My $7 Per Month Mobile Phone Plan


My mobile phone isn’t smart and I have to triple-tap, but it would have blown my mind in junior high.

My first cell phone was a Christmas gift when I was in college in 1997. I could hardly use it because the network was still in progress in my college town. How did I spend the first twenty years of my life without something that seems so essential now? We live in an awesome age. I am going to be one of those old women who tell their grandchildren about life before cell phones and personal computers. The internet is a miracle. I still call the DVD player a VCR, I just can’t keep up with it all.

Anyway, when I got that first cell phone I signed up for a monthly plan, and I stayed with it for the next ten years. I canceled my home phone and felt modern with just my mobile phone.

In July 2007 our family decided to do our first No Spend Month. Since we weren’t spending time shopping, I had time to look carefully at our regular monthly bills. I noticed I wasn’t talking on the phone that much, but I was spending $40 a month for it. I decided to switch to a prepaid “pay as you go” plan from T-Mobile, the kind where you buy minutes in advance and refill them when you need to.

Three years later, I’m glad I did. I’ve been spending an average of $7.64 a month for my phone minutes, compared to $40 before. Over three years that saved me $1,165! Additional bonus? No contract.

This works for me because I’m not really a phone person; I use it occasionally. We also have a home phone now because where we live a home phone with internet service costs us less than internet alone.

Doug asked me if I wanted to upgrade my phone so that it would be easier to text, but I think I’ll stick with what I have and my $7.64 monthly cost.

You can text me, just don’t expect a quick response because I’m pretty slow at triple-tap. I should probably also figure out how to program phone numbers into it.

What kind of phone do you have?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. I have an old Nokia which I have to switch to loudspeaker mode if any one rings me, lol, the back is also stuck on with sellotape –
    I only keep it for absolute emergencies and spend about £2 a month average on top ups – my mobile network offers 30 free online texts every month so I use these instead if I want to text anyway – reading this makes me sound like the ultimate ‘phone’ cheapskate, I guess I’m not a phone person either :-)

    Laura@MoveToPortugal´s last post…Use it up- wear it out

  2. I use my phone quite a lot and still don’t spend much on it. I text a *lot* and occasionally ring people (30 second calls to give information, not chatting). I also use the internet.

    I’m in the UK and I have a T-mobile Pulse (just upgraded from a Sony Ericsson W710i which was 3 or 4 years old). I’m also on T-mobile PAYG. I top up £10 each month, which I get to keep as credit, and that gives me unlimited texts for a month. At the moment I have 6 months free internet that came when I bought the phone, but after that it comes out at just over £3 a month (6 months for £20), which I’ll be able to pay for out of my accumulated credit (there’s no way I get through £10 of calls in a month).

  3. We pay as you go, too. We went with Tracphone, and because we bought the phones online, we get double-the-minutes per purchase automatically (instead of having to buy a $20 card that gives you the same benefit), so our bill will be running around $8-9 per month.

    We also got a google voice # which allows us to text through our tracphone for free! It’s got a lot of other benefits, like being able to tie in all the #’s together, so you only give out 1 number, and it rings all the phones you want it to ring, so we no longer give out our personal cell #’s or house #’s any longer, we just give out the goggle #.

    Darcy´s last post…Tuesday’s Tips- Cake Flour! I don’t have any cake flour!

    • wow, can you tell me more about this? what is a google number (i guess i can google it to find out ;). but how do you text for free through that number? do you have to have a tracphone?

      • It’s part of the google services. You can use it through any phone service, not just tracphone. If you have googlemail, googlevoice will be available to you.

        There’s some set up to do the texting, but it’s in the instructions on the page where you are setting up your info. But you basically use google to text, and it sends messages through the phone.

        Darcy´s last post…Tuesday’s Tips- Cake Flour! I don’t have any cake flour!

  4. love it ! we just got a track phone which I promptly lost and just found (2 months later). guess how many minutes we’ve used??? nada. I lost it when it camping when it wouldn’t work and I had to use the payphone!!!

