For so long I told my brother who did not have a smarphone, "If you can live without one then do it because your bill will be over $100 instead of $40". After a while the inconveniences piled up, not having a smart phone and he bought one.
There is unfortunately not a thermostat with a remote, only ceiling fans with remotes. The programmable thermostats are the next best option, as they can be set to your work patterns, turning on and off as you come and go to work. I was one of the last people I know to break down and buy a smartphone because i am very cheap and I will probably be one of the last to buy a fancy, pricey smart phone thermostat as well.
I certainly feel your frustration. You are in good company.