Another “I’ll never…” bites the dust

L“Mom? Uhm… Think I’m ready to come home now!”

Of course, being 9 years old, there’s all kinds of issues here. One problem is that I’m reasonbly sure this phone is going to get lost. Sooner rather than later, I’ll bet. The other issue is that, I can’t be 100% sure that she’ll forever get the idea that this phone is not to be used to chat it up with her friends. It’s to be used for me to contact her or her to contact me. If she wants to talk to her friends, we do actually have a landline phone she can use to her heart’s content. (Or at least until it’s time to do her homework or go to bed. LOL!)

So, after much debate, we finally got her one of those Tracfones. The particular model we got for her actually does text messaging, (so I can easily send her a text message to come home from her friends house at a specified time, if need be – and it only uses up 1/3 of a minute), it has voicemail, even a little camera. You buy minutes via a card (and actually the model phone we got doubles the minutes you buy for the life of the phone) – and if she uses up the minutes – that’s it – the phone stops working until we add more minutes. There’s no monthly or daily charge. And it’s not tied to our credit card. So no worries about a surprise $500 phone bill because she decided to sneak a few calls to some friends. And the phone itself only cost about $20. So while I really hope she doesn’t lose the phone – it’s only $20. It’s not like $200. And the phone? I mean for $20… that’s a pretty sweet deal – which is why I finally caved. I mean, I think I couldn’t get a decent walkie-talkie for only that much!

So yeah – I’m pretty sure only a few months ago I was saying “I would never buy my kid a cell phone!! Not until they’re at least 13 or something…” Yeah. Funny how circumstance will change things. That and the technology that can put out a $20 cell phone! 😉


  1. Mariann
    Feb 17, 2010

    I got a cell phone for my now-9-year old son about 14 months ago; he has a long bus ride to school (for an autism program) so it was important for him (and us) to stay in touch. It’s a basic phone, lumped in with our family account. We’re not too worried (yet) about text messages because he only has us to communicate with, but we’re ready to add on the unlimited plan when he gets older. So far, he’s been pretty good about keeping track of the phone save for a few occasions. He finds it amusing to ask people for their phone numbers, especially girls.

  2. Jenn
    Mar 4, 2010

    I bought my daughter a cell phone a year ago January (more so because I wanted to be able to communicate with her while she was at her dad’s for visitation and also because she was doing travel soccer.) I started out with a Go Phone from AT&T and it turned out to be a total waste of money because I was spending more per month than I would have if I had just added her to my plan! I bought insurance on the phone for like $5 a month so if she does lose it or kill it at least I don’t have to pay full non-contract price for a new one. Well, over a year passes and she decided she wanted a phone that had a QWERTY keyboard on it. So, she saved her money and bought a Go Phone and we just moved the SIM over and it works great! Anyway, I have to say I’m really surprised at how well she’s kept track of it. Don’t get me wrong it has been misplaced but nothing calling it to locate couldn’t fix. AT&T also has a tracking feature which I think I’ll be utilizing later in her teen years to determine if she’s really where she says she is and also to help her find the phone if it’s lost. I make her plug it in the same place every night and ask her every time we get into the car if she has her phone. Anyway, you aren’t alone with the phone earlier than you’d planned and I have to say I am SO grateful for it and hope you are too!

  3. Jennifer
    Mar 4, 2010

    Yeah – I have not regretted getting the phone. It’s come in handy on more than one occasion. She is not allowed to take it to school, because I don’t even want to go there – but I give it to her pretty much everytime we leave the house to go anywhere else. I’ve already used it to call her to tell her I was running late to pick her up from her cello lesson. I’ve spent $20 on a lot worse stuff than this – definitely money well spent.

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