  5. My husband and I have a similar story. We paid monthly for years and due to loss of hours with the economy and 2 surgeries etc.. we dropped alot of “inessentials” over the last year and a half. We have Tmobile Pay As You Go also. I spent the $100 up front to get the 1000 minutes and 15% bonus. We love it but mostly we love not getting that bill every month and do not think we will ever go back. We also have the home phone because we can get internet cheaper this way too.

  6. I had a similar revelation about a year ago, which cut my monthly bill down to $4 a month. I recently found a way to make this bill even lower, though, and I thought I’d share my methods here:

    1. Get a google voice number.
    2. Block texting on your phone, you can still get them on the voice account.
    3. Whenever possible, call people using google chat instead of your physical phone.

    If you’re concerned about the number showing up when you call, there is a feature in google voice which will first call you and then call the number, so you can get it to look like it’s coming from your google voice number.

    A word of warning, do not sign up to have your existing phone plan use google voice as your voice mail service. Although this sounds like a good idea, it means that every time you receive a call directly on that line it will charge you for a minute whether you answer the phone or not.

  7. I don’t have a cell phone. I despise talking on the phone and that thought of people being able to call me wherever I am and texting me (I don’t do IM either) gives me the weeby-geebies. I can barely focus enough on the task at hand without this for a distraction.

    Damien has a cell phone for work and we use this when driving out of town etc. but other than that I don’t know what I’d need one for. I don’t drive very far on my own (ie: emergency use). I already anticipate when my children become mobile teenagers I will have one then for them to easily keep in touch with me. But by then who knows what phones will be like!

  8. My husband has a worldphone for international travel so I have the basic triple tap phone added onto his plan so that we can call each other for free. I would still love to get the bill down significantly but his plan works well for our family. I previously had a tracfone. We have a landline as well and we looked at dropping it but it is cheaper for us to bundle internet with phone. My husband called our provider last week to see about lowering the fees and they lowered them $20 (!!!) because we have been long term on time paying customers! That was a real surprise!

    • I, too, have a landline because it is cheaper when you bundle the internet. I have called my phone/internet carrier several times during the 3 years I’ve been with them and they have lowered my bill every time. If they ever try to raise my rates, I call and complain and they usually lower it to less than what I was previously paying. Cell phones, that’s another story, unfortunately, I’m locked into a $200 a month plan for another year. 2 iPhones (which I must admit I do love, but probably don’t need) and 3 other phones for the children, which are essential. I like to know where they are at all times and they are very good at always calling. But, oh, what I could do with that extra money.

    • My parents had the same 2 landline phones forever costing them about $100 a month. They both also have cell phones. I finally convinced them to cancel one of the land lines since the only calls they get on it were collections or sales people. When I did this the phone company gave us a great deal to keep one line(kept it for the fax). Now the bill is only $8 a month for the land line and $15 for internet.

  9. I wish we had pay-as-you-go over here. We do have the cheapest plan we could get, though–around $40 a month for both of our phones combined. I have an older Nokia phone with no bells and whistles, but I like it and have no plans to upgrade as long as it works. My husband does have a Blackberry, but it was free (a hand-me-down from a family member) and he uses it a lot for work. We would never have paid for one, though–we’re too cheap! We tried to drop our landline, but it’s bundled with our internet and the company is unable to “unbundle” it (things aren’t always straight-forward in a foreign country). But it’s fairly cheap–around $25 a month for phone and high-speed internet combined.

    I would love to be paying $7 a month for my cellphone–wish that was an option here, as I truly don’t use it that much.

    Morgan´s last post…Its a Dogs Life

  10. I have an Apple iPhone 4G. I’ll admit it- I love it! My kids drowned my 3G one in water (not a day I like remembering). I don’t text on it, my though is this-”if you have a phone CALL the person.” I love having my email, internet right there (especially when I get lost, I’ve used my map application incorrectly in the past). I love that I have a built in camera, (& video camera) especially when one of my kids does something super-duper hammy, & it needs to be captured on film. It has also been a life saver for my sanity- I let my kids play a letters game when I am out & need to get something done.
    My husband also has a 4G iPhone (there are 5 in our house, the other ones are test phones for my husbands’s work). Our 2 iPhones have a semi-hefty bill every month, we account for it in our budget.

