Cell Phone Plans - Which One do you use and why?

ShokWaveRider

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It never ceases to amaze me why people use expensive contract or non contract cell phone plans. At least in my circles. Most of my friends are retired or semi retired and pay for full featured plans. admittedly some do not have land lines but all have home internet.

Since I left work I have used T-Mobile Pay as you go no data plan. I have not missed my data plan at all. Last year I spent $100 on my cell phone and that was just to get the $100 Deal (10c per min), I have $37 left and it will need topping up in July 2014.

I use Wi-Fi hotspots if I need data on the go which is VERY rare, it is everywhere now you know and is really not a effort to find it if required.

I have GPS in the car and Texts are included in the phone plan.

Can anyone convince me to use a proper full service data/phone plan on my smartphone. I did spring for an unlocked Samsung S3 which works well.

Both DW and I have the same plan. She uses less than me as our home phone (Vonage $19.99pm [We call overseas too] and it is very reliable) rolls to my cell if we are not in.

If anyone can point me at a more economical (RELIABLE) home phone other than Vonage that lets me call, UK, Canada and others, AND plugs into my home phone jacks please let me know.

Comments?
 
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Can anyone convince me to use a proper full service data/phone plan on my smartphone.
Why? If your phone/plan meets your needs, that's all that matters. I doubt many here would advocate spending more than necessary. Some need or want more.

My Dad spends less than you do, I can see if he wants to convince you to spend less.

If you want to be "convinced," buy a variable annuity, hire a full service financial advisor or tell us working is better than ER - we'll argue with you all day about that. :D
 
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I used to be amazed and used to tell people so when I had Virgin Mobile pay as you go grandfathered plan. Spent about $5 to $10 per month.

Then I was let down by Sprint's terrible coverage (nothing in most of NoDak for instance). Virgin uses Sprint's network.

And now, I've caved and have a smartphone on a different carrier. Paying more, yes, but have to admit is darn near necessary considering everyone "needs" to text me, need email access, etc. I'm converted. I've seen the light. Blah, blah.

I'm not amazed anymore.
 
......... Last year I spent $100 on my cell phone ...............Comments?

$100! I'm amazed that anyone would spend that much. With PagePlus I spend $2.50 a month, or $30 a year. Did you win the lottery or something. :confused:
 
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...(snip)...
I use Wi-Fi hotspots if I need data on the go which is VERY rare, it is everywhere now you know and is really not a effort to find it if required.
...
Suppose I am in a city like San Francisco or San Diego and am wondering if a restaurant has a good Yelp review before stepping in. Is it easy to do this without finding the nearest Starbucks to get a wifi connection?

BTW, I don't have a smartphone plan yet.
 
I require a smartphone in order to remember anything, especially appointments. I was able to get what I wanted at Ting, which uses the Sprint network. I pay $6/month/phone plus $3 for the first 100 minutes and $3 for the first 100MB for the entire family, plus modest taxes. That's $8.18 for the four of us if we are careful with the data, or an extra $10 for 500MB of data if we go over. Even with an expensive phone, I save money over a major carrier in about a year. I have no need for a new phone every two years as priced into the usual major carrier plans.

My DW used to do better at about $25/year with T-Mobile pay as you go and a cheap dumb phone. But she had to join us when she decided she needed an iPhone. Ting can now accommodate a limited set of old Sprint iPhones.
 
While you can certainly pay a lot for a smartphone & plan, you can also get a voice/text/data phone and plan for as little as $40 for a phone and $15/mo for voice/text/data. That's what we had for more than 2 years. It was no iPhone/Galaxy S4, but it did Google search, social media, email, plenty of news-weather-sports sites and most other functions as well. There's a (smart)phone or a plan for everyone.

There's a whole world of choices between a $7/mo TracFone and the latest iPhone.

We bit the bullet and went with full on smartphones last Nov, $85/mo ($42.50 each) unlimited everything for the two of us. That's what [-]DW[/-] wanted, and it's pretty remarkable what it can do...
 
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I require a smartphone in order to remember anything, especially appointments. I was able to get what I wanted at Ting, which uses the Sprint network.

