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The Exhorbitant Cell Phone Expense

Thank God for cell phones... but if you're a techno-whore like I am... you get sucked into high end phones and use the phone to extreme. I'm a blackberry user with T-Mobile and have been a loyal customer for 8 years. As much as I'd like an i-phone (currently only with the AT&T plans), I have controlled my whoredom and stayed with T-Mobile. And, I refuse to pay for "data" services. My blackberry picks up internet through "hot spots" for free, but oh, it'd be so nice to have data all the time. At $25 per month extra PER phone for internet, I just refuse. Even still... our bill runs $2,800+ per year for the four lines I have (unlimited minutes and texts).

I read an article this week about reducing household costs and a website was recommended that I wanted to share. It's and it is a "safe site" recommended by yahoo! You plug in your credentials for your cell phone account or download your bill and they analyze it instantly FREE and recommend cost-saving reductions or other plans. Seems I'm on the right plan for the usage... Anyway, you might want to check it out for yourself.

Happy Friday!


Jilly said...

someone told me that if you have an ipod touch, you can make calls for free using skype if you take advantage of free hot-spot internet. if you're in an urban area, this is a great idea, if you're not, it sucks. I have internet on my chocolate and get my e-mail, radio, mpa player, pictures, website acess etc. my husband has an env and gets all the same things. we don't pay extra each month for the internet, they charged us a once time fee per phone to "install and turn on" (as if they had to install anything) the internet. we thought of getting my guy a droid because he uses his phone like that, but really, within 3 years or so all of that crap will be standard, so why pay for it now?

we don't get text messaging and we don't get unlimited minutes, but i hardly use my phone and he usues his, but not crazy. you've got teens, so it makes sense for you to have millions of minutes.

our cell phone company sends us a letter every 6 months or so telling us that we don't even use half the minutes we pay for and suggests we downgrade, but we're already at the lowest possible on the family plan. fmaily plans come with more minutes than single plans.

but anyway right now verizon is having a buy one get one deal on the droid, which is like the iphone, if you're into that stuff. i have no need or desire for it, but you like pretty new gadgets, so go for it.


Jane said...

I know you're an important, busy woman...........and from what I've read in your blog you've had/have your share of financial problems.
Spending $2800. per year for a cell phone, no matter how you justify it, is a huge waste of money.

doreenmary said...

Dear Jane,

Kinda judgmental comment... no?

That's a phone plan for 4 people I'm taking care of. Tax write-off for my part of it (the majority of the expense). When both kids were in car accidents... and my mother needed me... I'll say no more. Priorities... family first. We don't buy fancy clothes or go to fancy places, we work, go to school and stay in touch.

MelissaTheRagamuffin said...

My job requires that we maintain working cell phones, but they don't pay for it.

I have Sprint. I have 3 lines for $140 a month. That's with all those little hidden fees added in. We all have unlimited data. It would cost me $10 per month to add a fourth line, and that line would get the unlimited data too. Sooooo that would total up to 1800 per year. I do get a 15% discount for working for a non-profit. But, if the school you work for is a state school you might get a discount too. But, even if I added the 15% back in it's less than what you pay. Maybe you should switch.

MelissaTheRagamuffin said...

We have 1500 shared minutes and unlimited data. Because Sprint has fee mobile to mobile (any mobile carriers not just other Sprint users) the three of us together don't use 500 voice minutes a month. What that means for us in practicle terms is that we can talk to eachother, I can talk to my sister, my mom, and my friend Don - and it doesn't cut into my 1500 minutes because they all have cell phones. For $5 extra a month Sprint's night rates start at 7:00 pm. But, the three of us together send thousands of text messages a month. At least around here - Sprint has much better coverage than T-Mobile. The only place I've ever gone that Verizon had coverage that I didn't was the DC Metro.

doreenmary said...

Rag, How many minutes? I use over 3,000 minutes alone, myself. And does that include unlimited texting? I bet if added a line with the minutes needed, you'd be right where I am cost-wise. But do let me know if I'm missing an opportunity to save money after considering texting and number of minutes. Thanks!

doreenmary said...

Rag, I am so going to check it out! I will bring my (book size) monthly bill with me to the store and have them do a comparative analysis. THANK YOU GIRLFRIEND!

MelissaTheRagamuffin said...

Like I said - it's 1500 anytime minutes, but we get free mobile to mobile (any carrier) and our nights/weekend starts at 7pm instead of 9pm.

Unlimited texting is included in the unlimited data. None of us are big phone talkers - we tend to text.


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