When Your Cell Phone Bill is Higher than your Rent (Thanks Canada)

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Sometimes you try to stay within a budget, you see where you can cut back, you make certain adjustments, and all in all you think you are making some progress — and then another thing happens and makes you realize, once again, that most things in life (mistakes and otherwise) are learnt from experience. And like all experiences, hopefully we can look at it and make sure it never happens again. For me, this came in the mail 2 weeks ago, and proved to be the biggest monthly cell phone I have ever had. (Like in my life) And while I am contractually bound to stay in my cell phone plan (or pay a lot to get out of it, also not worth it), I can hopefully adjust to ensure this never, ever happens again. And so, here is the process I went to after getting the bill, and becoming enlightened cell phone customer #489,345,932.

1. Open the bill. Read the bill.

2. Read the bill again, this can’t be right?

3. Read the bill again, like, all 6 pages including all fine print.

4. Realized I should have updated my address sooner, as I missed some of the previous month’s payment.

5. Realized I really shouldn’t of boughten that brand new cell phone the week before. (My phone may have been broken beyond repair, however a cheaper one could have been had from buying on-line)

6. Realized I should never, ever use my cell phone outside the border, and if I do, I should call Bell (my cell phone carrier) ahead of time, to pay for a package to use my phone abroad, if so package exists.

7. Call the cell phone company, hope the CSR is as shocked by my bill as I am. (She was, and gave me $300 off) Not amazing, but I took it.

8. Re-prioritize debt repayment.

Other take aways I would give is to check out some of the different carriers, and use the phone in moderation. More and more it is looking like internet phones are the way to go, especially for long distance, and cell phones for local calls — at least for us Canadians. What are your telecommunications borrow stories? And how did you deal with it? Share your experiences here!

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