Thursday, September 25, 2014

High-Priced Cell Phones

As a family of five, we have a number of expenses. College is the number one expense right now, with all three kids currently attending.
But another big monthly expense is our cell phone bill.
We don't have a home phone any more, so we are all reliant on our cell phones. And everyone has a smart phone. Earl and I use ours for work a lot. The kids use their smart phones for frivolous things, like social media, but also to check their assignments at school and their emails.
I use my phone for important
things, like keeping track of
my runs each morning.
Our cell phone bills have slowly crept up until we have reached about $320 per month -- for phones!
Like anyone else who watches television or gets  on computers, I'm sure you've seen the ads touting the low prices of some family plans.
AT&T says $160 for four lines with unlimited talk, text and data. Sprint and T-Mobile offer $100 deals with five lines or even more.
When Spencer's phone shattered, and Grace complained that her phone wasn't holding a charge, I decided it was a perfect time to start looking for a new cell phone plan.
I could have gone to each website and read through the offers, instead, I found this interesting website called Whistleout which compares plans.
All I had to do was enter the information about how many lines and what kinds of phones. I entered iPhones for each of us, since that's what we currently have.
And the phone plans look good.
Whistleout shows me that I can get a $100 per month plan with Sprint that includes 30 gb of data. Right now, we only have 14 gb of data per month.
Or, I could go with T-Mobile for $110 per month with only 12.5 gb of data.
Since the kids are on college campuses, their phones are usually on wifi so they don't use a lot of data.
Saving a few hundred dollars per month is nothing to sneeze as. That's $2400 per year. I should be ready to jump right into these plans, except for the little + sign underneath the monthly price.
Because we use Verizon, our phones are compatible with Verizon. We would all have to get new phones. The cost for five new phones under the new plans is a start up fee of about $2500. There goes my yearly savings of $2400.
Of course, if the phones lasted for years and we never needed to upgrade, that might still save me money in the long run.
I'm afraid the only way I'll end up saving money on my cell phone plan is if my kids graduate from college and get jobs. Then each of them can take on their own cell phone bills.
I know it will happen some day. For now, looks like I'm stuck with my current phone bill.


grammajudyb said...

The high cost of technology these days is frustrating. My husband and I switched to Straight Talk. I have a smart phone, he did not want one. Old dog new tricks syndrome. We have also cut our cable/internet bill. Retired on a fixed income, the rising cost are scary. Hope you can hold out. Soon, one of those kids will be on their own?

Paulita said...

Judy, Right! Grace graduates in December and I'm hoping she'll even have a job. She's pretty independent already.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

WOW - that is a lot of $$ each month for smartphones. My daughter has the ATT/friends and family plan - unlimited data and each person on the plan gives her $45/mth/ You can have up to 10 people on the plan. Everyone has an iPhone.

Sunday Morning Market

Every Sunday, our routine is to go to Esperaza market. It closed during the lockdown, or confinement as we called it in France, but now is...