In times gone by I remember desperately waiting for my phone contract to come to an end so I could upgrade to the latest phone, with the better camera and bigger screen. The last few weeks of waiting were always the worst. Like, can’t I pay extra and upgrade NOW?!
This time is different. I can upgrade in March, but I’m not going to. Why? I’ve thought long and hard about this first world problem and here are my reasons for not upgrading:
Phone upgrades aren’t as exciting as they used to be
Sorry tech lovers. Going from a phone with no camera to a phone with a camera was BIG. Going from a phone with a keyboard to a touch screen was BIG. Going from an 8MP camera to a 12MP camera is not big. Going from a phone without Siri to a phone with Siri is just annoying. Who even uses it?
Maybe upgrades would be more appreciated and more beneficial if we upgraded on a less frequent basis.
My current contract with Vodafone is 24 months long costing £48.50 per month. That means when my contract comes to an end I will have spent £1164.00 over the last two years. CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY MONEY. That’s the same as working full time for 4 weeks on the UK’s living wage, just for a phone.
Current Contract: 24 months x £48.50 = £1164.00
To reduce costs, I plan on getting an equivalent sim only contract for £17 a month. That works out at £408 for 24 months, which means I will save £756 over two years. I will keep my current phone and if I do need to upgrade, I will buy a second hand one or an outdated new phone, which will cost significantly less than the £756 difference.
Sim Only Contract: 24 months x £17.00 = £408.00
Don’t get me wrong, my original phone contract did serve a purpose. That purpose was to spread the cost of a new phone over 24 months, making it affordable for me.
The process of automatically upgrading at the end of every contract is the problem. A problem that is costing us excessive money and time, which could be spent with more care and more consideration. Our phones aren’t nearly as crucial as we like to think they are and this just adds to the lunacy of our upgrade culture.