Explains a lot of US citizens' financial woes

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by leahjade, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. leahjade

    leahjade DIS Veteran

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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
     
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  3. Princess Dolly

    Princess Dolly <font color=green>Unfortunately it encroached the

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    Our cell phone bill is less than a week's worth of groceries, around the same as cable, internet and home phone bundle and more than electricity, water and gas seperately, but less than them combined.
     
  4. mombrontrent

    mombrontrent DIS Veteran

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    Definatley not me. My kids, even the 13 year old do not have phones. I bought a pre-paid $100 card for my smartphone that I bought on kijiji for $150. That $100 card expires in a year, I doubt I will use it up by then. My DH's plan is covered by his work and we both don't have data plans. I realize this is not the norm but we are frugal when it comes to cell phones. Now groceries on the other hand........ we are at at least $1000/mth, what can I say we like expensive food and I rather spend my hard earned money on great healthy food.
     
  5. cari12

    cari12 DIS Veteran

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    We are in Canada but if I combine our cell phone/cable/internet/home phone, not more than our groceries but definitely more than utilities (gas/electricity).
     
  6. doris1976

    doris1976 Mouseketeer

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    Was paying 65 a month with T-Mobile. Being as my phone used a Sim card, I switched over to Straight Talk for around 48 a month. Not a lot, but every bit helps.
     
  7. furb & dez

    furb & dez City Bear Jamboreers

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    I think it mostly speaks to our (messed-up) priorities, and inability to budget wants vs. needs.

    Our economy is built this way; everyone is taught to spend, spend, spend, regardless of actual necessity. If we actually lived within our means, our economy would briefly though painfully collapse, and eventually a new normal would come about.
     
  8. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    So what's the problem? People put priorities where they want to place them. If folks think their cell phones are more important than food or lights, that's on them.

    Furb & dez, hit it on the head, our entire financial system is based on capitalism. In order for it to survive money must move and be exchange but I disagree with the other part. This is the new normal, not to sound flippant but people are not all of a sudden going to stop needing their cell phones or other gizmo's. the entire standard of living has shifted and to think we are all of a sudden going to go back to the 1960's is IMO ludicrous, not gonna happen.

    I don't see what the problem is. No one is holding guns to peoples heads to buy the new iphone. No one is forcing folks to charge trips to disney. some where along the line we've either been taught or we brought into the mantra that for a normal childhood a child must have a trip to disney is. We do it here. How many people post "help me convince my ____ to go to disney" whether it's due to financial or emotional reasons we find excuses to do what feels good, we support that and we propogate that notion.

    In the early 60's and 70's normal was a house about 1100 square feet. Now we have a new normal, a modest house is now considered twice that size.

    Horse is out the barn folks. No one is going to go back to using a typewriter no matter how much we try to force them.
     
  9. Swimalie

    Swimalie DIS Veteran

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    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.

    My cell phone bill is $45 a month, no data, no smart phone. My husband gets one for work so that is free to us. To me a cell phone isn't that important to spend money on.
     
  10. SaraJayne

    SaraJayne <font color=red>Stop moving those smilies! <img sr

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    I guess my reaction is "so"? :confused3

    People don't have a choice what they pay for utilities, as far as rates go (gas, water, etc). That stat means nothing to me.

    Yeah, I have an iphone (that I've been wanting for a couple years), but no, my monthly bill is nowhere near my grocery bill or utilities bill (added all together).
     
  11. SaraJayne

    SaraJayne <font color=red>Stop moving those smilies! <img sr

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    I'd be interested in a source for that study, please.
     
  12. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    It is sad, but we propogated this (when I say we, I mean society as a whole).

    Look at the tv ad's even in the midst of a huge recession and high unemployment, you see ads all the time "buy now, pay no interest or payment until 2015" Reports had it that last Christmas people still racked up almost 10 billion in credit card debt! why? because in our society, a happy Christmas is directly related to buying stuff. No one is going to limit little Jimmys toys even if they can't afford them.

    I'm just saying we've set a new standard of living and I doubt if we are going back. I remember reading that now the acceptable H.S. graduation gift is a car. :scared: a car!! with the price of tuition kids expect wheels when they graduate. :drive:

    I just don't see us going back
     
  13. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    Not sure if this is the article that Op saw SJ, but I saw this one a few days ago

    http://moneyland.time.com/2012/09/1...plenty-of-consumers-spend-more-on-the-latter/

    I didn't think it was surprising because I know folks who pay about 180 a month for the smartphones. Heck, I know a gal who monthly coughs up 250 for her starbucks addiction.
     
  14. MichiganKris

    MichiganKris Mouseketeer

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    I think this was from a survey done by CouponCabin. Time magazine did an article on their take on the survey. I can't figure out how to get a link to post here but just google pay more for cell phone bills than groceries. They think the survey is skewed because so many kids were surveyed and they don't pay for utilities or groceries.
     
  15. DisneyEater

    DisneyEater Mouseketeer

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    I guess I would have to understand the parameters of the survey. Does it take into account if I pay a family phone plan vs. only Mom and Dad having a phone. What if I am a single parent with only 1 phone in the home and hav 7 kids. Comparing the bills without comparing the situation doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    My phone bill is a little more than my utility bill because it is for 4 phones. If I had a pool maybe my utility bills would be higher. I just don't see a lot of value to this type of analysis.
     
  16. punkin

    punkin <font color=purple>Went through pain just to look

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    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 ;)
     
  17. chimilady

    chimilady DIS Veteran

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    I agree.
     
  18. nchulka

    nchulka <font color=purple>it was funny when the creepy gu

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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 :rotfl: 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 :)
     
  19. JB2K

    JB2K DIS Veteran

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    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!
     
  20. Soben

    Soben Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  21. JB2K

    JB2K DIS Veteran

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    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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