Smartphone, dumb mobile plan

Why do most smartphone plans require us to pay for stuff we don't want or use?

I wondered this after looking at my last three bills and plan usage. So I asked around, and it seems it's a pretty common scenario.

“I pay $190 for two phones with unlimited talk, text and data,” said Morgan S. Without a computer at home, she says, “I basically use my phone as a tiny computer.”

According to Morgan's bill, last month she and her partner used more than six gigabytes and sent more than 5,000 text messages, so her unlimited plan works well for data and messaging. However, she used only 197 of the 1,500 anytime minutes that she paid for.

James S. is in a similar unlimited plan, for which he pays $180 a month for two phones. “Given neither [my partner nor I are] chatty, and we often call other wireless numbers, we barely make a dent in that and have an insane amount of rollover minutes we're required to pay for,” he says. “According to my last statement, we used 58 of our 550 minutes and rolled over the balance.”

So why do customers wind up paying for services they don't use?

If you want voice, data and messaging, you often have to get a comprehensive mobile plan that includes all three, instead of buying individual services.

When I calculated my average usage for minutes, texts and data, I found that I use less of my plan than Morgan and James. For example, when it comes to data usage, my husband and I use less than 200 megabytes combined, yet our family plan was for 1 gigabyte.

Simple enough to solve, just lower the plan! But it turns out that we couldn't.

Fewer minutes, same cost

I called our service provider to see what we could do to lower our bill. But the customer service rep told me that we couldn't switch to a cheaper plan because we were already on the lowest one.

“What if I bought what I needed à la carte, instead of paying for a family plan?” I asked the rep.

She ran the numbers, and it turned out that paying à la carte was actually going to cost the same as my family plan, but I'd be getting fewer minutes and megabytes!

So the family plan was the better option. This was a little irritating because with a year and a half left on my contract, the company knows I'm not likely to bail.

“Barriers to switching, including contracts with cancellation fees, make the wireless industry less competitive,” says American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) director David VanAmburg in a press release. “ACSI research shows that customer satisfaction is almost always lower when consumers have less choice and more headaches when it comes to switching to another seller.”

But I wasn't ready to give in just yet.

“I just don't think I should have to pay for stuff I'm not using and don't want, you know?” I said.

The rep offered to transfer me to a different department, to someone who could talk to me about other options.

The new rep, Chad, looked at my history of minutes, texts and data usage and offered me a few deals. He lowered my minutes, put 300 megabytes on each phone (the minimum, he said), and gave me a $10-off promotion for the next six months. This effectively lowered my bill by $40 per month.

“That sounds great,” I said, “but what happens after six months?”

“At the end of the promo period, give us a call and we can see what other offers and discounts are available,” he said.

The entire process took about 20 minutes, and will save $240 in the next six months.

Major carriers getting competition

Saving $40 a month was a win, but long-term, I don't know that I'll stick around. Consumers are getting more and more options when it comes to service providers, and some of those options seem like a better fit for someone like me.

For instance, if you don't want to sign away two years of payments or pay a penalty for breaking the contract, smaller carriers like Tracfone, Cricket and Boost won't hold you to a contract. New services like Ting, which launched last year, also allow customers to pay à la carte for each minute, message and megabyte used, even crediting your account for whatever you don't use.

Ting sounds like a great option for someone who doesn't use their phone much but still wants the option to talk, text and/or access the Internet.

There are a few drawbacks, however, such as:

  • You won't get the new iPhone for $99. In other words, no subsidized cell phones. You're on your own to purchase a new device when you want to upgrade.

  • Speaking of iPhones, they don't work with Ting. Neither do BlackBerrys. The service only works with Sprint-branded devices.

  • The plan can get very expensive for heavy users. If you use your phone like a computer, this probably isn't the right service for you.

Ting also has a calculator to help you figure out if you'd save money on their service. I input the minutes, messages and megabytes used from my last three bills, plus the amount of the bill. Here are my results:

That's some serious savings! Before I got the promo rate I have now, I was paying $140 for two phones. According to this calculation, if I only had to pay for what I use, at Ting's rates I would pay just $42 per month, a savings of $98 per month. That's $1,176 per year!

Why I'm not switching yet

Needless to say, alternative providers have my attention. But I'm not switching just yet.

As I mentioned, I still have a year and a half on my contract, so I'd have to pay to break that contract. And the longer you have left on the contract, the more you pay. I also would have to buy two phones, since our current phones won't work with Ting. (You can, however, sign up for iPhone/Ting updates, which may mean that Ting is working on including more phones in their service.) In addition to these costs, there's also a $35 activation fee per phone.

