Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby ruffages » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:41 pm

Do your kids have a smartphone? How old are they? Why is do you think it's necessary?

Here is my situation. We have Verizon. They have TONS of smartphones for Free...FREE I say. Well, except for that pesky data plan you have to pay an extra $30/month. Right now we pay an extra $10 for Dyl because of the type of phone he has. He turns 18 in June and will be attending NDSU in September. He would like a smart phone. I'm leaning towards yes, getting him one. Chris is adamant that NO. He doesn't NEED one. So we are going back and forth between wants vs needs. I'm of the opinion that NO ONE NEEDS one, but they sure can make life more convenient. We all got along JUST fine without one. Dyl has been a pretty good kid. He has pulled himself out of that really ICKY age and become a responsible young man. He has a job and has offered to pay the difference in the data plan but Chris knows that we will eventually just say....don't worry about it (it's $20/month) which would be OUR fault, not his.

What gets me is the number of his friends who already have them and has me scratching my head. They're all on family plans so most likely mom and dad are paying for them. And it's not just his grade...I'm seeing smartphones in kids as young as Marissa (7th grade).

So..what say you?

Carolyn
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Cheryl » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:29 pm

18 I think I would say yes. A few of dd's friends (11-12) are getting iphones, or second ones after they lose their first. I say NO WAY. It is like giving them a computer in their bedroom. No control. Not sure when the 'right age' is...but by 18 and going off to college, they sure do make life easier :D
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Tara » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:54 pm

I LOVE my smart phone and doubt I could live without it! I would agree at 18, I would let him have it. Maybe have him pay the $20 a month for a while and then pay for the difference as part of a birthday or Christmas present? My girls are not typical in that while they have cell phones they NEVER use them. In fact if they would I could get rid of my land line, but I need to be able to reach them! They do have friends with iphones/smart phones which I think is ridiculous at such a young age. I mean what do they have to look forward to??

BTW, Carolyn - LOVE your new family photos. Your kids are getting so grown up. They are all beautiful/handsome!

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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Esther » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:23 pm

My older two boys and DH got smartphones (HTC evo's) a little over a year ago. So Matt was a senior and Ryan was a sophomore. And yes we do have a family plan so it's all part of the monthly fee.

Danny didn't get a cell phone until his birthday last May, when he turned 13. He probably was one of the last kids his age to get one, but you know what? He got it almost 6 mos/year earlier than his brothers did - they were 14. Edited to add, Danny and I do not have smart phones. He has a cute little samsung one.
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby sarah » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:46 pm

Johannah's had one for a few years. It's mostly because it was part of our family package. I think ours were originally BOGO :? She's the only one who even has a phone, although it's supposed to be a shared phone between her and Laura.
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Linda » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:14 pm

no smartphones here at all. Simon and DH have pay-as-you-go phones - Dh's has a camera, Simon's doesn't. The girls and I don't have mobile phones at all. Simon got his at 16 because he needed it to call for rides and to let us know when his bus was running late. Cathleen won't get one until we see a need - probably some time in high school, by the time she gets a drivers license for sure.
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby WorkingMomx3 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:16 am

Colin has one, I don't. He used to pay me lump sum up front for the data/text, but now he simply doesn't have the money. He knows he owes me.

DH won't let Duncan have a phone since he loses things - retainers, goggles, caps, even jammers sometimes. However, he hasn't lost his iPod (although he had one stolen). He did lose my phone which is why I'm stuck with this crappy LG ENV2.
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Nancy » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:59 am

My kids all have phones - but no smart phones. Though with Verizon, the options for a good deal on a non-smart phone are quickly fading away. Guess that's the route they want everyone to go.

I have told mine that when their contracts come up, if they want one, they can have one. But they have to pay for the phone and the data plan. My cell phone bill is too much already with five of us on it! I will pay for a cell phone for safety/security/me (to be able to talk to them) - but if they want the smart phone, they gotta pony up.
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby wanda » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:30 am

There are no smart phones in our family.