    • I was wondering if anyone else was going to say it. I too have an iphone, and I love it. Wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with it, because often I don’t think to use it. However, it has my music, my audiobooks, radio podcasts that I want to listen to, my phone, of course, and voice mail, and texting capability, plus what I use the most: my calendar that syncs with my computer. I just don’t need anything else because it does it all. Not to mention they are great for long trips for kids to download movies or games on. To me, it is worth every penny, I just wish my husband would join the att band wagon so we wouldn’t have to have separate bills. That’s an added cost I’d like to skip. Shame on that apple monopoly!

  11. the cottage child says:

    The phone thing is a sore spot in our house – I’d be happy with a single prepay line for me and the house, but my husband can’t hang. He’s got the top of the line phone for work, but he can’t resist the “sign your life away for 19 years and we’ll send you this new shiny sparkly phone-like thing that will do your laundry and wash your car”. And then the bill comes. And he remembers how much he despises talking on the phone and the whole notion of texting. But then it’s too late….sigh. He’s cute and sweet,though, so there’s that.

  12. I have the original Iphone and I love it. The calendar with alerts sinked to my comuputer really helps me keep track of everyone’s schedule. My GPS took me to the wrong destination the other day, I was able to check my email to get the phone number of the place I was trying to go, otherwise I would have had to go home and skip the event. It is great for quick photos of the kids on the go, or keeping my grocery list. The apps entertain the kids when we are stuck in traffic or waiting in long lines. So really the least thing it is to me is a phone, but it does that too.

    I am hoping to upgrade to the 4G but even a swim in the ocean won’t kill this things.

  13. Wow! That is IMPRESSIVE! I traded down my smartphone for one with lesser intelligence and lesser cost too, but I only got to $40 a month. The thing is, I don’t even talk on the silly thing! I ONLY use it to text. :)

  14. We have a track phone as well and I love it. I spend about $7 a month as well – I think it could be less if we bought the 1 year card with 800 minutes. We have a land line with unlimited long distance (made more sense as far as the cost with our internet), so I don’t use it except when I’m out. I’m at home most of the time with kids and FIOS, so I don’t mind not having a smart phone. Also, because hubster works in a restricted government area, he can’t have a phone that takes pictures – its really hard to find now! We got him the most basic phone without a camera, but it still can text.

  15. With AT&T you can add on a line for $10. My parents (who get discounted phone service anyway, because my dad retired from AT&T) added me onto their plan. My phone has a different area code than I’d like, but for $10 a month, I can’t beat that. I hardly use it anyway, because I hate talking on the phone– I can’t get anything accomplished, and I have to hide from my kids because they must see me talking on the phone and think it’s some sort of signal for them to whine, fight, and ask me questions.

    • the cottage child says:

      “I have to hide from my kids because they must see me talking on the phone and think it’s some sort of signal for them to whine, fight, and ask me questions.”… add break something that’s either dangerous or of significance, and you’re at my house. Do they make a pact in the nursery at the hospital or something?

      • That’s nothing – even my dog looks at me and runs away and won’t listen if I’m on the phone whether it’s a land line or cell phone. It’s like he thinks if I’m on the phone I can’t see what he is doing. My oldest 3 kids were the same as described above. Fortunately my 4th and last child never did that but then I didn’t spend near as much time on the phone when he was younger being a single mom and only one income.

  16. I have the free phone from Verizon that I got 4 years ago. Once our contract ran out (which turned out to be SIXTY-SEVEN DOLLARS A MONTH with taxes and fees), we switched to a PAYG plan and now spend about $16 a month. MUCH better. :-)

  17. I have NO cell phone. I did for awhile but realized I was just flushing my money down the drain. If you need to reach me and I am not home, leave a message. When I am out, I am out. It has been very freeing for me not to worry about where my phone is at all times and to just be present with what I am doing when I am not home.

