Phones "only a few hundred dollars - less in America". Yeah, good luck with that. New smart phones are $199, sure, but I pay $250 a month for three data plans and three phones and I get a hefty employee discount. When I was young, I would have NEVER prioritized a phone, at current expense, over other things. Phone plans are like a car payment, but it never ends as long as you are using a phone. It's no wonder young people don't have cable, or sometimes, cars.