I've looked at several very economical plans that use the Sprint service. they are tempting. Alas, for me, Sprint service in my area is a bit to spotty. Hopefully, their new owners will put some money into upgrading the service.
 
Our cell phone needs are modest. DW, DS and I each use Airvoice Wireless (AT&T network). Their plan is $10 a month. Voice is 4 cents a minute, texts are 2 cents each and data is 6 cents per MB, which is plenty for our modest needs and unused funds rollover. (In fact, my current balance is over $40 as I usually run out of time before I run out of funds).

I sprung for an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S2 (~$200 IIRC) but DW and DS each have inexpensive feature phones.

Our home phone is Ooma and cost us $14/month for the Premier plan with unlimited US calls.

So for DW and I our phone expense is ~$34/month for home and two cellphones. Close enough.
 
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Recently I was researching smartphones. I found this technical article kind of useful to understand some of the reasons why things were split as they are between carriers and avialable phones: CDMA vs. GSM: What's the Difference? | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

What looked kind of nice for us was to get a Google Nexus 5 for $350 and use T-Mobil's 4G LTE network. I think we need the 4G LTE to get the good coverage where we live. The T-Mobil pay-as-you-go plan is $50 (includes taxes) for unlimited talk/text and 500MB of data. I think that amount of data is probably enough based on using a Verizon application to estimate data needs. One just calls T-Mobil up to get a sim card for a very modest fee.
 
We're on t-mobile and personally, I think their family plan is a good deal. We have four lines, unlimited voice/text and 500MB of 4G/LTE data per month. After the 500MB they throttle your speed to 2G, which seems very usable to us. But we rarely use that much data. The one time it happened was when my wife setup her phone as a wifi hotspot at the very beginning of the billing cycle and she thought she was on our wifi network (she didn't remember our wifi password and I wasn't home).

We pay $85/month plus fees/taxes, which comes to $114/month. The first two phones are $80/month and each additional phone is an extra $10/month. We get a 15% discount through our employer, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could get this through some other group membership.

Overall, I think it's a great deal and it let's us keep in touch with our kids with no worries about them going over and us having pay extra $$s. Not to mention all the other benefits of having a smartphone, such as reading this forum while on the bus :).
 
On my road to ER cost cutting I'm saving 80/month by getting rid of cable and just using Netflix streaming on our Apple TV. Just this week we switched our iPhones over from ATT to Consumer Cellular. Monthly bill went from $95 to $40 plus tax for 2 iPhones. We share 500 minutes, 1000 texts, and 100MB of data per month. Since retiring I found we were using less than 100MB/month and paying $45 for data with ATT. DW was paying $15/m for 200MB and I was on the original unlimited data for $30/m. No sense paying for something you don't use; so we made the switch. It's only been 5 days but very happy with CC so far.
 
We are still 1.5 years out from FIRE. I am in IT and sometime joke I can't wait to just have some basic phone. Somehow I think we will be paying more than I thought in retirement.

I like a lot of the smartphone features. I also have grandfathered unlimited data plan and use the hotspot function a lot. In retirement we plan to RV a great deal the hotspot would be great for that. My bill now (which works takes care of) is $115/month and that is only one line.

Going to have to do some research in the next year...................
 
I have an IPhone and pay about $75 per month for Verizon pre-pay. It delivers unlimited text and phone plus of data 4GB which is usually much more than I need. It relies on the old 3G network which is generally pretty fast since most seem to have moved over to 4G anyway.

I actually don't use the phone much, preferring texting for simple communications. I use the browser and apps a lot, so if I can find a cheaper solution that satisfies my data needs I would consider it.
 
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I think the decisions depends on what you want the "phone" to do.

I'm kinda old fashioned as I primarily use the mobile for emergencies and quick calls like "I'm on the way"...and my ring tone goes "R-I-N-G".

Oh, I go with prepaid, Tracfone and load minutes once a year.
 
T mobile prepaid. I spend less than $30 /year. My mobile phone calls are usually under a minute. Infrequently. Dumb phone, voice only. Love it.
 