    The mobile phone industry in Canada is highway robbery, so not having a phone saves a pile of money!

    • the cottage child says:

      I want to be like you when I grow up.

    • I did this for a while, and it was great, we have a home phone with OOMA so we don’t pay a monthly fee on it, it works through the high speed internet. I have a net 10 phone, but I only use it for traveling and when I am meeting up with someone. It cost like 20$ a month though. I could save more money if I got the 30$ card or one of the more expensive ones, but i don’t have the money right now.

  18. Okay, I have to disagree with this money saving tip. My smart phone has saved me way more then I paid for it. But it is all in how you used it. Like the time in the tile store where I showed the mgr the same product for 40% less and they just gave me that price. Or used the AAA app to find a hotel on a road trip or Where Kids Eat Free for a vacation dinner. Many stores will just scan coupons right from your phone (thank you Barnes & Noble and Target!)

    I dont need a GPS, ipod, Nintindo DS, dvd player or even a laptop – my phone does it all (plus it makes calls!).

    Check out the Android smart phones. They are better then the iPhone plus much less expensive.

    Amber´s last post…Sprouts Farmers Market

  19. I, too, am on a “pay and talk” system and always have been. It costs me $10CDN/month. I have mine for a very specific purpose – so my elderly Mum can reach me wherever I am. A very select group have my number and with call display and voice mail I only have to answer it if I want. A mobile is just another tool in our arsenal. We have to decide if it is a useful tool for us and exactly how it can help us in our lives.

  20. I also have T-Mobile pay as you go plan, and only avg. about $7/mo. I don’t like the idea of people calling (or texting) all the time, so I just do not give out my number freely. Probably 98% of the calls are between me & DH (or the kids at home).
    If there were actually pay phones still around I may not even bother with a phone at all.
    It is funny how we have come to “need” to check email(FB, twitter etc) constantly, only travel w/GPS instead of map, instantly take a pic of our kid & send to everyone we know, or not be able to otherwise occupy our children!

  21. My husband and I copped out and asked my parents to add us to their plan. It makes so much more sense than paying for our own because the people we talk to most are each other (free) and my parents and sister (also free, which is good because my family talks a lot!). His family are very terse phone conversationalists, so they don’t use a whole lot of minutes.

    I care about having some bells and whistles on the actual phone. I just got a new touch-phone (not only was it free, but I actually earned my parents $20 for updating their plan) and I don’t think I could go back. I love it! I never get lost; in fact, one time it took me through some back streets and got me somewhere about 20 minutes faster than I would have gone.

    Travis doesn’t care as much about that. He hates texting and has never figured out how to do it. I just barely showed him the wonder of T9… and he’s a techno geek!

    All in all, I understand the appeal of pay as you go, but I don’t think it would be right for us.

    Jennie´s last post…Why My Husband Read- Mother-in-Law is a Genius

  22. I have an LG rumour phone on a pay-as-you-go plan. Cell phone service is very expensive in Canada so I use my phone as little as possible. I average out to $15.83 per month. With my carrier (Presidents Choice) I pay a daily fee so I can call/text any other PC phone for free (both my husband and daughter have PC phones). My phone can go on the internet (unlimited internet is included in the $15.83/month) but it is really slow. Most of the time I just have my phone turned off and just keep it in the car for emergencies.

    Carrie´s last post…Hotel Review

  23. We had verizon plans for a few years, but it was a huge waste of money for us. We aren’t really phone people either. I now have a TracFone and we pay $7/month as well. We went with TracFone because they allow us to roll minutes and our new phone has the double-minute feature as well. So every 90 days, we add a new 60 minute card for $19, keep our leftover minutes and get 120 more minutes. Nice. I don’t know that I’ll ever go back.

