Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sometimes it takes time...

...to figure out the best way to save the most money!

In January, Superman and I decided that we did not need me to have the cell phone plan I have with Qwest. Since our current plan expired 3/31/09 (have I mentioned I hate long-term contracts and am trying to get out of all of them), we started exploring our options.

The thing is, I just don't talk on the cell phone a lot. My current plan give me 500 minutes a month and I regularly average 30 - 50 minutes a month. Honestly, I think 20 years of working in offices broke this Valley Girl of her phone addiction. Anyway, I want a phone for security reasons, but I don't want a "cool" phone, I don't text, I don't take pictures, and I don't talk for hours on end. With any of the major carriers, it seemed that I was looking at $30/month plus a commitment and that just wasn't working for me. Then I thought about the solution we forced on Charming after he'd lost two of our phones (let's not go there). TracFone. Charming gets amazing coverage and his price is quite reasonable...there is no commitment, no monthly fee, and he's bought enough minutes that he's got service (even when he runs low on minutes) until 2012! Sounds perfect, doesn't it? So, I'd explored my options and settled on the $59.99 phone at Target that would give me double minute for the life of the phone, plus a $99.99 year that came with 400 minutes (800 with my chosen phone)...Adding up to a total of $173.97 inc. tax...or $14.49 per month...great deal, right?

Well, it got even better! Charming and I were at Target two days ago and noticed that the TracFones were on sale...so, the deal ended up being $29.99 for a Motorola phone that gave me double minutes for the life of the phone!! $29.99 plus $99.99 for a year of phone service! $141.35 for one year and 800 minutes! $11.78 per month for 66 minutes each month (if that is how I use them...it is all up to me). When you include all the taxes and everything, this will save our household roughly $25 a month FOR EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

If I hadn't been planning and shopping and aware of how much I paid for phone service, how much the phone I was looking at was going to cost, I would not have recognized the deal I was getting when I saw these discounted TracFones. The time I had to spend planning because I was stuck in my contact paid off big time. Getting an even better deal that I anticipated makes the decision that much sweeter and, to think, I almost didn't even think of TracFone.

So, I ask you, how many things are you doing the same way you because of loyalty to the way you used to do things? Stuck in a contract? Don't sweat it...use the time to make a really smart decision when you have the chance. You won't regret it!


Anonymous said...

Good deal for you. I am sticking with the plan I have though it's about 12 times higher, because we have unlimited text, (three kids, it adds up.) rollover minutes (again) and I haven't paid for a phone yet. Our deal is the kids can get a new phone every two years when the plan is up and it has to be free, or the lose one Christmas gift in lieu of me paying for the phone (even so greatly discounted).

All five of us are on the plan. We have plenty of minutes each month, and the kids can text all they want.

With two kids in band traveling and one cheering traveling, the plan has paid for itself over Prozac and haircolor. :)

Darla~SassyHomemaker said...

Cell phone contracts are a rip-off. Good for you for shopping around!

Erin said...

I just feel so tickled, but like Gens said, it depends on your family's usage patterns, but for me it works well. We're also toying with the idea of getting a second one for when Valiant wants to head off on his own...pay phones seem to be disappearing..

momstheword said...

I went and checked to see what we do. We use Virgin Mobile and it's $10 per phone every three months. We have two phones so we pay $20.00 every three months for our cell phones. That's all we pay.

For one thing, we use our cell phones as little as possible. They aren't for casual chatting. They are for emergency or "where are you? I need to talk to you now" kind of things.

Very few people have our cell phone numbers and we've asked them not to use them for social purposes but to leave us a message at home instead (if they can't reach us).

Once signed up with a Virgin Mobile account my husband signed up for "Sugar Mama" which gives you free minutes for watching ads online and then giving his opinion. That can give up to about 75 free minutes per month.

75 free minutes may not be alot of time to some people but it's perfect for us because we rarely use our phones.

The $20 every three months doesn't expire either. So if you're using your free minutes instead of the $20 than the $20 will just carry over. Their website explains it better than me.

I hope you liked the recipe!