The actual act of having them disconnected was easy. We had service through Metro PCS, where everything is pre-paid, month-to-month with no contract. If you don't want service, don't pay for the next month. The mental adjustment, however, took some getting used to. I found myself reaching for my phone constantly. Even when I had a landline phone easily available, the immediate reaction was to reach for the cell. I found myself running late for work, or late coming home from work, and in a panic because I couldn't call to let anyone know. It was second nature to call hubby and say, "Hey, I'm at the store, taking a lot longer than I thought, don't worry about me!"
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When I'm at work, I'm within arm's reach of a telephone at all times. At home, we found a wonderful solution that is enormously cheaper than a cell phone or a traditional landline. We use Skype, which works through the internet, and costs us a whopping $20 for an entire year of service, both incoming and outgoing calls, and no charge for long distance. Skype can be used by attaching a headset with a microphone to your computer, but we did splurge and get Skype handsets, since this would be our primary means of communication. We were fortunate enough, though, to find them on sale at Wal-mart.
The biggest adjustment for me was that I had to plan a little better. If I think I am going to be late for work, I call my co-worker from the home phone and let her know that there is a chance I may be late. If I am not coming directly home from work, I decide ahead of time where I am going and approximately how long I will be there, and call hubby from the phone at work to let him know so that he doesn't worry. If I leave the house when the family isn't home, I leave a note-- yes, a note on paper!-- to let them know where I am and when I expect to be home. It is inconvenient that I can't call hubby at the store when I suddenly realize that we need milk, and it's not so great when I am driving somewhere that I have never been before and I get lost. Other than on those rare occasions, I don't even miss it.
I still keep my cell phone around because it has that nifty phone book full of all my contacts, but it's not in service. It also serves as my daily alarm clock. An important thing to remember is that Skype does not have 911 service, so if you should choose to ditch the cell phone service, do keep a charged cell phone around, just in case. Even with no service, a charged cell phone will be able to complete a call to 911.By using it as an alarm clock, it ensures that I do keep it charged and handy. Safety first, you know.
What started out as a temporary act of frugality has become a normal way of life. We could turn our cell phones back on. As it turns out, we're fine without them! It is fun to see the look of surprise on the faces of our friends when we explain that we will meet them at the restaurant, but that they should come on in and look for us in the dining room, because we won't be calling them when we get there. They cannot fathom how we get through life without cell phones! We just smile. We're doing okay.