  24. That is the EXACT same phone my husband has. lol We both have pre-paid phones and we save so much money by doing that and simply not using them much.

    Kristen@TheFrugalGirl´s last post…Know what’s a super-frugal plant

  25. I have an iPhone and I am fortunate that my company pays for the monthly service ($83/mo.). If that ever ends, I am in trouble! I cannot justify that cost.

    I would probably do what you do for a cell phone – pay as you go. Because I don’t make a lot of calls either. But I’d probably get an iPod Touch and use free Apps for texting. And of course for access to email. :-)

  26. I have the *exact phone* in your hand, and I cannot wait until I get an iPhone.

    Not because I like calling on the phone; I don’t. But I want the iPhone so that I can easily text people, use the GPS function, camera, and be able to access the internet quicker than booting up my computer and starting my mobile broadband card (which costs $60 a month just for that).

    Also, despite the fact that I called customer support, my phone still shows up on Caller ID as Luis Gonzalez, and I still get spanish-speaking people calling me, and my Spanish is not good enough to figure it out. ??

    But I admit — the hubs and I are wondering if we’re up for the price tag of nearly $100 a month for two years.

  27. My mom, my sister & I are on a family plan with Verizon. We split the cost and the minutes but because those are the people I call the most and their on Verizon those minutes aren’t taken away from our monthly budget of time. It’s worked out great for us!

  28. I’m curious to learn more about Google talk…

    We have 2 lines with Verizon that costs about $50/month. No text service for our family. I wish we had Web functionality… but that would double the cost.

    If the phones were cheaper we’d like to move to Walmart’s cellphone service, Straight Talk, with all of its bells and whistles.

  29. Prepaid phone high-five!

    My tracfone runs me approx 6 bucks a month, but more important than the monthly cost is my replacement costs. If my toddler flushes it or I run it through the wash…replacement = $9.99.

    Awesome.

    And the most recent phone I bought from them is my most favorite phone ever. Perfection! I worry a little bit about the chemicals/radiation from the cheaper phones, but I just don’t use it enough to justify the worry.

    Zom G.´s last post…A game in which we all lose

  30. $7 a month sounds enticing. Can you guess how many minutes you use? We discontinued our home phone and get 1500 outgoing minutes, free incoming phone, text and pix for about $50. Wondering if going back to a house phone and a $7 mobile would be cheaper?

    • The minutes cost ten cents a minute (plus tax). My home phone costs $15 monthly. Like others have said, I call the phone company once a year or so to see if they will discount my home phone so that I can get a better rate.

  31. I don’t pay a dime because I have a Blackberry through work. I was getting work calls on my personal cell at the time and I finally put down my foot and went to my boss and said I need a cell!! So I have saved hubby and I about $40.00 a month. Proud of myself for standing up. I think the cell thing is really out of hand! I have a friend who has an iPhone and she lives on it.
    http://www.gettingfitwithliz.com

  32. As a stay at home mom, I don’t know what I’d need a cell phone for? Yes we go out but not once in 9 years of parenting have I ever wished I had a phone on me. Except in a real emergency I just don’t know when I’d use it. If I had a job that required being on the road a lot I’m sure I’d want one but I think having a phone ringing on me when I’ve already got four kids talking at me would drive me bonkers. I don’t even like it at home when the land line phone is always ringing. Don’t get me wrong–I appreciate technology–especially answering machines!

  33. I just switched to AT&T’s PAYG plan last month. On a family plan with my husband and I, it was costing about $75/mo. Now he’s dropped to the smallest individual plan ($40/mo.) and we get a 15% service discount which is just enough to take away taxes and fees. I chose the $1/day (on the days you use your phone) with free mobile to mobile. It works great because all of my family and friends have AT&T, so I only pay $1 to talk as much as I want to them. If I plan on calling someone that doesn’t have AT&T, I wait until I get home and use my husband’s because he has 450 minutes. I bought the 365 day expiration card for $100 and I’m hoping to make it last all year = ~$8/mo. So that drops our phone bill from $75 to $48/mo. We don’t have a landline and I use my work phone in the off chance I have to call someone during the day. Neither of us text, and I put a data/text block on our account. Totally the way to go!

