How to Determine If You Need a Cell Phone

First becoming mainstream in the 90s, cell phones have become a key essential in our high-tech world for many communication purposes. Many people have them due to a busy schedule. This article should hopefully help you on the way to deciding whether you need a cell phone.


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    Think of past situations that have required a cell phone, or would have been made easier with one. This can go from not having a camera to take a picture of something, or needing to call someone for an emergency.
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    Do any of your friends have cell phones? Do they actually use them? How often have you called your friends cell phone, only for it to go to the voice-mail? How often have you actually seen them using it? Chances are, if they don't need it, they probably just got one as a fashion statement, or gave in to peer pressure.
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    Think about your life right now, without or little usage of a cell phone. Chances are, you probably borrow someone's phone or use a home phone when you need to make a call. Are you getting by just fine, and secretly want a phone because your friends show off theirs to you?
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    If you have a very busy schedule, or rely on carpooling much and public transportation, the chances are good that a cell phone may be a good tool to have should something go wrong. What if your ride didn't show up due to an emergency? What if you are stuck somewhere due to a cancellation in plans?
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    Think about what you want and need in a cell phone, and go with just that. Make a chart or list with the necessary criteria. Look at your list and see what the reasons are. If your reasons go more along the lines of communication purposes (calling, texting, email, etc.) then you likely may find a cell phone very useful. If your list goes along the lines of how flashy and cool you want your cell phone to be, and more as a show off tool then you may quickly lose interest in your phone, and not use it very much.
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    Are your parents divorced where you go back and forth, or stay with only one parent for all/majority of the time? Do you often miss your dad/mom? Having your own phone would be a good way to connect without depending on your parent.
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    Decide. By now, you should have made a non-biased decision about whether or not you need a mobile phone. If you need a phone, try to discuss with your parents why you feel you need a cell phone, and show them all the work you have done. This shows maturity and responsibility. It is always a good idea to show specific phones that address the needs that you have. Try to find the cheapest one possible.
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    Evaluate your own behavior. Although you might need a phone, evaluate how you have dealt with valuable objects in the past. Have you always given your money to your parents because you've lost it in the past? Have you ever dropped an electrical item in the water? Your parents may use these against you, despite how impressed they are by the work you have put into this project. Consider your own age, as well. If you are under 11, there really shouldn't be any need for you to have a cell phone, unless your parents feel the contrary. Many parents have their own views on an appropriate age for you to get a cell phone (keep in mind that your generation is the first to have a cell phone as a child-your parents probably only got one very much later in life since cell phones came around in the 80's!)


  • Once you have your mobile with you, take it where you go. Follow reasonable cell phone etiquette and know when to keep it silent or off in different situations.
  • If all else fails, wait. There had to be a legitimate reason for not getting a phone- try setting a goal, such as getting straight A's in school, or working to pay for it yourself (parents love this).
  • Do not leave it in the car unattended. It could be stolen.
  • Offer different phones that you have found to fit your needs.
  • Read the reviews on a phone before you consider it-many flashy phones have proven to be horrible according to consumers!
  • Your parents are probably apt to give you a phone if you take an old or cheap phone for a year to show your care for the phone. Try starting out with a TracFone for a year or so, or even go with the pre-paid contracts.
  • Try going with a free phone that your cell phone carrier offers. They usually have very simple needs, and nothing fancy. Try to convince your parents of this if all fails.
  • Don't whine if your parents say no - there is probably a legitimate reason why.
  • If one website offers a phone for an expensive price, look for another website that offers it for cheaper. Good websites to use are Ebay, Amazon, and Price-Grabber.
  • If you just want a phone just to say you have a phone, isn't a good reason. If you feel like you really don't need one then why waste money on a phone. Most likely your parents will be paying for your phone if you don't have a job.


  • Depending on your phone, but regardless, cell phones are pretty expensive, and your parents will view you as irresponsible if you lose your phone or leave it somewhere.
  • Cell phones are very useful, but never use it while driving. In many states, it is a law that you cannot use your cell phone while driving a vehicle. While there are more causes for car accidents than just cell phone usage, (such as not wearing seatbelts, drinking, etc) many car accidents have been linked to cell phone usage. Don't text and drive, it's not cool, or safe. If someone calls you while driving, tell them you will call them back, and say that you are driving.
  • Follow all rules your parents/school set, including but not limited to lights out, texting minutes, and class use. You do not want your phone to be taken away.

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Categories: Money Management for Young People | Youth