Austin Johnston: A Sense of Independence

with 2 Comments

Austin JohnstonOne of my favorite things I’ve been able to do with money was something I did after finishing school, moving, and getting my first full-time job. I was out on my own, and I wanted to do something extra once I was independent.

I did the math, and while it may have been technically cheaper for me to stay on my parents’ family plan and they were not trying to kick me off, I wanted my own cell phone and plan. To me, having my own phone and being responsible for it was a symbol of my independence from the parental purse-strings.

It was nothing fancy; a black flip phone and the cheapest plan the company had, but to me it was a daily reminder that I could indeed support myself. I had done all the research, and gained a sense of satisfaction from having enough money in my small budget to provide for the necessities of life plus a little extra responsibility.

Austin Johnston works at Marotta Wealth Management, blogging at

December, 2011 features several money mavens answering this question.

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Austin Fey is a Wealth Manager at Marotta Wealth Management, specializing in charitable giving and asset allocations. She is a regular contributor to our Marotta On Money articles, often giving advice to those just getting started in finance.

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2 Responses

  1. vern

    Make sure to stay within the minute plan you have .Texting is addictive .
    $300 phone bills can be quite a jolt .
    Our son surprised us with one while he was on our plan .
    Happy NY .

  2. Austin Johnston

    Yes, Vern, you are absolutely right. A cheap cell phone plan is only as good as your ability to stay within its parameters! Rates for exceeding the minutes on the plan are very steep, so it makes sense to monitor your cell phone use and upgrade or modify phone usage when necessary.

    I decided early on to add a $5 unlimited texting option so that I didn’t exceed a text limit, since plans charge for messages received as well as sent.

    Thanks for the comment and good points made here!
    Happy New Year to you as well.