Would I love one? Yes, but I am so tired of being nickled and dimed to death, adding little extras here and there. It is easy for me to see how many "extras" are now sort of "necessities" because I do remember what expenses we looked at before retirement. Then only regarding one item, phone was budgeted for about $30. Now, house pnone is lumped in with cable and internet (which was once $20) and is presently $150 ish. Cells were not budgeted at all and are now $150 ish. What was once $50 is now $300. Geez!
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Sue » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:32 am

I don't think an 18 year old nearly college kid having a smartphone is a big deal, but I would have him pay for the difference.

My college kids have $25/month Virgin Mobile smartphone no-contract deals (they are grandfathered in, it's $35 for new customers). They paid for the phones and I transfer $10/month toward it (which is what I was paying for them on the family plan). They pay the bills, the phones are in their names etc.

The HS kids each have no-contract text/talk plans.
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Sue » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:35 am

wanda wrote:What was once $50 is now $300. Geez!

Word to that! I also have a $15/month no contract cell that my HS kids have. It's fine for what I need, I can't justify $100/month for a computer in my pocket! And the taxes/fees add up so fast. With the no-contract phones it's sales tax only, so the $15 plan is $15.77, not $23.85!
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby ruffages » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:20 am

See...that's the tough part. My contract and Alaina's is up. We can walk away and do something else (which is what I'm considering). Dyl's contract is not up until June but I could take over his contract and let him get a no contract smartphone now (which can be a WAY better deal but will also limit him on the type of actual phone he can have and my research thus far has shown that none of the no contract phones are 4G). Right now, NONE of us have smartphones (5) and our cell phone bill is over $200/month ($231 this month, 217 last).

I'm torn because going ahead with the "good" phone which is "free" will cost us more in the long run and will lock us into Verizon for 2 more years (although Chris and Marissa ARE locked in since last Nov when he dropped his phone in the toilet and decided that at 13 Marissa should have a phone, 11 months before the older two got them).

I keep hoping that one of the carriers will make having smart phone more affordable, or at least dial back the cost of the data plans, because, c'mon...$30 EXTRA to have data that you might or might not use (BTW...I have a $10 data plan that gives me 25 M of data/month and I am never even CLOSE to that...which isn't to say that I wouldn't be if I had a smartphone).

And yes...I snuck that in there. I want one too. Sigh...

Tara...thank you. Having your oldest graduate is a bit of a shocker when you simply do not consider yourself old enough to have a college student. Must.find.a.way.to.adjust.

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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Sue » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:32 am

ruffages wrote:See...that's the tough part. My contract and Alaina's is up. We can walk away and do something else (which is what I'm considering). Dyl's contract is not up until June

We were similarly locked in at Sprint and were paying like $125 or so for five VOICE ONLY phones. I waited out the contract and let that bad boy go in a heartbeat. I put all the costs in a spreadsheet (cuz that's what I do LOL!) and figured it out over 2 years ... including if we bought the phones for the no-contract deals. It was considerably cheaper to go no-contract. That $35/month Virgin Mobile deal isn't bad at all, you can get a decent phone for $100 online.

If I was you, I'd go with Virgin Mobile for me (er, you), get Alaina a no-contract unlimited text plan. And I'd have Dylan keep his phone for a few more months to let the contract expire and see what's available then. He'll still have a new phone before he leaves, getting him one now doesn't make sense imho.

I figured that so much had changed in the 2 years since we signed the initial contract, just imagine how much will change in the next two years. Do you really want to be locked in when the latest/greatest George Jetson thing comes along?
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby ruffages » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:49 am

Sue wrote:I figured that so much had changed in the 2 years since we signed the initial contract, just imagine how much will change in the next two years. Do you really want to be locked in when the latest/greatest George Jetson thing comes along?


My issue is that it typically takes me FOREVAH to decide jump on the band wagon and by then, well, the headliner is done and the polka is playing.

