We’re Technologically Challenged, And Lovin’ Every Minute Of It

Have you ever considered that you might just be able to get by without upgrading your mobile phone every time Apple announces the latest iCraze? Don’t worry if you haven’t considered this yet, I, too, was once that person. I am embarrassed to admit that I used to partake in pre-order sales for the latest technological trend. *gasp* These days we tend to partake in a different kind of trend. A few years ago Mr. MMM and I decided we were going to radically change our lives to live more simply in an effort to save an abundance of our incomes towards our common goal of financial independence. We have since decided that living a live of what others might call technologically challenged, is partially what is allowing us to reach our goal.

We Don’t Have New Mobile Phones



Our computers aren’t new either! My laptop (pictured here) is >5 years old.

It’s true, our mobile phones are old. I do admit to us having iPhones, but that’s a vestige from a previous time…a time when we would pre-order our iPhones as soon as Steve Jobs or Tim Cook would step out onto that iconic stage to announce the next iCraze.

After committing ourselves to reaching financial independence a couple years ago, we quickly realized that the latest iPhone typically only had a few new or upgraded features – features that didn’t necessarily wow us. So, we decided it wasn’t worth the expense to continue to upgrade our mobile phones every year.

And guess what! We’re actually happier with our old phones than we were with our expensive, upgraded new ones. We feel empowered making a decision in favor of our financial future as opposed to satisfying our childhood, vestidial consumeristic tendencies to always buy bigger and better.

Our iPads Are Generations Old



Generation 2, circa 2012

Not surprisingly, since we avoid tapping our resources to engage in the upgrade mentality of most when it comes to our mobile phones, this has spilled over to our iPads as well. Our iPads are WiFi only since we refused to spend extra to buy the data/WiFi devices; hence, saving on our monthly data. In a worst case scenario we can always tether our iPads to our iPhones to share data over WiFi. This has worked superbly and we haven’t experienced one moment of inconvenience by not going for the data/WiFi iPads.

Did I mention our iPads are generations old? This probably goes without saying but since this post is all about how we live a supremely happy, technologically-challenged life, it definitely deserves a mention. Our iPads are both Generation 2. Yes, Generation 2. That means they’re both circa 2012. So far, we haven’t noticed how deprived we are by not having whatever Generation Apple is up to these days. If you do actually know, leave a comment and tell me. I wouldn’t mind knowing, just out of curiosity :).

Our Mobile Data Plan Isn’t Impressing Anyone


If you made it this far, you should be expecting what I’m about to say. Although we’re still on one of the big carriers, we pay very little each month for our mobile service. In fact, we have the lowest data plan possible at 2 GB/month. And, we even have my mother on our plan. That makes for 3 iPhones using less than 2 GB/month.

At first we thought it would be difficult to curb our data usage from 8 GB/month down to 2, but again, it was surprisingly easy. By just making a few tweaks here and there, we didn’t mind the reduction at all, and we even roll over data each month! Boom!

We Cancelled Cable TV Years Ago


Up until a few years ago, I was still paying an arm and a leg for the ultimate HDTV package with hundreds of channels I never even watched. In fact, I rarely ever turned on my TV before I had Mini Monster. As a single gal, I can remember going for weeks at a time without ever picking up the remote.

Since our habits were such that TV has never been a major priority – and I might add – we’re not huge sports fans*. We cut the cord and have never looked back. Mini never even noticed the extreme cost-savings measure. We do still pay for Internet access. After all, how else would I bring you all Mad Money Monster? Mr. MMM also works from home so we need the Internet. However, I must state that even though we have the Internet, we have the slowest package our cable company offers. No Fios here. And we have never had any issues with downloads or streaming.

In lieu of cable, we utilize a Netflix streaming account and YouTube to satiate most of our TV viewing desires.

*I understand being a sports fan can hinder one’s motivation to cancel their cable TV.

Our Cars Aren’t New


Our cars

Our cars don’t have the latest bells and whistles…but they get us around town!

I kinda feel like I could’ve stopped this post by now since I’m sure you all are getting the idea of how we live a fabulous, technologically-challenged lifestyle, but I figured I throw in a few extra examples for good measure.

No surprise again, our cars aren’t new. We both purchased our cars in 2014. These purchases preceded our engagement/marriage and our commitment to financial independence, but we still bought used. We own both of our vehicles free and clear and they’re both in excellent condition. We sport around in a Mazda 3 and a Nissan Juke and we love every minute of it. Even though these aren’t our dream cars, we have every intention of keeping these cars until the cows come home. I have no idea what that expression means, but since we live in Lancaster, PA, I figured it was appropriate.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering what our dream cars are, I’ll clue you in. Mine is a BMW and Mr. MMM’s is a big pick-up truck. It’s definitely nice to dream, but this dream ain’t comin’ to fruition anytime in the foreseeable future, if ever. And we’re okay with that.

We Don’t Own Beats Earbuds



A $10 pair of earbuds that we share

I cannot believe the amount of money that is spent on earphones/earbuds. I’m sure you all know how much Beats cost. If not, just let me tell you, they’re $100+. I’m not saying the quality isn’t amazing, I just can’t spend that much money on something I use so infrequently. I’m also guessing such awesome earphones aren’t meant to be used to listen to the latest ChooseFI podcast. Ha!

Instead of ultra expensive earbuds, Mr. MMM and I chose to purchase a single $10 pair from our local Kmart. At first we assumed we needed to buy a pair for each of us, but then our frugal instincts went into hyper drive and we realized we pretty much only use them while doing yard work. We decided right then and there that it was acceptable to purchase just one pair.  I cannot express the joy we each experience while utilizing said earbuds when we’re doing our chores. #frugalscore

My Cooking Tools Were Given To Me By My Mother


Rolling pin

Our wooden, hand-me-down rolling pin. Thanks, Mom!

