This is definitely not going to be a popular frugal tip, but Frugal Friday at Life as Mom is about sharing how you and your family save money, so here goes...
You see, first of all, I am not a phone person. I usually prefer talking in person. However, in the past few years I had developed a very strong aversion to the phone that I could not explain.
I was an ESL teacher, one who was very passionate about her job and didn't know how to draw boundaries, especially in the beginning. I would always plan to not give my number to the families I worked with, but inevitably, things would come up and I'd "have" to. I had SO many phone calls to make, being the only Spanish speaking person at the school, that I had to make many of them from home on my cell phone. Even when I taught adult ESL, I found it VERY difficult to not give my number when a student asked. I really enjoyed my students and their families. I just was not realistic about how many people I could reasonably stay in touch with.
Are you beginning to see where the phone phobia began? I am a weird mix of introvert and extrovert. In a group you'll find me talking animatedly, and I make friends with new people easily. The problem is that I thrive on having alone time. I recoup by quiet time in which I do not have to talk to anyone but God and my husband at best.
Over time I began to loathe my cellphone. It was always ringing and I was always feeling bad for not answering or stressing about how many people I needed to call back. I finally made a decision to NOT answer it or call people back when with other friends and family or after 8:30 o 9:00 p.m. But I still felt bad.
As my husband and I were evaluating where our money was going, we continued to be annoyed at the huge cell phone bill. There was no way around it.
Finally I had an epiphany one day as we were driving back home from a long trip and instead of relaxing and enjoying the time with my husband, I was looking at my cell phone feeling bad about how many people I had to call back and wondering when I was going to do it. Suddenly it came to me how our culture along with the great convenience of cell phones, has developed an unhealthy expectation for others to be available at all times. People start complaining "You never answer your phone," as if one should be right there ready to talk to anyone at anytime, no matter what else they have going on. It struck me that I should NOT feel bad about it at all!
Well, now I'm a stay at home mom and my husband works 5 minutes walking distance from home. I'm not constantly on the road like before, so we did a drastic thing. We decided to pitch the cell phones and get a land-line!
You may think we're crazy, and yes we realize we're going back a century here, but CAN I TELL YOU the PEACE it's brought to our lives? I can BE where I am and suddenly, guess what? I don't mind it when the phone rings now. Amazing. We did get a cheap-o Track Phone for emergencies. If one of us is away from home we take it with us, but we will not give the number out!
Sometimes things we think we can't live without are things that we could actually live even better without! :)
(Note: if I were still working outside the home we would have not made this change!)