So I'll take the wait-and-see approach, and reevaluate my wireless telephone service in six months when my promo offer expires.

Either that, or I'll just chuck my iPhone in the river*, something I fantasize about at least twice a week.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear from you. If you have a smartphone, do you find yourself paying for stuff you don't use? If you use it minimally, how do you also keep your bill minimal?

*I promise that in real life, I would donate my phone and not pollute Texas rivers.

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Wassim Bouaissi
Wassim Bouaissi
7 years ago

Hello,

In Belgium, phone, internet, etc. contracts can be stopped after six months without advanced notice and without fees by law. It really improved the competition and lowered the prices across all carriers and ISP.

Adam
Adam
7 years ago

The US cell industry is terrible (Canada is even worse). There are only two good carriers, and only four that have a chance. They collude a lot, and almost never compete on price. Congress has held meetings about it before, but nothing ever comes from it. *sigh*

cynthia
cynthia
7 years ago

I took advantage of the law and switched to Mobile Viking. Best part is the whole euro value you don’t use goes forward every month. (that and one hour free to other vikings, who are the only people I call) Combine that with a drop in roaming data prices and I used data in Spain, Italy and the UK.

And I still have euros left to spend before they expire.

Pat Terhune
Pat Terhune
7 years ago

Used to be a Verizon mobile customer…was paying way to much for myself and my daughters service. Switched to Virgin Mobile, which isn’t perfect but is way more reasonable and has pretty good service. Kept existing numbers and signed up for the $45/mo plan; 1300 min. “unlimited” data and text. (Think they can throttle after 2GB.) Phones are “ok”, not cutting edge but do have iPhones available and decent Android options. Got a $200 phone for my girl and a $300 phone for myself. Even with having to pay for the phones its a much better deal over time. Speed… Read more »

Emily @ evolvingPF
Emily @ evolvingPF
7 years ago

The major carriers have plans that they don’t advertise – you have to really dig into their websites to find them. For instance, my husband uses Google Voice, so he has a plan for only data and voice and has all his texts go through Google Voice. He had to inform the last salesperson he talked to that this was, in fact, a real plan that the company offered. So we really just pay attention to what size his data plan is. Now that I’ve switched to Republic Wireless I don’t worry about my usage – the monthly price is… Read more »

Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies
Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies
7 years ago

I signed us up for notifications a few months ago for when the iPhone becomes available on Ting. My hope is that it coincides pretty well with when our contracts are up at the end of this year. My big pet peeve with our phone plan is that when we signed up, I got mine first and was able to get 250 text messages for $5 (more than enough), but when Mr. PoP got his phone just a couple months later that plan no longer existed and we had to buy 1000 text messages for $10. The sales lady kept… Read more »

Mrs. Waste not
Mrs. Waste not
7 years ago

My husband also used the $19 per month republic wireless plan. You can’t use it with iPhone but we lOve the savings.

Geoff
Geoff
7 years ago

I’m currently on the T-Mobile $30/month pre-pay plan. I get 100 min (extra min are 10cents a min) and 5GB of data and unlimited texts. I’m a heavy data user living in the cloud as much as possible so this is perfect for me. It’s pre-pay so there are no contracts. (For info on this plan/how to get it check out slickdeals: http://slickdeals.net/f/3377172-T-Mobile-com-Walmart-Prepaid-30-month-Unlim-Text-5GB-Data-100-Voice-Mins-New-Activation-Only) Couple this with the Nexus 4 that I bought for 320ish after tax and shipping directly from google and I have an amazing combo. My phone is updated directly by google, i’m contract free and my phone… Read more »

Kristin
Kristin
7 years ago
Reply to  Geoff

My husband signed up for the same plan you have with the Nexus 4 in March. He liked it so much we switched me over last weekend. When I went into the Tmobile store the first person I spoke with said I could only sign up for this plan online, but then another salesperson said he would do it for me there. I really like the service and price so far!

Lindsay
Lindsay
7 years ago
Reply to  Geoff

My husband and I each have the same plan, and it works great for us. Verizon offers a similar plan, but I think it cost a wee bit more, so we went with T-Mobile. And you can bring any unlocked phone to use, unlike Ting. I have a Google Nexus and my husband has a Samsung Galaxy something or other. They will also let you use an iPhone, but it has to be unlocked. The only complaint I’ve had is specific to the Google Nexus 4: you have to enter some super secret code to unlock the 4G LTE capability:… Read more »

Kirk
Kirk
7 years ago

If you do the math, I bet it makes sense to get out of that contract right now! You can buy a couple of like-new phones off Ebay for $250/piece and pay the cancellation fee. I bet you would still come out ahead in less than a year, plus you wouldn’t be under a contract. If you sell your iPhones on Ebay, the deal gets even sweeter!