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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Tina » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:35 am

No, we all have "stupid" phones. LOL. Dh and I each have a $15/month plan that has no minutes (.20/min if we actually use it) and 200 free text messages. We only use the phones when something important comes up. Mine is always in my purse, and Dh's is always in his car. Brett has an unlimited text plan with no minutes (.40/minute if he actually uses it), and Sean has no phone. Until he gets involved in school sports where he may have to contact us after school, there is no need for him to have one.
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Ashley Anne » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:51 pm

I have a smart phone that I write off for work (and is my work number). Dh uses his work-supplied phone (a Blackberry). He has an LG Rumor Touch on our home plan, which isn't a smart phone. Natalie carries that one to school (for my convenience -- our pick-up schedule is erratic) but it isn't really "hers". On our Sprint plan, a smart phone is an extra $10 a month.

Both of my 4th grader's best friends got iPhone 4s for their 9th birthdays. My 6th grader looked at me, disgusted, and said "My life is so unfair" HAHA.
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby RhondaS » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:05 pm

I've been through this argument with two of my kids already this year. The oldest, the one who could benefit from a smartphone decided against it when I told him he had to pay for the data plan. We'll happily pay for his phone while he is in school, but not the data plan. The poor working college kid decided there are better things he can do with his money.

Now the youngest, sigh. 8th grade, and a lot of her friends have iphones. I think it is crazy. Not to mention, she has an itouch, which does everything she wants, except be a phone. And she has a phone. I'm not paying extra when the itouch is free. She's argued and argued, but we are not giving in. Not even if she comes up with the money each month. I just do not think it is necessary to have something like that in high school (next year). So I'm a scrooge, but I'm ok with that.
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby JulieB » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:24 pm

Brooks (14) has a smart phone. Does he NEED one? No. But he has one anyway. He pays the $30/mo data plan by babysitting for us 2 Saturday nights a month.

Our school district lets (encouranges) middle school thru high school bring/use smart phones, ipads, laptops, etc at school for various things so he uses it for BYOD (bring your own device) days.
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Big Bean Burrito » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:02 pm

I swore I'd never pay the extra $30 but I was suckered in by the Netflix thing last summer when Tanner and I took our bus trip to NM. I don't know what I'd do without it now! I get my emails whenever I have time to check instead of trying to find time at night to sit down and read them. I use the internet on a daily basis just for random things. Troy has the $10 data plan that was required but he NEVER uses it. I don't think he would even know how but he wanted an actually keyboard and 2 years ago the only phone we could find with a keyboard required that $10.

Kids: Tanner is 13, almost 14 and almost 2 years ago when he got his phone I ACCIDENTLY got him a phone that required that $30. I had no clue until I went to activate it and told them I wanted the $14.99 data plan and they said the $30 plan was required, I had no choice. GRRRRRRR Does he need it, no way but it has came in handy. He does not pay since he's not old enough to work obviously but he does "pay" by helping out at home. He does not get an allowance and he MUST stay on the honor roll to keep the phone.

Megan is 11, almost 12. Just got her phone at christmas. No data plan. Doesn't need it and really doesn't want it. She just wanted to be able to text. Which she could on her ipod but I didn't want her carrying that thing around!

Personally I have no problem with an 18 yr old getting the data plan. Does he NEED it, probably not but it sure does come in handy!!

Off topic : Yeah on NDSU this fall :) I'm sitting here right now with my NDSU sweatshirt on! I actually took a picture of the score of the football game and it's my desktop picture on my computer LOL
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Re: Spinoff Deux: Smartphone=how old?

Postby Tara » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:11 pm

One more thing to consider... Before you renew (if you decide to) contract threaten to leave and ask to speak to the customer retention department. I never knew this existed until a friend told me several years ago. As a good customer (we pay about $200 a month for 5 phones (2 are smart phones) they didn't want me to leave. I negotiated $25 each months bill plus 10% off total. It isn't much but better than I would have gotten had I just kept going with the flow! I have Sprint. Each time I renew I make sure my "deal" continues!
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