Kitchen tools are also technology! And this category of our lives is no different than any other. When we’re in the kitchen whipping up a batch of cookies for friends and family, you better believe we’re using the metal cookie cutters and wooden rolling pin that were handed down from my mom when I moved out on my own. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. Eating the same shape cookies I did as a kid doesn’t just save us a few bucks, it triggers my memory, which in turn, allows me to share my childhood stories with my own daughter.

Same thing applies to our wine and whiskey glasses. Our household sports the same glasses my mother received as a wedding gift many moons ago.

We’re living proof that not every kitchen cooking tool or wine glass needs to be purchased from a fancy party out of an overpriced catalog. Cheers!

Our technologically challenged lifestyle suits us just fine and we love the fact that it’s enabling us to reach financial independence sooner rather than later.

What about you? How do you roll when it comes to technology? Do you rush out to buy the latest technological craze? Or do you hold off on outlaying cash on new stuff until it’s absolutely necessary?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ryan Jul 11, 2017, 9:26 pm

    I’m weird. I thought cutting the cord would be tough, but it’s been several years and I couldn’t care less.

    … But I’m struggling not to take advantage of a phone upgrade on Amazon Prime Gimmick day at this very moment…
    Send help!

  • Ryan Jul 11, 2017, 9:25 pm

    I’m weird. I thought cutting the cord would be tough, but it’s been several years and I couldn’t care less.

    … But I’m struggling not to take advantage of a phone upgrade on Prime Gimmick day at this very moment…
    Send help!

    • Mad Money Monster Jul 12, 2017, 6:00 pm

      Ahhh…Yes, I’ve been getting Prime emails like crazy. I’ve been sending them straight to the trash can 🙂

  • Emily Jul 11, 2017, 12:41 pm

    I love hearing stories of people bucking technology and upgrade trends! I’m using an iphone 5C, and my data plan is 100 MB/month (which means I can’t have data on most of the time). This is more manageable than you might guess, but I’m losing steam and when this contract is up I think I’ll upgrade a teensy bit. Cell phone plan providers in Canada have some sort of cruel agreement where we collectively get ripped off. I envy the rest of the world!

    I would LOVE a new computer for photography, but also have the personal deal where I can’t buy it until I earn money from photography 🙂

    • Mad Money Monster Jul 12, 2017, 5:59 pm

      Love your personal deal! That’s definitely a good way to keep spending low.

      Yeah, we were totally shocked at how easy it was to give up our big data plans. I can’t believe we wasted so much money over the years!

  • Mrs. Groovy Jul 8, 2017, 3:53 pm

    I love your technologically challenged lifestyle!
    Old car, lots of scratches — no loan!…No cable, no smart TVs, (we use a Google Chromecast to get YouTube and Netflix).

    Wouldn’t it be nice if manufacturers like Apple did all their upgrades at once? No, they wait to “roll out” the new and improved version. I find it hard to believe they constantly “invent” new additions. It’s more like a ploy to withhold useful technology from the consumer in order to make them pay for it over and over again.

    • Mad Money Monster Jul 10, 2017, 1:03 pm

      It’s a great way to live 🙂

      I do hear that the iPhone 8 is going to be quite the smartphone – whatever that means. And I’m sure you’re right, they are likely withholding technology so they can roll out a new phone every 6 months. Oh, capitalism!

  • Martin- Get FIRE'd asap Jul 3, 2017, 6:30 pm

    Windows 10 killed my last laptop and I had no choice but to upgrade. And most annoyingly I loved the size of my old lappy as it was small and very portable. When I came to upgrade the only alternative, size wise, is one of those multi-task tablets such as the Surface Pro but they’re so expensive. So now I have a huge laptop again cos it had good specs but it’s certainly not compact but the price was right. Then my 4 year old iPhone crapped out. This time Apple wasn’t getting my money so bought a medium cost Samsung which does way more than my iPhone at 1/3 the price.

    Great work for not following the tech trends anymore. It really is a case of keeping up with everyone else in most cases so good on ya for bucking the trend. Not sure if I’d share ear buds though, especially at 10 bucks apiece lol.

    • Mad Money Monster Jul 3, 2017, 7:17 pm

      Haha…I know sharing earbuds does sound kinda gross, but at least I’m only sharing with my husband. Better than sharing a toothbrush. We’re not that crazy 😛

      Good for you for not going after another iPhone. I’m not sure what we’ll do when ours finally crap out. Fingers crossed we won’t have to deal with that anytime soon.

  • Dads Dollars Debts Jul 3, 2017, 10:31 am

    Ha…we are in the same boat. About 5 minutes ago I was thinking how slow my lap top is. Still I won’t buy a new one unless my blog earns enough money too (right now the total earnings are $0).

    I love our cars that have no debt on them. Phones work great without upgrades.

    I feel like the days of massive upgrades is done and now they just tweet them a little bit anyway.

    Life is good with less tech and less stress for sure.

    • Mad Money Monster Jul 3, 2017, 12:30 pm

      I so agree with you! My laptop can be a bear, but I refuse to buy a new one. Just this morning I had to restart my PC just so I could do basic functions like checking my email.

      I like your goal of not buying a new computer until you make enough money from your blog. I should put the same stipulation on myself!

  • Lance @ My Strategic Dollar Jul 3, 2017, 10:17 am

    Love this! I’m pretty late to buy new devices. I actually just updated my phone and laptop because my older ones STOPPED WORKING lol so I had to.

    • Mad Money Monster Jul 3, 2017, 12:26 pm

      Yeah, we’re approaching that territory with our iPads not being able to update certain apps 🙂

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