Buying a new cellphone is not near the fun it once was, since we now pay for them ourselves. A new cellphone can set one back hundreds of dollars or more.

Most people buy a new phone and pay a monthly charge. They never pay off their phone — they just keep buying new ones and keep paying, which is a very expensive proposition.

Gone are the days when cellphone companies provided a new phone for being a loyal customer. Phone insurance is quite expensive, with a high deductible.

When you need your phone replaced, you typically receive a used phone someone turned in because they had problems with it, which then become your problems.

Unless one is a technological wizard, a phone purchase can be confusing. There are terms such as 3G, 4G and 5G; as well as MP for the camera. Then there are Android vs. iOS operating systems.

One needs to know the network the phone will work with, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Boost, and so on. And cellphones don't work with all the carriers — one must have the right phone for the right carrier.

Some phones work on a GSM network while others on CDMA network.

Make sure you purchase the right phone. If you don't, most carriers charge a hefty restocking fee. Ouch!

My husband Jim and I have no need for the latest and greatest cellphone. I only need a basic phone to call and text. Jim needs something more sophisticated as he uses his for work and scheduling. My niece worked for Verizon's technical support, so I always solicit her advice before purchasing.

Since I am frugal, I use my cellphone until it dies, the circuit boards give out or the network kills it. On the other hand, my husband loses, drops, or leaves them some place.

Jim had an unfortunate accident with his phone this week. Fortunately, we have Walmart and many carrier stores here in Crestview, so replacing it should be easy.

Now I just have to figure out which phone works with our carrier, has the right specifications, and which limb we are willing to sacrifice to pay for it.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.