  34. Karen (Scotland) says:

    Totally agree with this. I only carry a phone now because the school/nursery get stroppy with parents who don’t have one in case of an emergency.
    My phone is a pay as you go. I bought it for about £90 two years ago but I’ve only used about £30 of calls/texts. It’s for
    1. Emergencies
    2. When I know I’m meeting someone but plans aren’t rigid

    I have an aunt who calls me on the mobile when she fins my home phone engaged. Seriously. What does she think I’m going to do? Hang up one phone to answer another phone? Yeesh…

    I figure – if I’m out, I’m out.

    And I HATE texting. I had predictive texting for years and didn’t even know about the normal sort of texting so it’s a skill I’ve never really learned. Text-speak (txt spk) makes me feel a bit ill.

    Mobiles have their uses but they don’t steer my day.
    Karen

  35. i used to have a blackberry and when i used it i used it all the time, but my bills were OUTRAGEOUS. this past year our annual income dropped about 20K CDN so i’ve just had to find ways to cut back. and right off was my cell phone. i paid $200 to get out of my contract, but am saving about $100/month in fees (and have unlimited long distance on my home phone). so, $200 lets me save about $1000 over a year. that’s pretty good, i think! i don’t plan on getting a new cell, just stick it with my landline. but i should really get an answering machine.

    ohsweetie´s last post…WIP Wednesday- Shawl and catch up

  36. How timely! My contract expires Friday and I have already planned to do prepay. I am not a talker and the $40 monthly is ridiculous for my non useage.

  37. My husband has a Blackberry through his work and I’m not really a big phone talker so I {and my 16 year old} use pay as you go too. I started with Tracphone several years ago and then switched to Net10 when I needed a new phone. My Nokia cost all of $30 and that included 3 months of service. It costs me $15/month for 150 minutes and I never use all of them. My daughter has a little nicer Motorola phone on the same plan and hers is $15 a month too. She uses a free text program on her I-pod so that saves her minutes. I can’t imagine paying more than $30 a month for cell phones. I know people do, but it isn’t for me.

    Alisa´s last post…The last first day of Preschool sniff- sniff

  38. Rachel,

    Is texting free on the pay as you go phone? I would absolutely LOVE that! Our cell phone bill (with 5 of us on it) is nearly $175.00 every month! I hate that bill, but with a college kid, and two in high school and middle school, I want them to have a phone. Pre-paid sounds so much better than the contract one, but I didn’t think you could text?

    Sharon´s last post…Im trying

  39. One thing not brought up in this discussion is what we are doing to the land when we are continually buying and then throwing out our technology (computuers, cell phones, etc.) According to the NYTimes we acutally ship our tech. waste to Africa. The magazine published graphic photos of how we’re destroing their land. Do we truly need ALL of the technology we arm ourselves with?

  40. Like some above, no cell phone for me. Owned one in the past, but it was just an annoyance (expensive annoyance). People don’t need to reach me every minute of the day (and I don’t want them to either). A land line and voice mail suffices.

    Glad you have service that works so well for you, Rachel. I bet a lot of people could switch to something like that, but haven’t thought about it.

  41. I have the exact same plan and phone! Once I got married, my wife and I used the phone significantly less… it was crazy to keep $80+ monthly fees when less than 100 minutes a month was plenty.

  42. I pay $10 because I’m on my parent’s family plan. My phone is super old, I got it from my sister-in-law when my phone went through the washing machine. I’m getting ready to replace it (I’m eligible for an upgrade) and feel completely lost because I am so cell phone inept!

    Alison´s last post…On Not Getting Angry

  43. I’m spoiled with a Crackberry. With absolutely no family within driving distance, I’m on the phone a lot! I actually kept my So Cal number when I moved to WA because I get free long distance and free calls within my family…besides those two I don’t make any calls, really.

