UNITED STATES—I recently had an upgrade opportunity for my mobile service, not in particular my phone, but my iPad. I have had my iPad mini for close to a decade. It still works perfectly and I had no intention of getting rid of it because it works perfectly. The only issue was that a lot of apps that I previously used or wanted to use were no longer operating because I needed a particular software update on the device, which my model was outdated.

I had spoken to many employees at my provider, who I will not discuss, but they told me yup, you qualify to get a new model; you just have to pay the activation fee and taxes. Ok. Seems easy, and man when I tell you it was easy, I mean easy. I thought I was going to be in the establishment for at least two hours. It seems whenever I get a new cellphone that process is never ending and takes forever to complete. Last time I got a new cellphone I was at the establishment for nearly three hours.

Not with my latest iPad. I came into the establishment had the associates show me a few different models and made my decision. I would not call myself cheap, but I am frugal when it comes to spending money because let’s face it; we all have to save anyway that we can. As a result, I got the iPad Nine generation, I could have gotten the 10th generation, but there was not much of a difference, except for a button on one device and not on the other.

The thing that was important to me was the price of the device and the cost I would be paying each month as part of an installment plan on my bill. I mean when you have options like that why would you not take advantage of them. The regular price for the device was around $500 when you’re including taxes. The newer model costs about $700 (that’s a $200 difference), and if I wanted the newest device that was over $1,000. Why spend more if I don’t have to? I am not, that’s probably why I don’t have an iPhone nor will I ever. A $1,000 for a phone!? No thank you, not happening.

With the installment plan it is about an extra $15 on my phone bill each month, which I know I can afford. Within 25-30 minutes I was out the door with my new device and I absolutely love it. I do have to get a new screen protector, but I was NOT paying $70 for a single sheet. Nope, it is not happening. Then the case would have been close to $100. If I had gotten all those things I would have been paying $700 to $800, and that is just stupid, when I can go to Best Buy and get a case for under $30, and a screen protector for about the same price if not cheaper. Sometimes the payment plan is great for large purchases, not so much on small purchases, especially when you can get them way cheaper.

I’m sure I’m going to end up paying off my device a lot sooner just because I like the notion of knowing the device is paid off, and it is not contributing to a higher price on my mobile bill that just decreased by about $8 per month. One thing I can say about my provider is that they provide top-tier customer service, my rates are always affordable and I NEVER have to worry about losing my service like some customers saw last week with AT&T.

There are providers out there that want to ensure you have the latest tech and it doesn’t break the bank in a massive way, so if you can manage to afford it, why not treat yourself. I have a bigger screen, way more GB space than previously and I can utilize a lot more apps that I previously could use because of the outdated software system. Life doesn’t get any better than this.

Written By Jason Jones