Cellular phones are convenient, but they can really fracture family finances. If you keep one for emergencies, consider a much less expensive pager instead. If you really need cellular, understand what you need it for before you buy it. For example, why pay for an unlimited national calling plan if you rarely leave your state? If you don’t use all the minutes that come with your monthly plan, the cost of the minutes you do use skyrockets. So think about your needs before you sign a contract. And speaking of contracts, nowadays there are many plans that don’t require one. With rates and plans changing often, you’re a lot better off not being locked in.