons. I think it is important to talk about needs and wants so your kids learn about economic decisions.

Since I am not getting an iphone, I've been reading up here on the DIS on cheaper cell phone options! Thanks a lot everyone!
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:48 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by leahjade View Post
In a new study, one in five adults said they pay more for their cell phone monthly than they do for groceries.

Furthermore, 33% responded they pay more in carrier monthly charges than they pay for utilities like electric, gas and water, 57% pay more than for cable, and the huge 71% pay more in cell phone bill than their home Internet service costs
So what? My Car costs more than all my utilities and cable combined. My car costs more than I spend a month on groceries. Does that mean something? A lot of us here spend more on our Disney vacation than we do on our retirement fund. Does that mean we are messed up?

That's the beauty of our system. It's my money. I get to spend it on whatever I want. And you get to spend your money on what you want. And Kim Kardashian can spend hers the way she wants.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:55 PM   #23
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I'm sure that there can be many interpretations of the study, based on who you are.

For example, I have a lot of young people work for me. Four or five young people share a house.....their share of the utilities will be low. They go to Starbucks for breakfast and take some fruit and granola bars for lunch, or a sandwich, and maybe eat at mom and dads for dinner, or go out with friends. Of course their grocery bill will be lower.

Now if you interviewed me....I have 2 kids left at home and a bigger middle class house. We have a family cell phone plan for five and it includes 4 smart phones. It may be more than my electric bill. Who really cares?

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Old 09-13-2012, 04:31 PM   #24
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Huh?

The rising cost of gasoline, health care, medical deductibles, and the need to fund retirements doesn't contribute to the problems most people are having in managing their cash?

Cell phones? Gimme a break.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leahjade View Post
In a new study, one in five adults said they pay more for their cell phone monthly than they do for groceries.

Furthermore, 33% responded they pay more in carrier monthly charges than they pay for utilities like electric, gas and water, 57% pay more than for cable, and the huge 71% pay more in cell phone bill than their home Internet service costs
Hmm, I have to think about this... Our cell phone bill is our largest utility bill in the summer, but during the winter when the heat is running gas and electric edge it out by a bit. But none of our utilities cost more than a week's groceries and our cell phone bill isn't especially high, our other bills are just relatively low. Only the cell phone and the winter bills for both heating utilities ever top more than $100/mo.

Paying more for a cell phone than for home internet is a no-brainer; our home internet (high speed) costs $30/mo. Even a cheap pre-paid phone often costs more than that!
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #26
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I think you will also find that technology bills vary dramatically from state to state and region to region. Basic cable in my town is over $125 and rising. That's basic....nothing enhanced, no HBO, digital, or Showtime. In speaking with others, cable is significantly cheaper in other parts of the country.

These companies are smart enough to realize that different areas can support different price points.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:00 PM   #27
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If you want to explain American financial woes...


(an incomplete snapshot, since it omits energy and food prices which only compound the problem of flat incomes)

But that's not a popular explanation because there's no "personal responsibility" blame-game to play, and we all want to believe that our decisions are the sole determination of success or failure.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #28
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For those who are saying so what and what does this mean?

To me, at least, it is showing necessities vs. luxuries and where they are falling. Now one aspect I would like to have seen addressed is whether or not they have cc debt or other.

Cell phones - ALMOST entirely are a luxury and even fewer data plans on them can come close to being considered even somewhat needed. I know many, MANY parents of older teens/young adults who say their child cannot afford to move out OR afford to pay their own car insurance. And then I follow it up with 'But does he/she own a phone and a data plan?'. Need vs. want. For whatever reason this is a luxury that many are not willing to give up, even if it for a necessity like food.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:20 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkin View Post
I would have to have some Cadillac cell phone plan to pay more than I do in groceries. My FIOS bundle which includes home phone (with voicemail, TV, and cell phones for 4 with 3 data plans) costs less than my WEEKLY groceries.

Maybe we just eat too much
I was going to ask that very same question. How much is your grocery bill? Because our FIOS bundle is more than our weekly grocery bill. We have home internet, cable television, home phone, and 4 dumb cell phones (no data),

But we spend less than $100 a week on groceries.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:38 PM   #30
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For those who are saying so what and what does this mean?

To me, at least, it is showing necessities vs. luxuries and where they are falling. Now one aspect I would like to have seen addressed is whether or not they have cc debt or other.
As was pointed out earlier, the parameters, ages, location and living situations of those surveyed make a huge difference.

Surveys can easily be skewed to say whatever you want them to say.

Cell phones haven't been the cause of financial woes in this country. Like Colleen showed, flat incomes combined with rising costs of everything greatly contributed to the financial problems.
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