My wife and I used to each have a cell phone, not fancy ones, just plain ones. Not fancy plans, just plain old plans. For the two phone service, taxes and all the made up phone company fees it costed us around 68 dollars a month. Therefore talking on the cellphones was not only convenient, but it was costing us over 800 dollars a year. For what? Hmmm… we don’t even spend 800 a year on our home phone and its free long distance to US and Canada (we use Vonage). But when we looked around, the best we could do was a basic emergency type plan for 19.99 a month each, plus activation fees, plus all the taxes and made up fees they have. So in the end the cheapest we could do was about 50+ a month.
We decided a couple years ago that we just are to dependant on the cell phones, we don’t need to use them, so we only wanted them for emergencies on the road and for while we are travelling. We didn’t used to have cell phones, life IS possible without them. But the wife driving 20 miles each way in the country every day with our new son wasn’t going to happen without one. I drive over 100 miles to the city for business on occasion and I needed one. I think. Hmm…
So here is what we did, and its worked out perfectly. Even living 100 miles from anywhere, we still have some options, so in the big cities, I know there are options. Look into the trac phones and pay as you go things. But glance around at the options and figure out what will work for you. For us, the basic 29 dollar nokia phone at wal mart on the alltel simple freedom was the best coverage and plan here, it came with 2 free months each. After that, you can do monthly from 10 bucks a month in cards every month or save yourself hassle and money and do an annual. It costs us 99 dollars for an XXX minute ( I think like 250 or something), but the service is good for one year from activation. So for both phones for 14 months, it cost us 29.99+29.99+99.99+99.99 add 7.3% tax to tally 278.XX dollars, and just 99 each per year thereafter. Service is with alltel, same as we had before, no difference, coverage is the same. We cut back on minutes, but we will survive. Honestly, we hardly ever use them anymore anyway, but its peace of mind to have them while travelling. Plus you feel good knowing that in the first 14 months we saved 674 dollars, and every year after we save 598 dollars.
After two years in, we have now saved 1272 dollars. Was it hard… no. Was it a lifestyle change… not really. Look into it, or at least see what’s out there. The still have voicemail, texting and all that jazz. The only thing we changed is a bunch of wasted money into a bunch of saved money.