Smartphones can wreak havoc on your budget
There's a significant acquisition cost when buying a smartphone, as they're all varying degrees of pricey. But the bucks don't stop there -- data plans are increasingly expensive.
"Data becomes such a huge part of the package that a lot of people might prefer to just pay for a voice plan and say, 'I do not want any part of that data access because it is getting too expensive,'" Stein says.
While talk is cheap, literally -- who wants to talk on a phone these days? -- data plans get expensive, and they're somewhat redundant. The average U.S. household has 5.7 devices connected to the Internet, according to a March 2013 report from NPD Group, a global market research company. There are now more than a half-billion devices in U.S. homes connected to the Internet.
One option for consumers: Get a simple phone and a tablet with a cellular package.
"Those often cost less, and you can choose to turn it on and off. That way, you can sort of connect as much as you want, but then your phone is not the thing that is carrying all of that burden," Stein says.