    Also, because I’m traveling a lot, I use the GPS and the Google Maps features…Seattle is way to confusing for an old fashioned map!

    Kait Palmer´s last post…Travels to Canada- Too Much To Do!

  44. I really would rather have my blackberry than a simpler phone. With 3 kids in school, being on the PTO and room mom, and working full-time, I like to be reachable at all times. I despise talking on the phone, so texting and email are preferable to me. I’d rather do without a computer and internet if given a choice. If I was a stay at home mom or didn’t have minor kids I could live with a pay as you go easily. L.

  45. I have a smarttalk phone (not the cheapest but just up from there it was 39 bucks) from walmart. its 30 bucks a month for 1000 minutes of talk and 1000 texts. I use about 200 texts but last month used up the talk minutes as I don’t have long distance on my home phone. no contract. no taxes. I’ll have to check out yours too but I don’t really want to change numbers. I needed a cell phone when I lost my job and this has been GREAT.

  46. I’m switching to pay as you go. I probably use my phone less that you and have no desire to upgrade. I live a simple life with no need to chase technology where ever I go. That bill is coming to an end. Thanks.

  47. I love my iPhone, I use it for everything, keeping my calendar, lists, texting, photos, podcasts, look up stuff, even for work. My Mama and my 2 kids and I are all on one plan and we save a lot of money that way. I communicate with my sister more with texting than I have in my whole life. Some people are just textable or something. No one has a land line. The funny thing to me, is before cell phones, I hated the phone, I felt insulted that anyone would call me and interfere with my life!!

  48. I was just thinking I needed to downgrade. I mainly talk and text on my phone. I have a prepaid unlimited plan and it works well. I had a track phone but I talked too much. As for the phone itself- mine is a simple samsung number.

    Googlover/keishua´s last post…Something to Sing About

  49. I’m sadly on the expensive phone plan team. My husband and I both have iPhones, and it is pricey. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I do sometimes wonder how I let my phone-lifestyle inflate so much.

    On the other hand, when my laptop died I decided not to replace it, since my iPhone is a reasonable enough alternative.

  50. I am so glad I am not the only one! Sometimes I feel like I am in the dark ages with my cell phone that is my Father’s cast-off from 3 phones ago! I do AT&T pay-as-you-go and have done this for 4-5 years now. I buy $25 every 90 days, I usually have money left over, but if you buy another $25 within the 90 days your left-over money rolls over. I spend around $8 a month. My husband’s is $54! Thanks for showing me how much I have saved us over 3 years! I’ll have to mention that to my husband since he has us on the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover…It makes the $200 contract cancellation fee for his phone not seem so bad…
    I would love a newer phone that would be easier to text, but I only text a couple of times a month anyway, I guess I can triple-tap…

    Darcy´s last post…Just Grace- Fun Books

  51. I just signed up a new plan – I always use 2 year contracts with good caps and lots of free time…the bonus is a free phone. This means I have the new nokia x6 phone which is one of the smartphone generation. I may never use its full functionality but it costs me no more. I also have no home landline, so save a fortune there :)

    angelvalerie´s last post…getting in a groove…

  52. I’m linking to this in my Saturday post.

  53. I get my phone and prepaid-plan from a coffee roaster here in Germany (where they sell everything and coffee), the phone (a very simple one, not a smartphone …) cost me EUR 25 three years ago and I only pay when I actually make calls or send texts, 15 EURct/min. I recently got a replacement phone for the older one which cost me EUR 5 :-)

    I first got a cell phone because of my mother’s health issues – needed to know that my family could reach me. There are about 5 or 6 persons who have that number – everybody else has to call me on my landline, and when I’m out, I’m out …

  54. wow! i’m spending way more than that, even though i’ve got an old free phone and not too many bells of whistles on my plan.
    I have to say I’m way more jealous of you who’ve got sub $10 monthly phone bills than i am of my friends with their iphone 4 and unlimited data plans. way to go, and thanks for showing me a mess of new tricks.