Frugalapolis
Frugalapolis
7 years ago

We have two smartphones (samsung Epic and S4)and pay $80 total monthly. They are both sprint phones so I passed my Epic to DH and he uses Ting, but I shut off his data access since he doesn’t use it. I have the Sprint SERO plan on the S4 and pay $50 for unlimited everything. I use 2-3 GB data a month so that is worth it to me. FWIW, the Ting plan has been great for a light cell phone user. I’ve researched different plans and if you want a lot of data you’re going to have to pay… Read more »

Big Al
Big Al
7 years ago

I have been trying to get all my friends to switch to StraightTalk like I did three months ago. It’s only 45 bucks per month unlimited everything, and TMobile coverage is 100x better than when I was with Sprint. (Sprint is horrible and now I’m saving 35 dollars per month.) The data is throttled at 2GB, but I don’t understand why most people complain- most use greatly under 2GB a month and don’t realize it, because they don’t look at their usage. I use around 300mb a month because everywhere I go has wifi, a common thing among most people.… Read more »

Corey
Corey
7 years ago

I switched to Ting last July and have not regretted the move at all. They do not charge a $35 activation fee. My bill (taxes and all) is about $48/month. This is for 1000 minutes, 2000 texts, and 100 mb of data. We don’t use data unless we are on wifi but do allow ourselves access when needed for maps and such. Their customer service is top notch. You can also buy a sprint phone off of ebay and take it to Ting with no activation fee. For example, you can buy a Samsung Galaxy Nexus running pure Android for… Read more »

FI Pilgrim
FI Pilgrim
7 years ago

My wife and I are loving PagePlus Cellular. It’s a prepaid service that uses Verizon’s towers, so she has great service for her iPhone 4 and we pay $30/month for 1200 minutes, 3000 texts, and 500MB of data. If she’s headed for overages we can either choose to pay for more data or just stick to wireless for the last few days of the month! MUCH better than our $85 bill from Verizon for the same service.

evy
evy
7 years ago
Reply to  FI Pilgrim

If you are referring to the Page Plus Cellular $29.95/month plan, I think you mean 100 MB of data, and not 500 MB of data?

May I ask how to activate an iPhone with Page Plus Cellular? As far as I am aware, they don’t support iPhones! I have a Palm Pixi Plus and it is severely limiting.

Thanks!

ONE EC
ONE EC
7 years ago

I pay $30/month on VM for 300 minutes of voice, unlimited text, unlimited data (but data is throttled at some point). I have an iPhone that I paid for, but it won’t take me two years to pay it off, which is essentially what a $99 phone with a 2 year contract is. This is a no contract plan/pay as you go/ so I can switch anytime plan.

I’m pretty happy with the service, I use about 200 of my talk minutes a month, text some, use data quite a bit.

Nancy
Nancy
7 years ago
Reply to  ONE EC

My husband and I both have Virgin Mobile as well. We each have a iphone 4s. His plan is $40 a month for unlimited text/data and 1200 min. I have the the $30 a month plan. It only has 300 min but there is a cool app called talkatone that allows you to make calls over wifi/data. When I run out of minutes I just use that. VM coverage varies from area to area though. Where my mom lives its great(comparable to Verizon/at&t) Where I live it’s slower but still good enough for us. I’ve been really happy with VM.… Read more »

Travis
Travis
7 years ago

Correction: There is no longer a $35 activation fee with Ting, they dropped that about 18 months ago. Ting is working out great for me. If you already have a Sprint phone, you can transfer it to Ting without any hassles. There are no extra “smartphone” or tethering fees, you pay for what you use and that is all. My wife and I have been with Ting for over a year now. Our average bill is $39, we typically fall in the 500 minutes/1000 texts/500 mb tier. It seems to be priced ridiculously fair, it feels like I’m cheating. They… Read more »

Jack M.
Jack M.
7 years ago

Ting sounds great, but if it’s piggybacking off Sprint, no thank you! They have horrible service!

