We did it!
We actually got a smartphone.
Well, it's not actually smart yet as we don't have a plan for it... but we did buy an iPhone 5 from a friend who upgraded to an iPhone 6.
So many people are flabbergasted when I tell them that we don't have smartphones, and never have. But we never really saw the need to have one, and the whole foundation of our adult life together has been to live way, way below our means.
Our test was simple:
Do we need it? No.
Does it come with a monthly payment or bill? Yes.
Conclusion: Don't spend $ on stuff you don't need!
This test saw us through some tight financial times and helped us avoid financial worry and stress. Because of our low-cost lifestyle, I am about to pay off the last of my $50,000 of student debt this October. That's ahead of schedule. Waaaaaay ahead of schedule, actually-- woot, woot!
And things are changing around here.
My husband has a job now and we are a double income household for the first time in three years, but also for the first time ever abroad.
We were already doing fine with a single income household; we put Sean through his BA in education and traveled the world and pursued our hobbies.
Could we spend as much as others on random things like booze, dinners out, clothes and other stuff like smartphones?
No, but that was okay because we never felt like we were wanting for things we couldn't have.
Our lifestyle is minimalist, but that's just kinda who we are as individuals and as a couple.
But when I recently realized the benefits of being debt free and being a double income household, I decided: why not?
Because I had seen first hand how much fun (Instagram, anyone?) a smartphone could be as well, as how practical for someone like me who lives in another country and deals with a huge language barrier every single day.
On our scoot adventures, I plan on consulting Google Maps from now on instead of our confusing hand drawn ones.
When I cannot read a sign posted on the entrance of my apartment complex, I can now take a picture of it and get a translation.
Plus: hello Instagram!
While we did not need one before, I can certainly see the many benefits of owning one.
So, globetrotters and expats, what apps do you recommend??
What do you find most useful for travelling and navigating another culture/country??