Do You Have Tech Budget? RIM/BlackBerry Edition | The Frugalista

Do You Have Tech Budget? RIM/BlackBerry Edition

by frugalista on July 25, 2011

3575347235 fe3f88e670 225x300 Do You Have Tech Budget? RIM/BlackBerry EditionHello. My name is Natalie. And I have cell phone shame. I feel the need to confess this to you all. I use a BlackBerry phone. Yes, I know the President loves the Blackberry, but among bloggers, having a Blackberry is akin to rocking a Treo (which was my last phone). It’s not cool.

If you haven’t heard, RIM, the maker of BlackBerry cut some jobs today and is going through serious financial problems. I’m not surprised. BlackBerry hasn’t kept up with the sexiest of apps. I mean, if your phone doesn’t have a scan code, you could be missing out on great in-store deals by using shopping apps.I love the email function of the phone, but I find the BlackBerry stalling quite a bit. It’s just not cutting edge to me!

So, I’ve been rocking this BlackBerry because it’s paid for. I really didn’t want to get into another contract with my cell phone company, just to get a discount on another smart phone. Plus, my cell phone provider said it wants to add another $10 to my bill ($120 a year!) when I get a new smart phone. Um, hell no. I’m a faithful customer, so I will be doing some serious negotiation so I won’t have to pay that extra $10 per month.
I also didn’t want to pay $150 for a new phone when I have so much summer travel that I’m doing.

So, I’m trying to wait as long as I can (which isn’t much longer) before I jump into the world of Androids. My last job gave me an iPhone, so I was able to keep up with technology, but I don’t work there anymore and I don’t have access to the iPhone anymore.

So I say that everyone should have a technology budget in your yearly planning. With iPads, Galaxy Tablets and really hot new phones coming on the market yearly, you can’t live without it. I know I am working on a new technology budget. Sometimes it’s about staying current with the trends. I’m thinking I’ll be needing a new phone about once a year. If I wait longer than a year, I start feeling out of touch.

What do you think? Do you have a tech budget? If so, what is it? Do you need a tech budget? How much a year do you spend on gadgets?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Serge Lescouarnec July 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I had a factory refurbished Blackberry ‘Curve’ for a few years until it died after a fall in the soup (not of my making).
I now have an Android HTC Inspire (ATT). I chose the model because it was new, had decent reviews (except for battery slot) and cost me nothing as an upgrade (with new 2 year contract)…
I miss the physical keyboard from Blackberry even though I am getting better at touch keyboard.
On the blog platform side, I don’t understand why many blogging platforms don’t offer Android mobile apps.
As for tech budget, I don’t have one, i try to spend as little as i can on tech when I buy as it changes so fast and keep my tools for as long as they work.
Serge

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ShuggStarr July 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Personally, I believe a tech budget is very necessary…especially with cell phones. I have been researching and I know that being loyal to one cellular company does not benefit you in the long run. Technology and the market saturation causes cell phone companies to go into a frenzy when they are not able to keep up with the times. I know that the offer for buying a new phone regularly priced at $349 seems expensive, but it isn’t.
The company usually gives you a $200 subsidy which means that you take the phone home for $149 plus tax. Meanwhile, you are stuck paying a considerable amount say $70 for 24 months. Its ridiculous, because you have signed up to get an $8.33 per month discount off a phone that was marked up to begin with. Not to mention the Early Term fees (ranging from $150 – $375 depending on carrier) that you have to pay if another company has a more attractive offer: and all for saving $200 in the beginning.
I personally keep a $20/month cellular budget per household member to offset the need of having to sign a contract to save $200 on a new phone. I never sign contracts and always purchase my smartphones out right. This way, when a company like T-Mobile offers a deal like this: http://bit.ly/n4Hs84 I can have the option of choosing. Although this plan IS NOT for me, it keeps me with the option. This would be more of the option that I would use from AT&T: http://bit.ly/paewEQ They allow just about any phone to be prepaid…all it takes is putting your SIM card into another phone and viola!

I believe that prepaid is going to be the future of cellular. Recently companies like Verizon’s newly created Unleash, Talk America, & Walmart & T-Mobile are driving the industry to go that route. For example, take a look at these great plans at Walmart: http://bit.ly/nMITWc And all for no contract. Also, Walmart will begin selling the unlocked iPhone 4 in September, no contract for $349 once the iPhone 5 releases. So in summation, that means that if you budget out $20/month for fifteen months, you will have created your own subsidy, avoided signing a contract, and walk home with a pretty cool phone.

Sorry I’m so lengthy, but technology is my profession. I would like to know other’s thoughts on this too. Oh, and by the way Natalie, Sprint does not negotiate that “Premium Phone” extra charge. Its how they recoup the money back they give you in the subsidy.

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frugalista July 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm

@serge: So if you soup hadn’t swallowed your phone, you’d still be using the BlackBerry? Do you feel like you are ever left behind? I’d like to keep my phones, etc. forever, but also love to be current.
@Shugstar: So happy to have your awesome and informative comment on the site. I haven’t made the pitch to kill the premium phone charge, yet, but I sure will try. If that means I become subsidy free, then so be it. I am open to finding another carrier, too. I’ve had candid talks with them before that turned out well. I’ll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, I’m rolling with the BlackBerry!

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Andrea @SoOverDebt July 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I don’t have a tech budget, but I need to! I generally don’t buy a lot of stuff, but this year has been a frightening exception. I saved for each item until I had the money to pay for it in full, but it was kind of stressful and I’m not patient.

I’m a little embarrassed by how much I love my iPhone. I can’t imagine ever owning anything else.

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JD July 26, 2011 at 12:35 am

All good points. I’ve had an iphone since it’s first launch. However, wifey and I delayed getting the iphone 4 until a few weeks ago after doing some research on the 5 and the wife being tired of her cracked screen on her 3G. We missed a few upgrades in hardware (3GS), but did not really feel left out, due to Apple updates. I have not been interested in any other phone, but we certainly may implement a budget for our next phones.

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kica January 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I don’t have a tech budget, but I know one thing; when my Verizon contract is up I’m going to a no contract plan where I can get everything I have now (unlimited talk/text/data) at half the price. While the iPhone is VERY temping to me, saving 50-60 bucks a month is even MORE tempting.

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