Cellphones Cost Too Much

I’m on a roll with selling off items to bring in a little extra income.  However, we don’t just need extra income, we need to slash our expenses as well.  This is proving to be very difficult!!

My first thought was the cellphone bill.  It’s one of the highest at $151 per month (+/-$3 due to taxes and fees vary each month) for 3 lines.  Plus DH’s Iphone6 is no longer working and it’s out of warranty.  We do not have $700 to buy a new Iphone, and AT&T no longer offers the $99 phone if you extend your contract deals.  You have to buy the phones outright, or do a payment plan that adds upwards of $45/mo. to your bill.  No thanks!

Our current plan is 15GB data per month, unlimited text, and calls.  Based on our usage charts, between our 3 lines (mil is one of those, she pays her portion), we rarely hit 6GB of data per month.  The one and only time we went over 6GB was during our road trip earlier this summer.  Plus we have rollover data, so we’re up to 30GB now that we’ll likely never use.

I looked into downgrading our plan to the 10GB plan.  Savings?  $1.00.  ONE DOLLAR!!  Next one down is 6GB, savings of $14 per month.  I’m not too pleased with these “savings”.   Any plans lower than that we risk going over and each additional 1GB is $10/mo.  If we don’t lose our rollover data, we could definitely get away with the 6GB plan, but I bet we’d lose it.

Out of frustration, we decided to check out Verizon, thinking that there would be a new customer deal.  HA HA HA!!!  The guy didn’t even ask us about phones, just pulled out a white board, jotted down some numbers, and said “this is what you’d pay” – $268 PER MONTH!  WHAT?!  That was for 3 lines, unlimited data/texts/minutes, no phones.  Ridiculous!

I’m also familiar with Ting, Republic, and a handful of other discount carriers, but they are either a) not available in our area or b) must use their devices and do not have Iphones.  The issue with the Iphones is related to DH’s job.  They are now a requirement for management thanks to some new apps he is forced to use.  Which go off all day and night with alerts.  Personally I think his work should pay for the phone and services for him, but HA!  That will never happen.

So cutting cellphone expenses seems to be going nowhere.  There’s also…

  • Internet – we have the cheapest option available in our area.  $44.99 – no data cap!
  • Television – we do not have cable/satellite.  Only Netflix & Hulu, $16/mo.  Depending on the season, we tend to put one on hiatus until new shows are out.
  • Insurance – about to shop around!!  Homeowners and auto.
  • Medical…….we’re just screwed.  No cutting expenses in that field.  LOL!  Thanks ACA!
  • Electric/Gas – I’ve kept our A/C at 71 this summer, it seems to have saved a few bucks overall, but not a huge savings.
  • Water – This is always higher in summer due to pool, averaging $50/mo.
  • Food – I’m saving a TON by using Wal-Mart Grocery Pick Up service!!  Averaging $85/wk for a family of 4.

I just feel like I am completely failing at getting a realistic budget going for our family.  Working on a table to show our income vs expenses.  A bit depressing these days!

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16 Responses to Cellphones Cost Too Much

  1. Jax says:

    Have you tried Consumer Cellular? You can use your own devices or buy new ones through them, and they have iPhones. I bought my iPhone 5s (I buy 1 or two generations behind) for $200-$50 down and then $25/month. The plans are reasonable also.

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  2. Lucy says:

    Have you looked into Straight Talk? We had them for a few years and the service was decent.

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  3. Meg B. says:

    What am I missing? We have 1 (one) cell phone, and rarely use that. Why are cell phones so important?

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    • We do not have a land line, DH travels frequently for work, I have a kid with special needs that requires traveling to DR appts hours away, multiple times per month (sometimes weekly). Cellphones are a must for us. Fancy smartphones aren’t necessary for ME, but DH is required to have an Iphone for work.

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  4. I went from VW plan to VW prepaid and pay $42/each month for 2GB each. so $84 for both me and the child. After the 2GB are used it goes down to slower speeds. But my child has yet to complain about any difference in the speeds. Probably because we always are over wifi. I’ve also learned to fix iphone and ipads. ifixit.com has all the parts. if you have patience it’s pretty easy to do. a lot of people say ebay is great for phones. but there is gazelle.com, too.

    As for AC and my electric bill… not looking forward to it. We keep it at 74 during the mid day and overnight.

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    • The problem with DH’s iphone is that is no longer connects to any networks and only works when on wifi. This happened to his original phone as well, and the Apple store switched it out, since it was under warranty. It cannot be repaired unfortunately. If it were just a shattered screen or something, we’d definitely be fixing it ourselves!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If anyone in the home has a disability, internet is $10 flat, nothing more. This is ATT Access. It does not matter who else lives in the house or uses the internet. I am not sure of all the details, but you could check it out.

    I have a $100 antenna about 10 ft up on the side of the house. I get multiple channels.

    With Amazon Prime, $99/year, and $6,99/month, you can get Roku stick to use for television.

    I have a Samsung GS3 or something old and similar that I pay $40 each month.

    Magicjack costs me about $3/month.

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    • No one has a disability, we are awaiting a diagnosis for my toddler. 🙂 We cannot use specific internet providers due to data cap limits, as we do not have TV, we stream. I’ll definitely look into the ATT Access you mentioned though, never heard of that before. Maybe it’s different with data limits.

      We tried an antenna, but sadly we’re too rural for it to work! That was disappointing. We have a Roku and a Fire Stick and use Hulu and Netflix. In those regards I feel our expenses are good right now. Cellular is whole other issue though. Still researching though!

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  6. Brianne says:

    You can actually take some phones to Ting. There’s a place to check if it’s transferable. I was able to transfer mine from a prior carrier. If you haven’t already checked with your phones here’s the link to check them: https://ting.com/byod

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    • I did that, and contacted Ting already. They do not have good coverage in our area, but said they are hoping to expand it by end of 2018. The rep explained how they lease the carrier towers and such, which apparently affects our area. I can transfer my phone, but DH still needs a phone anyway. 😀

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  7. Dana says:

    Is Cricket Wireless in your area? They are owned by ATT and use the same network. I have not used them personally but a local PF blogger uses Cricket and loves it. Good luck with slashing the other bills!

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    • Oh I forgot about Cricket, I’ve read about that on other PF blogs as well. I just checked their site and it’s not showing coverage, but I’ll call tomorrow and look into that. Thanks!!

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