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Thursday, August 20, 2015

on buying & using my first iPhone ever

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.
A photo posted by Jacqueline (@jacquelineintaiwan) on
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!
A photo posted by Jacqueline (@jacquelineintaiwan) on
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?
A photo posted by Jacqueline (@jacquelineintaiwan) on
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! Can you tell I have been having way too much fun with it??
While we did not need one before, I can certainly see the many benefits of owning one.
A photo posted by Jacqueline (@jacquelineintaiwan) on
So, globetrotters and expats, what apps do you recommend??
What do you find most useful for travelling and navigating another culture/country??

Add your comment

  1. Hi! I can recommend 'Linqapp' to you! It's an app that will help you overcome all language barriers by connecting you with native speakers who assist you right away! Check it out here: www.linqapp.com (Full disclosure: I am working for them :)

    1. Haha sneaky advert. But then... I was going to do the same thing. Tinyurl.com/familygawk

    2. Well, as a smartphone newbie, I am interested in all of my options! Thanks!

  2. My husband and I have always been smartphone-less. I do agree that they have their practical uses--and his work would actually really like him to have one for work purposes, so he might be giving in pretty soon and buying a RedMi or HuaWei. I will still be stubbornly smartphone free, however. :P But then I can also benefit from him having a phone. The good thing is, here, you can have a pre-paid data plan instead of a monthly bill, which is nice because you just pay for whatever you use, and then once you've used it up, then you buy more. You don't necessarily have a monthly bill then, which I like.

    1. I feel guilty for caving. It's weird. I think I was proud that we did not need one, and we were not those people who were always, always connected. We'll see how it goes...

  3. Welcome to the digital age! Once you go down the rabbit hole, it's impossible going back... ;) I'm not a phone freak, but I do very much appreciate having map and translation functions right at my fingertips. Twitter is great for professional use; I'm connected to teachers all over the world. The other apps I use the most are iTunes podcasts, BBC news, Skype, the game HeadsUp and the Google suite. Now I'm adding you on Instagram!

    1. I love the idea of connecting with teachers from all around the world! How cool! And thanks for the suggestions. So far, all I have is social media ;)