Phone addict? How to save yourself a fortune

If you’re glued to the phone all the time, you have two problems- Impending insolvency and chronic time parasitism. Phone calls cost more than money, they cost irreplaceable time. Your best shot at declaring independence is a sort of time management program, combined with a selective approach to your usage. It’s like printing a picture- you buy pool pumps, but you decide when and why.

The problems

Case study: The phone is never inactive for more than 15 minutes. Every phone call uses up at least 5 minutes. That’s 20 minutes per hour, per day. In an 8 hour day you use up nearly 3 hours of it on phone calls. That’s an entire day, per week.

The problem is that some of the calls are actually useful. They just happen to be interfering with things like living, working, and personal space. In some cases they can even interfere with relationships. Even the most tolerant partner does expect to be more important than an appliance, at least some of the time.

The phone culture is evolving, thankfully. Even people on the other end of phones have got the message. The phone started as a type of personal status symbol for business people. It was fashionable to be running around yelling into lousy phones ten years ago. Now, it just looks stupid, and the 250 calls a day person is generally considered to be missing a few raisins in the fruit cake.

The money problems are less laughable. They can derail your social life all by themselves. Phone companies aren’t charities, and getting a nice financial hernia every month is definitely an acquired taste. Add a few apps, downloads, and you have the perfect recipe for having no life at all, financial or otherwise.

You’ll notice that all these situations are based on elements where you have little or no control, the phone is operating you more than you’re operating it, and those are the real problems.

The fixes

The fixes are simple:

Time usage: Turn the phone off during working hours and when you’re busy. That will remove most of your “reflex” calls, the people who will call you and spend an hour telling you they’re cutting their toenails.

Over spending: Switch to prepaid, or get some free hours on your phone plan, or simply lock in cheap contracts.

Apps, downloads, etc: Unless these apps cure bankruptcy, you can take them or leave them. Downloads have defined costs, ration yourself to only the best.

Don’t give people the impression they can just call anytime: No need to be brutal, but if they ring and it takes you a week to get back to them, they’ll get the message. This is gentle persuasion, carried a step further.

Disconnect the phone from the credit card: Use online payments, anything but the credit card. One automatic leech is less trouble than two.

phonesreview.co.uk Asks: Are you a phone addict? Do you agree or disagree with the above?

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