Technology is a wonderful thing. We have DVR's to record our favorite shows. We have satellite radio to allow us to hear high quality broadcasts. And, we now have Smartphone- iPhone, Blackberry, Palm & Droid - which allow us to communicate with anyone, anytime and virtually anywhere.
As a Financial Planner, I must admit though, this may not be as great a thing as people think. Yes, the new phones are convenience and offer flexibility. We can talk while we drive (some would argue this is NOT a good thing). Check emails sitting on the beach. And, even use the phone to listen to music, watch movies or get directions (GPS).
All this convenience comes at a price! My late father would surely say, "How did I manage all these years without a smart phone?" Not only do you have to buy a phone. The monthly service fee is the killer. When I last checked, a Blackberry with Verizon service started at $89.99 per month or $1,080 per year before taxes. Ouch! It's bad enough my cable provider charges me just about $1,000 per year. I like annuities that pay me, not cost me!
You can then get killer applications.... or apps... as they are known. They make it even easier to spend money. Starbucks, Gap, Avis, Pizza Hut and eBay all offer customized programs to... dare I say it... increase their bottom line.
Unfortunately, an increase in their sales is generally a decrease in your savings.
Smartphones are a wonderful innovation. They are compact, can increase work productivity and offer the 'cool' factor for some. But, don't kid yourselves... they can be expensive.