I switched to T-Mobile from VZ a few months ago and am very happy. $50 a month for unlimited (500MB data on 4G/LTE, then 3G afterwards) everything sounds reasonable to me. Yeah, you have to buy the phone in full, but I am not bind into a contract as soon as I pay it off. Plus I’m planning to keep my phone for a while so I save money in the long run.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 years ago
Reply to  Jack M.

I agree! We moved from Verizon to T-mobile because we were tired of paying the high cost (the cost for a contract plan is higher because you can get a phone for $99 or free. You are paying for your phone in your monthly fees. So much for a “deal”) T-Mobile has great service where we are, and since we bought our mobile phones outright, we are only paying $120 a month for 4G unlimited everything. Best move ever 🙂

SavvyFinancialLatina
SavvyFinancialLatina
7 years ago

Both our phones are paid by the company.

Cindy @ GrowingHerWorth
Cindy @ GrowingHerWorth
7 years ago

I think the cell phone companies have gotten so caught up in the “unlimited” idea, they’ve totally forgotten those of us who don’t need it. I’ve been looking into ditching my T-Mobile Plan, possibly for Republic Wireless, although I’m a little leery about the only one phone option, and inability to send photos via text. I like the idea of unlimited data, but honestly I mostly just use it for emails, Facebook and Pinterest, so I don’t use a ton of data anyways. I communicate mainly via text, but even still am only using 350-600/month. I barely use any minutes… Read more »

John
John
7 years ago

People who don’t use prepaid services are CRAZY. Marketing is very effective and makes people think they need the newest phone to survive. If you are a die-hard Verizon lover, check out PagePlus. Same network as Verizon, just a heck of a lot cheaper.

Mr. Utopia
Mr. Utopia
7 years ago

On a related note, be sure to see if your employer offers a discount with your service provider through a corporate account. Mine does and we get a 25% discount! We are still paying for extra stuff we don’t need (especially the minutes), but the overall savings make it fairly competitive with other stripped down options from other providers.

masky
masky
7 years ago

I used to be on T-mobile and was their loyal customer for 6 years then come in smartphones and the story changed. They started billing us for all kinds of things we never heard of ( as of then), excess data, roaming,overrages huh??? The sad thing was we hadn’t even figured out how to use d darn thing!!! So after paying over 800 within a 3 month period I was done. I went to d Cricket store near my house, the guy at the store introduced me to Simple Mobile and I was sold. I didn’t have to sell my… Read more »

Janice
Janice
7 years ago

I use Virgin Mobil, have 1200 minutes of voice, unlimited text and data, for $43.35 a month. Got a nice Android phone, all is good. Been using them for at least 10 years at this point. I’m not in a great area for coverage but don’t have any problems with connections. In fact I have Verizon internet service at home which is not reliable so often have to tether the phone to be able to use the computer. go figure. Anyone who’s looking to save money and is locked into cell phone contracts and expensive cable TV should really look… Read more »

Lucas
Lucas
7 years ago

No cell phone here (7 years now). I had an iPod touch that i was hacking as a phone through skype, but i just spent to much time on it, and was “too connected”. my life has been substantially better since i got rid of it!! For the record we used Vonage, and then OOMA for a VOIP home phone and have been very happy with it.

WWII Kid
WWII Kid
7 years ago

I must be a freak of nature. My T-Mobile plan gives me 60 minutes a month, 500 minutes of “long distance” on weekends and costs $19.95 a month.

Funny, I don’t feel I’m missing anything.

Help m?

retireby40
retireby40
7 years ago

Ting sounds very interesting. I’m using tracfone right now and need to upgrade very soon. What about republic wireless? $20/month for unlimited everything is not bad.

Shawn G
Shawn G
7 years ago

My wife and I switched to Airvoice Wireless in April and have been very happy with our service. They use AT&T towers, so our coverage is very similar to what it was when we had AT&T. Since we had AT&T before we switched, we were able to use the same phones we already had without buying new ones.

krantcents
krantcents
7 years ago

I am with Verizon because of their service. Unfortunately, they are the highest cost provider.

PV
PV
7 years ago

My whole beef with this issue is that the technology for wireless is actually becoming LESS expensive for the carriers, meanwhile, they have phased out multi-tiered plans that let consumers choose the options they need, thereby basically locking everyone into a $150-200 a month plan. And they don’t really care about customer satisfaction.

Matt A
Matt A
7 years ago

FYI

Ting switched to postpaid usage earlier this year to simplify billing (no more credits back, just pay for what you use).
Hopefully we will be switching to Ting shortly

srin
srin
7 years ago

My husband and I moved to the UK a year ago – each with an iPhone paid out of pocket. We use an alternative provider called Giffgaff. We each pay 10 GBP / month (aprox 15 USD) for unlimited texts, 1 GB data and 500 minutes (which we almost never use as it’s free for us to call one another).

