Consumers are cutting down on eating out and other luxuries in order to pay for smartphones and data plans, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"Every weekend, we'd do something," Heidi Steffen, a registered nurse whose husband works at a tire shop, told Wall Street Journal. "Now maybe once every month or two, we get out."
Americans paid $116 more per year on phone services in 2011 than in 2007, while expenses spent on eating out dropped $48, clothing expenses decreased $141 and spending on entertainment fell $126, according to the WSJ, citing a Department of Labor report.
Wireless carriers plan to increase expenses, "Speed entices more usage," Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said at an investor conference, according to the Wall Street Journal. "The more data they consume, the more they will have to buy."
Forty-five percent of adult Americans own smartphones and 34 percent own phones that are only capable of calls and texting, while 15 percent don’t own a cellphone, according to Pew Research Center.