Monday, March 23, 2009

leftover money!

Peanut and I did a rough budget for our life after we move in together, and we were pleasantly surprised. Rent on a slightly-larger-than-my-current-place, food, savings for visits to family and vacation, food, electronics, clothing, rental insurance, utilities, transportation, internet, gifts, household/toiletries, laundry, entertainment, and a really aggressive student loan repayment schedule still leaves us with $450 unallocated--which means we can totally afford to get iPhones if we wanted. We're still debating this [will we use them for more than fancy fun phones? (maybe) do we need them? (decidedly not) is spending around $200 per month on cell phone bills a good use of this money? (hmmm...) do we want them? (ooh, yes, shiny!)] but we do know now that it's an option. We also did this entire budget discussion at the laundromat, and managed to include every single budget category currently in our spreadsheet. I think this definitively proves that we are nerdier than your average bear.

Looks like you guys might be in for some serious contrast/comparison of our choices between the iPhone and a few other fancy phones or simple phones and the iPod Touch. Any personal experience (particularly with the monthly cost, which is our biggest concern) is appreciated.

While writing all this, I also realized that we could join a gym with the additional money that we have leftover each month! I would love to join a gym that offers lots of yoga classes, is located on my way home (meaning I don't have to go out of my way to get there), and is as otherwise as basic as possible. I think we know the perfect place (and Peanut gets a rebate from his job!) but we'll do some investigation in the next couple of months.

For now, I have homemade pizza for lunch and need to do some research on gifts for 11-year-old girls. LinkFest coming up soon!


  1. No helpful suggestions here, but I do have a friend who bought an i-phone and THEN realized he couldn't afford the monthly plans, so now all it does is make/receive calls. Hehe. I know that won't be you guys wit all the analysis you are doing.

    Personally, I'd rather blow $200/mo (or even $100/mo, assuming $100/mo for cheaper phones) on something other than an iphone... But that is a totally personal decision and you guys seem to be really excited about these phones! Good luck!

  2. M and I have an iphone family plan. We pay ~$117/mo for 550 anytime mins plus rollover (unlim weekend & mobile-to-mobile), and the data plan/200 texts each. I heavily use the data plan... I'm always looking up restaurants on yelp, nearby places of interest, movie times (or buying tickets), using wikipedia when I'm having an argument with someone (to prove my point ;)), plus I'm always checking my e-mail.

    I'm not a fan of apple in general, but I love the iphone. I was "meh" about the call quality in the beginning, but they've really improved it with a couple firmware updates. I love the apps... there are SO many to choose from; a lot of them are really cheap or free and very useful. The user interface is very intuitive. And I love having an ipod and phone in one.

    Oh, and we have the original iphones, not the 3G. Not enough of a difference to justify us upgrading.

    Anyway, let me know if you have any questions for me. :) I'm happy to help!

  3. @SP--that's what I'm afraid of, not expecting the gigantic monthly payment. I already pay around $80 for my Palm and associated data plans, and I'm not sure how much Peanut pays, but if we can keep it around what Sunflowers reports, that's not a huge stretch from where we already are, which is nice.

    @Sunflowers, thanks that was VERY helpful! I know how great it is to have constant email access (I've had a Palm for two years) but the iPhone is just....oooooh, shiny! Interestingly, I don't have an iPod and am not interested in getting an iPod just to have an iPod. I wonder if I'd use the iPhone for music at all.

  4. My hubby has an i-phone and just worships it! There are so many things you can do on it and with it... for me, i'm not interested, it takes too long to text with it and i just wouldn't use it enough to justify the cost. That said, he uses it so much, it's totally justified - plus it keeps him out of my hair!

  5. I have the original iPhone and it's been very love/hate. When it works, it's great to have email, internet, maps (oh how Google Maps has saved me!), and calling ability. Fantastic.

    But when it doesn't? It acts possessed.

    On a particularly bad day, it dropped over 30 calls. Some days, it doesn't bother to accept calls, so I never know I missed a call, and sometimes it loses voicemails.

    I've had to replace it three times, and this latest one has stopped the 30+ dropped calls business, but it still doesn't acknowledge calls at times, as recently as last week, and occasionally just freezes up or turns off all on its own.

    Sometimes it's just not worth the 50% premium that I pay when I can't get the basic functions. (My former cell phone bill was $45/month for twice the minutes and texts; now it's $65 for 450 mins and 200 texts.)

    It IS handy, though, to have all the apps in one device when it works. I would recommend getting the AppleCare plan if you do choose to get the phone, but it's a form of lifestyle inflation that is *hard* to wean off of. I'm having trouble convincing myself to go back to a normal phone when my contract is up. :)


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