It never ceases to amaze me why people use expensive contract or non contract cell phone plans. At least in my circles. Most of my friends are retired or semi retired and pay for full featured plans. admittedly some do not have land lines but all have home internet.

I don't feel a need to be amazed by others who have cheaper plans than I have or who don't have a need or desire for a smartphone. I'm not sure why you need to be amazed by the choices of others.

We are all different and in different situations. Where I live, literally the only phone service that will work in my house and nearby is Verizon. I actually would love to do T-Mobile but it has poor coverage here.

As far as why have a smartphone, for me, it isn't about the phone part of it. It is everything else I use it for. I've posted on another thread about some of those things.

http://www.early-retirement.org/for...g-the-data-plan-family-69875.html#post1396626

For me, it meets my needs so I use it. I like it and can afford it. I would prefer to be able to use it through T-Mobile but where I live the only reasonable choice right now is Verizon. I periodically check to see if coverage is better in my area and am prepared to jump to someone else when I can.

Since I left work I have used T-Mobile Pay as you go no data plan. I have not missed my data plan at all.

Great choice. Wish I could do it, but T-Mobile has not very good service in this area. We don't all have the same options.

Can anyone convince me to use a proper full service data/phone plan on my smartphone. I did spring for an unlocked Samsung S3 which works well.

Why should I do that? If you have a plan that you like and meets your needs, why should I try to convince you to do something different?

I sort of have the idea that you are kind of implying that if I can't convince you to use a full service data plan that no one else should use one. But, we don't all have the same needs or the same options.

If anyone can point me at a more economical (RELIABLE) home phone other than Vonage that lets me call, UK, Canada and others, AND plugs into my home phone jacks please let me know.

We use Skype and have no landline and don't have Vonage any more. DH and I each pay $30 a year to be able to use Skype to call phones. This includes US and Canada. There is a plan for other countries but we don't need it since we don't call them. But, look on the Skype website.

Also, there are Skype phones you can get:

Get Skype on your home phone and make free Skype to Skype calls
 
$100! I'm amazed that anyone would spend that much. With PagePlus I spend $2.50 a month, or $30 a year. Did you win the lottery or something. :confused:

When I looked at the PagePlus website, their least expensive plan is $12/month

Would you mind sharing how you get by for $2.5

Me - I have a TracFone that rips me off for $6.66/month. That's over $4/month I could be spending on beer !
 
When I looked at the PagePlus website, their least expensive plan is $12/month

Would you mind sharing how you get by for $2.5

Me - I have a TracFone that rips me off for $6.66/month. That's over $4/month I could be spending on beer !

I use PP and this is what I do for minimal use. I don't use one of their monthly plans rather I purchase a $10 card to recharge the phone which is good for 120 days. Three of these need to be purchased to cover 1 year. Any left over minutes accumulate as long as you keep recharging and don't let it lapse. If you need a lot of minutes or texts you may need one of the monthly plans.
 
I use PP and this is what I do for minimal use. I don't use one of their monthly plans rather I purchase a $10 card to recharge the phone which is good for 120 days. Three of these need to be purchased to cover 1 year. Any left over minutes accumulate as long as you keep recharging and don't let it lapse. If you need a lot of minutes or texts you may need one of the monthly plans.

Same here.
 

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We are switching to Republic Wireless. You buy the phone, a Moto X, nice phone for $300 and then you have a choice of 4 plans. My phone is $10/month unlimited calling and text and my wife is on the $25/month plan which is unlimited everything. They use WiFi if available then Sprint and then Verizon if Sprint network is not available. We've been testing them for the past few weeks and the service is exactly the same as our $150/month Verizon plan!

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Early Retirement Forum mobile app
 
I use PP and this is what I do for minimal use. I don't use one of their monthly plans rather I purchase a $10 card to recharge the phone which is good for 120 days. Three of these need to be purchased to cover 1 year. Any left over minutes accumulate as long as you keep recharging and don't let it lapse. If you need a lot of minutes or texts you may need one of the monthly plans.

PagePlus is also good for my type of usage. For 12 months or 2000 minutes, whichever comes first, the list price is $80 (comes out to 4 cents/minute).

No need to purchase a monthly plan.

-gauss
 
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