I shudder when I see people paying hundreds of dollars for phone service!

Matt @ your living body
Matt @ your living body
7 years ago

Eh. I pay 130ish/month for my phone. I don’t use all of my 500 minutes but I do use a huge part of the data and text portion of the plan so it’s worth it to me. I do use my phone like a computer. I use it as a radio. I use it to learn a different language. There’s just so many options…

Tara @ Streets Ahead Living
Tara @ Streets Ahead Living
7 years ago

I really like the T-Mobile $30 a month plan for unlimited data (throttled after 5gb) and only 100 talking minutes but unlimited texting. i’m not a huge talker and I can subsidize that low amount of minutes with free Google voice calls (the app works great on Android. I realized that I use data most of all (I stream Pandora a lot on my phone) so I’d rather get the 5Gbs I need. If T-mobile didn’t offer that plan, I’d go for the $35 a month plan through Virgin Mobile.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
7 years ago

A smartphone plan that doesn’t support iPhones is a bit like a car insurance plan that won’t cover Japanese cars, no? And anyone who says, “I only use six minutes a month and don’t text” or “I don’t need a cell phone, I hate being connected all the time” probably isn’t dating. Do I pay for more minutes that I use with AT&T? Sure I do. Do I wish it was cheaper? Sure. I’d still rather pay $90/month for an iPhone with as much data as I use than pay half that for a phone that I don’t want that… Read more »

Big Al
Big Al
7 years ago

You can get a phone plan that isn’t 90 a month with your iPhone. StraightTalk or Net10 support iPhones, and is only 45 a month, no contract. This includes unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data.

lmoot
lmoot
7 years ago

I have as much of a social life as I want to have, and luckily many of my friends are my co-workers who I get to see on weekdays and weekends. It’s easier for me to get together with in-town and out-of-town friends on facebook/email, especially if planning a group outing. To say you must not be dating if you don’t use your cell phone often is a ridiculous statement (even if in a tongue-and-cheek way). I suppose before cell-phones people just ambled listlessly around, lost and completely incapable of acknowledging the human beings around them…oh wait, that came after… Read more »

Thomas
Thomas
7 years ago

I need to find a better plan. I like having a smart phone but the cost right now is over $200 for the wifey and I. With us I actually need my minutes but for this cost its not even unlimited. I have friends with Straight Talk and other carriers that have unlimited for only $45.

HKR
HKR
7 years ago
Reply to  Thomas

I can tell you – you get what you pay for with StraightTalk. I was very excited about getting a smartphone because the unlimited everything plan cost the same as what I was paying for a dumb phone. I checked the service coverage map and I solidly in the Green and good to go. I ordered a smartphone from their website and got my number transferred over and service set up as soon as it arrived. At home, I got one bar, two if I was standing in just the right spot. I work in a different town and according… Read more »

Big Al
Big Al
7 years ago
Reply to  HKR

It may have been you needed different APN settings. I do agree customer service at StraightTalk does suck hard, but I’ve had great coverage all over Florida, and have had a great experience with ST.

MonicaOnMoney
MonicaOnMoney
7 years ago

So true! I’m writing a new article about saving on my iPhone

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 years ago

My husband and I both are on Simple Mobile (another one of those no contract services). We each get the $40 unlimited everything plan — the first 500 MB of data are at 4G speeds and then it is slower (but still fast enough for us). Honestly, I will never again sign up for a contract just for a subsidized phone. The math definitely doesn’t work in the consumer’s favor. My husband and I each got Nexus 4s — for the base model at $300, that is 12.50 a month (if you pay nothing upfront) for 2 years. Are any… Read more »

Juli
Juli
7 years ago

Anybody know if there is a website out there somewhere that does a comparison of all the different plan options out there, with the pros and cons of each? We are currently on Verizon — 2 dumb phones, 750 minutes, and DH has a 250 text plan. We pay about $80/month. I know we could find something cheaper, but we do a lot of travelling and we have been sticking with Verizon because there is hardly anywhere we don’t have coverage, even driving in the middle of nowhere. It worries me that if we switch to something else I could… Read more »

Big Al
Big Al
7 years ago
Reply to  Juli

You could start with this: http://lifehacker.com/how-to-find-the-best-prepaid-plan-and-ditch-your-contra-485042945

Just Google “best phone plans” or “best prepaid phone plans”

Katherine Keller
Katherine Keller
7 years ago
Reply to  Juli

If you are a Verizon customer whose phone is now month to month, I strongly urge you check out Page Plus.

