Saturday, March 18, 2006

swings and roundabouts - part 2

all this to-ing and fro-ing had some parallels in a recent series of decisions i had to make. my mobile phone of 5+ years had been out of contract for a long time, and i had never gotten around to getting an upgrade of the phone and/or plan. i guess a big reason was that most of the plans available these days do not represent as much value for my usage patterns as the plan i was already on. however, since my contract was finished, i no longer had a phone to pay off, yet was still spending the same minimum monthly amount - that didn't quite make sense either.

and so, over the course of the last few weeks, i started doing some serious research into the current mobile market. i checked various service providers and resellers, and investigated their plans and avaialable phones. because there was no standout winner, i ummed and ahhed over a shortlist, and was almost excited to have discovered a solution which which i was sure would save me money. that was until i read the fine print on the terms and conditions of one of the plans that was part of my scheme, and that put a serious spanner in what i was proposing to do. my little scheme turned out to be too good to be true, and i was back to the drawing board.

on the spur of the moment, i decided to visit one more shop, and there i found new options to consider - a normally more expensive phone (and thus one which i had ruled out of consideration) available for free on a plan i could consider. and i found out that i could actually apply for a business plan (thanks to the ABN i got a few years ago but have never used), which meant cheaper rates! but i would lose access to yes time and yes weekend, which i've been holding onto these last few years. oh well, i was prepared for that from the beginning anyway.

after a bit more research, i decided that this represented the best deal, even though i wasn't sure whether i liked the phone all that much. and so i went in last week to sign the paperwork and get my new phone - a phone that was new enough and uncommon enough that would, as a FOM noted, draw comments a plenty every time i pull it out of my pocket. however, after about one night's playing with the phone, i concluded that i didn't like it enough to keep and use it. so i looked at selling it and using the money to buy the phone i was hoping to get in the first place... albeit one that was rather common among people i knew.

thinking through that decision a little more led to consider simpler phones... i don't really need an integrated camera (i have a dedicated and amply capable digital camera for this purpose), an mp3 player (haven't needed one so far, and can play mp3s on my PDA if i really wanted to), or radio and polyphonic ringtones etc. i just need a phone that can make and take calls. and i was surprised to find that there are actually some models out there that are just phones, and without all these additional bits and pieces. and they were cheap too, so i could have a fair bit left over in my pocket at the end of the day.

so then i started thinking what i could do with this excess, and remembered a request i had received earlier in the year for some financial support. i hadn't responded/committed to anything, but figured this "profit" may as well go towards meeting that need. then i realised that i don't really need a colour screen, and i already have a phone that just makes and takes calls, and it's still working ok (having survived being dropped in a bucket of water, and several falls onto concrete/cement surfaces)...

anyways. i've sold the new phone, and will use the proceeds as a medium of blessing. and i'll keep using my hardy nokia 6210... it took a while for the dazzle of technology and prestige to wear off on this self-confessed geek, but i'm glad that in the end i've been able to apply some of what i've been learning in "redefining success" (book by omar djoeandy, which my cell group has just finished reading) and the "cash values" bible study book. and i hope that my sharing about this does not come across as a 'sounding of the trumpets'... feel free to rebuke me if it is?

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