  55. I have a Virgin Mobile pay as you go — $20 every 3 months at CVS and it automatically reloads. Usually carry a credit over $100 because I use it only while traveling 1 month out of the year — otherwise its just in my bag for emergency use. My triple tap phone only cost $10 — but DH recently sprang for the $30 model with a camera, blue tooth capability and other amazing features.

  56. well, we are on a major budget, so i am the $10 add a line for at&t because my husband’s work pays for his smartphone and service {he chose the iphone}

    and i won’t lie, i would love to have an iphone. instead, i have the freebie nokia they give to you when you sign up. one day…

    i do save OODLES of money by not having cable, using rabbit ears on my tv, and paying for $15/month for TIVO. maybe i could one day use that money saving tip to leverage for an iphone {but we seriously don’t have it in the budget now} until then…

    Stephanie´s last post…The Garden- Sweet Savannah- &amp My Life

  57. My husband and I have cell phones for emergency use only, and we occassionally use them when one or the other of us is traveling. I searched and searched for the absolute leanest, cheapest, most flexible pay-as-you-go option and decided to go with PagePlus Cellular. They use I think the Verizon network so there’s good coverage. The smallest package is $10 for 100 minutes (120 days to expiration), and since this is about all we need given our very, very limited calling habits, it ends up costing us about $30/yr per phone, plus tax.

    Amy´s last post…Professional development

  58. My hubby is a university prof which = lousy pay. They also don’t provide office phones without charging his program (research) funds, and it is crazy expensive. So, he has to have a cell phone. He uses a Skype number for work stuff, that forwards to his cell. I used to have a Vonage phone but at $35/month (with taxes) it turned out to be cheaper if I switched to the cell phone. Plus, there is the 20% university employee discount (one of the few perks). We went family plan on the Verizon number that he has, got the 1400 minute option, that included the friends and family option. Between free calls to other Verizon numbers (which seems to be everyone out here) and the friends and family, the 1400 minutes shared between the two of us is plenty. Without the friends and family, not even a chance of being close enough. A land line out here would cost as much as adding me to the cell… no bundle prices with internet. As my best friend lives in S. Korea and all of my family is out of state, we talk a lot… I guess we could revert to letters in the mail but… And, I would LOVE a smart phone, but can’t justify it. We have matching Samsung stupid phones and have never ever sent a text. Hate them.

  59. Our phone bills are outrageous (in my opinion, not my husbands). I am looking at doing something different with my cell phone service. I can text my son using ‘Pinger textfree’ when I have wifi available but on the road I need cell service. I’ll check into pre-paid for service in my area ~ thanks for this post . . I was ‘sent’ here by family member, Cara, from ‘Health, Home and Happiness’ blog.

  60. I also have an old-school-looking phone (actually, yours looks more modern than mine) and I have the T-Mobile prepaid plan as well. I’m not a huge yacker, either, and don’t even text on mine.

    I’m patting myself on the back because I just taught myself (last night) to program phone numbers into it. Now I don’t have to open my planner to get a number out. I rock.

    Blessings to you on the house hunting. Loved that banana and dying roses.

  61. I have one of those too! We were cell-phone-less for about a year, and are slowing rejoining modern society :-) My husband just got a “real” cell phone, we don’t have a house phone (though we may get one when we’re more settled), and mine is pay-as-we-go. Glad to hear others are doing the same!
    Eliz. K´s last post…[sandwishes]

  62. Tracy (@fromthekiwigirl) says:

    Hi there..clicked here for some down to earth budget tips. Ideally, in a perfect world I would like a iphone5, when it comes out but due to difficult change of events have to down size my budget and curb my gadget tendencies. Seeing how much money I can save with eliminating my monthly mobile bill I could buy a brand new Canon.
    http://www.canon.com.au/en-au/worldofeos/photo5/home?wid=jfphoto51109
    So, in conclusion I will cut the the cord to my existing plan. Go native..(will have to adjust), save and become FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT!