I could probably tell you who out of my friend group has an Android phone instead of an iPhone. I have an iPhone so when I text a friend who has an Android, the text message bubbles are green, not blue. In this way, my world is divided – between blue texts and green texts, iPhones and Androids.
But there’s a third party trying to edge its way into this division with a mighty force – flip phones. Now, I know, it seems strange to go backward in technological advances, and on the one hand, it is strange. But making the switch from a smartphone to a flip phone may be the next financial tend.
Billionaire Warren Buffett has publicly stated his commitment to his flip phone. And he’s not the only one! Flip phone sales have increased recently (sales tripled from 2015 to 2016) and it’s not only because of the cost savings.
Just buying a flip phone (not including service) will cost you anywhere from $10-$60, whereas an iPhone would be $350-$1,000. You also have to factor in all the iPhone “accessory” costs, like a case, new headphones, apps, extra cloud storage, and data charges. Many people have started financing and insuring their phones just so they can have the latest version. Clearly, a flip phone will save you hundreds of dollars up front and over the year in service charges.
The extra cash you have in your bank account every month could be spent paying off debt, saving, building a retirement fund, giving generously, and (especially if you’re Warren Buffett), investing. Financial margin is a key to financial freedom, so when you’re looking at what costs you can cut, your smartphone may be a good candidate.
It may help you pursue the command in Hebrews 13:5 to Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
There’s another indirect benefit to a flip phone saving you money. Part of the reason many Americans overspend is to “Keep up with the Joneses”. We inundate ourselves with how great other people’s lives are by scrolling through social media feeds for hours a day. This practice can lead to a great deal of unhappiness, anxiety, and comparison. And that comparison not only steals our joy but also a lot of our money. We’re told that for a certain cost, you can look like this, live like this, and feel like this. In order to buy a certain lifestyle or “brand”, many people have gone into overwhelming credit card debt. They now live in bondage to who they follow and the credit card company.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with overwhelming credit card debt, get in touch with Christian Credit Counselors. And remind yourself of the truths in Scripture:
Colossians 3:2 – Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Matthew 6:20-21 – …store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
There’s also another factor at play here. As more and more studies come out about the dangerous, addictive effects screens have on us, there’s an increasing awareness that we need to unplug. Studies have shown a direct correlation between less screen time and increased happiness in teenagers. And there’s no doubt that smartphones decrease productivity in the workplace (costing employers $15.5 billion)
Getting rid of your smartphone may save you hundreds of dollars, but it may also increase your productivity, happiness, and quality of relationships. The inability to check social media, constantly scroll through blogs, and read the latest headlines as they happen may give you more time to read Scripture, read books, and spend time with others.
Of course, there are some negative side effects to getting rid of your smartphone. In many ways, it seems almost unimaginable to go back to living circa 2007 before the iPhone revolutionized our lives. You’d have to have an actual map in your car to get around, listen to the radio or CD’s, and could only check social media from your computer…which is nearly impossible with Instagram.
Technology costs a lot of money, but it can save us a lot of money as well. Budgeting, money management, and an infinite number of financial resources can be accessed via our phones and mobile apps.
The switch to a flip phone may be advantageous in many ways, so take a look at your budget and consider it for yourself. Whatever kind of phone you decide to use, commit to pursuing and living in financial freedom. Crown’s Money Map can help you make and reach your financial goals while you learn biblical truths. When you download the Money Map, you’ll also receive the Money Map Get Started Guide to walk you through each step of the map!
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Is credit card debt causing you stress and strain? Christian Credit Counselors would like to help!