Sunday, March 18

pay now, or pay for it later... it's up to you

There are a couple of items that, frankly, I don’t know if I could live without. The first being my computer obviously, and the second my phone. My cell phone is a great convenience, but could I live with out it? Sure. Do I want to? No.

The subject of kids and cell phones has come up several times in conversation with various people over the past few months. My neighbor’s teen son (age 13) was given a cell phone for Christmas and added to his family’s shared minutes plan. If there’s any kid out there that I believe would be deserving of and responsible enough to have a cell phone, it would be him. But still, I can’t help but wonder why a 13 year old needs a cell phone in the first place.

Another neighbor was saying her boys wanted cell phones because “all their friends have them”. Yeah – not a good enough reason. She goes as far as telling them to stop using their friend’s cell phones to call her, and to not call her cell phone unless it’s an emergency since her number is a different area code and there are charges from any phone to call it.

So, we started talking about prepaid phones. You know – the one’s that have no contracts, no hidden fees. And you can keep tabs on how many minutes you’re actually on the phone. If (and that’s a big IF in my book) a kid should have a cell phone, this would definitely be the route I’d go. You can put as little as $10 at a time on some plans, which is something kids themselves could actually afford to do if they saved up their allowance. Of course, the more you preload, the cheaper the per minute rate, but there are still a lot of options.

There’s no reason for my kid to have a cell phone, prepaid or not. But if you’re trying to decide whether to get your kid a phone, and whether they’re responsible enough to not use all your shared minutes in the first week of the month, take a look at the prepaid phone option. It might be just what you’re looking for.


Elizabeth said...

Great post, Lisa! Keep it up! And I have thought about getting my extremely responsible ten year old a pre-paid phone for the summer, because he is always going off on bike rides with friends and I have no idea where he is. I'd feel a lot better if he could call if he needed help.

Stacie said...

I'll tell you what, the prepaid phones are really nice. I still think that there needs to be a reason for a kid to have it, but hey, what's the difference between giving your kid a walkie talkie and a phone for the summer? Elizabeth brings up an excellent point. Thanks for the thoughts...