It’s that time of year. Technology companies announce their latest tech gadgets and phones and then crazy people line up in the streets and camp in tents to be the first to get them. It’s really kind of amazing to see what people will do for a cell phone. The Iphone 5S looks pretty much the same as the old model, does most of the same things as the old model, yet people will stand in line for hours and hours to be the first to get one. I really don’t understand.
I have owned a few IPhones over the years and have found them to be indispensible. For awhile I thought it was the IPhone that I couldn’t live without but in actuality it was really more the connectivity that I really needed. I finally decided to make the jump to an Android phone when Google announced their Nexus 4 was only $199 with no contract. When you factor in the carrier subsidy on Iphones and other smart phones, nothing comes close to matching the Nexus value. I now have a new phone, with no commitment to a carrier so I can shop around for the best price on a service plan. My wife and I are currently paying just over $50 each for our service. I haven’t been able to find a prepaid deal that beats this, although if we scale back the service a little, we could probably save a few bucks a month. Tmobile is the best price option but their service just doesn’t cover enough of where we need it to. Verizon has absolutely the best coverage but they are also at least 30% more expensive each month, so we won’t ever use them.
As soon as my wife’s 2 year agreement is over, we’ll definitely start looking more seriously at other options. I like the idea of being able to hop to whichever carrier meets our needs as often as we’d like. A lot of people don’t realize that cell phones have likely become one of the largest ways you bleed money each month. Over the span of 2 years, you can easily spend upwards of $2000 just to be able to use your device out and about. That’s a lot of blood. If we shop for a minimal plan for our phones, we can cut that price in half. As people talk on the phone less and less (or use alternate voice service over their data plan), it’s getting easier and easier to save a lot of money. If Tmobile works well in your area, you can get their $30 prepaid plan which gives you unlimited data and texting with 100 minutes of phone use. To make sure you stay under the 100 minutes of phone use, you can simply use Skype or another voice service that uses your data plan instead of cell minutes. Without much sacrifice (it’s really just a sacrifice of convenience), you could cut your bill by $40+ a month depending on what you have now. That’s a savings of almost $500 a year. That’s huge!