My bill has dropped from $55/mo to $12.

I also suggest going through a dealer like kittywireless.com to handle any port requests, ESN changes, and setting up an autopay program. (No affiliation to kitty, just a satisfied customer.)

Stacy
Stacy
7 years ago

I’ve looked around the Page Plus website over and over and I don’t really see anything about porting a verizon iphone over. I’m intrigued by this one because Verizon has the best coverage I’ve seen and it seems like most of the other pay by the month plans don’t support a verizon iphone. Every time we run the numbers the cancellation fee for our current contract and cost to buy 2 new smartphones wipes out most of what we save by switching to a pay as you go plan.

lmoot
lmoot
7 years ago

Oy. Good thing I don’t give a crap about cell phones. I still have my $20 samsung I bought from Walgreens 3 years ago. I pay $30/month prepay w/ T-Mobile (don’t know how many minutes b/c I’ve never gone over–unlimited text).

I communicate mostly via text, email, f2f, and facebook…as do friends, co-workers, and family, so it works out great. I went pre-pay 4 years ago and never looked back. I never ever came close to using the minutes I was paying for on the lowest minute plan, and I was wasting $65/ month on the cheapest contract plan.

Grayson @ Debt Roundup
Grayson @ Debt Roundup
7 years ago

I am testing out the Walmart family mobile plan and I am paying $39 per month for unlimited minutes, texts, and 5GB of data. It uses T-mobile, which is fine in my area, but I know there are issues elsewhere. If it works, it will save me $40/month and I won’t have a contract.

Jim
Jim
7 years ago

Many of the plans discussed here are no longer available. I just changed providers and it seems all have changed their plans in the last month or so. The comment about the $99 iPhone and subsidies is a marketing ploy. They raised the cost of the plan enough that you pay the full price (or more) for the phone over the time of your contract. If you keep your phone longer, like I do, you end up paying for an upgrade you never got. I went with a plan that costs less per month and I bought my phone somewhere… Read more »

marcey
marcey
7 years ago

I too am looking for a cheaper solution. I’ve looked at consumer cellular (the one advertised on tv through sears). I think I will go with this one. I have an old iphone that I will need to unlock somehow and I would be able to use that phone with the program. Then I will sell my droid razr for more money than the iphone would fetch. I could reduce my phone bill from $80/month to $30/month. I don’t text much and I would use my tablet with internet for my surfing needs. Of course, I too need to wait… Read more »

Airi
Airi
7 years ago

Thanks for the Info

Anthony @ Thrifty Dad
Anthony @ Thrifty Dad
7 years ago

Phone plans are pretty terrible here in Canada as well. I find over the long-run, it’s almost always better to pay for the phone up-front, without contract, if you can. I have wi-fi at home and wi-fi at work, so I opted to get a basic cell plan and only pay $35 a month for my iPhone. Taxes in. Buying used is also an option. I bought my last iPhone used and was able to resell and recoup half my costs.

Ramses
Ramses
7 years ago

I’m not sure how it works in the US as I’m Danish. I simply buy the phone unlocked in an electronics shop and keep my cheap provider. No financial handcuffs and a pretty low phone bill: 5 hours, 3Gb with unlimeted SMS and MMS for app.$20/month.

Rahul
Rahul
7 years ago

I pay $9.70 a month for my Airfoice service. I use a combo of Talkatone (which links with Google Voice) and Freedom Pop. No difference at all and I love the savings. Highly recommend this route!

Brad
Brad
7 years ago

We went AirVoice Wireless and got a SIM card for $5, then bought a unlocked phone from Amazon for $120 since our phone didn’t use a GSM type network like AT&T or T-Mobile. Put the card in the phone and went back to AirVoice and registered the card and picked the $10/month plan.

Source: Mr. Money Mustache

Michael Chiu
Michael Chiu
7 years ago

I am also looking for ways to reduce as much as possible. Although my phone and tablet are paid for by my company, I am always looking for ways to reduce the bill (mainly, because I am one of the business owners) Depending on where you are, for the data side, you could take a look into services such as Clear and FreedomPop. For myself, I use Clear, which is a flat $50/mo. rate that gives me unlimited data on any of my devices that use Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, VZW doesn’t allow me to cut out the data portion of my… Read more »

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