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Old 09-26-2012, 08:07 AM   #16
momof1princess
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yes, unfortunately.

DD15 and i each have a smartphone with 2Gb of data per month each. DH has a flip phone. our bill is $237.+ each month. of course, that is bundled with home phone and DSL, so it's not as bad as most people i know; but, for us, it's a LOT of money. we got scammed by a salesperson at the AT&T store (LONG story), and i'll NEVER go in there again. i'll get everything online from now on.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:13 AM   #17
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My daughter's a college student who has no smart phone, and it doesn't seem to be problematic to her. She has access to everything a smart phone can do, but it's on her laptop instead of in her hand. Less convenient, but also less tempting to goof off in class and much less expensive.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:19 AM   #18
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My DH doesn't have any phone.
I use a pay-as-you go that costs me less than $20 a month.
My DS19 just got an iPhone 4 for his birthday....cost $560. His plan through Virgin Mobile is $40/mon plus tax (1200 min, unlimited text/data)... I haven't checked his minutes usage, but we might bring it back down to a $30/mon plan if he's not using much.
My DD17 was using a Blackberry on VM, but some functions on that phone stopped working, so now she's using her brother's old Android phone for $25/mon plus tax. (300 min, unlimited text/data)

So, for a month, I pay approx $85 plus tax for three phones, two of which are mostly used for texting and data.

With Virgin Mobile you pay up front for the phone and then have more reasonable monthly charges. We figure in a bit over a year, you've gotten to the point where you are now ahead of the rest of the phone plans and saving money. And you aren't locked in to a plan.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:19 AM   #19
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I have one son who has an OLD iphone and I got an ATT GoPhone SIM for him. I pay $7/mo because he only uses the phone features when he is out of wifi range.

I downloaded an APP called Pinger that allows him to text in wifi for free and make calls with his phone through the app for .02/min.

Otherwise, calls are .10/min. which isn't bad since he only calls DH and me to let us know when to pick him up and such.

So, it really depends on what you need from a phone. Do your college kids make a lot of voice calls?

There are SO MANY pay as you go plans out there now! Pageplus, ATT GoPhone, T-mobile PAYG, Straight Talk, and there are more!

I have Straight Talk for my iphone. $45/mo. for unlimited everything. DH has a phone through work, so he doesn't need a plan we have to pay for.

Could you tell your older kids they have to pay some of the bill? Maybe get the $45/mo. Straight Talk plan and they pay half???? You will need to purchase your phone outright, but if they are willing to get an iphone 4 instead of the latest and greatest, you can find them for $200 or so used.

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Old 09-26-2012, 08:23 AM   #20
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I am on a family plan with 4 phones.

We have unlimited text
I don't know how many minutes but I know its high enough that we never use them all and they keep rolling over to the point that we are losing points from years ago as they expire and it doesn't matter as we will never use them.
2 of the phones are smart phones (androids), 1 has 2GB of data a month (DH) and mine has 200 MB a month (because I work in front of a computer all day so I don't use much of it... just for email that is blocked at work and checking into flights from work meetings stuff like that)

The cost is $130 for the phones and minutes, $20 to add unlimited texting, and $50 for the data. So the total bill for four phones is $200. We pay $135 (since we have the smart phones and do the texting) and Mom and Dad pay the rest for their phones.

Honestly I could get buy without my smartphone but there are some things I would miss about it. However its only the $50 I would save as I could not get by without unlimited texting. We text alot as its easier if its noisy, if signal is bad, or if we are at work and may not be able to answer right away.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:27 AM   #21
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One note about pay as you go plans......

Double check which cell towers each uses. For us, we no longer get Sprint service at or around our home, so Virgin MObile is out as they use Sprint towers.

Straight Talk uses ATT.

PagePlus uses Verizon.

Some cell plans use two different ones and it will depend on the type of phone you have as to which you will use. I admit I am not the expert so maybe someone else can answer the differences between cdma and gsm and what towers each uses.

I just know I spent a considerable amount of time researching before getting Straight Talk.

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Old 09-26-2012, 08:40 AM   #22
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I had a Blackberry for a couple of years ($30/month plus $15 to "push" my work email) that wasn't reimbursed. I loved it, particularly because it synced with my Outlook calendar and I received reminders via my cell.

With DH being let go at the end of the school year, we rebudgeted and I got just a plain cell. While part of me likes the simplicity, I don't like feeling so disconnected.

The four of us are on AT&T, and I just looked at that Mobile Data Share that a PP listed -- good grief! It's more expensive than if all four of us just paid the $30 per month for the data plan, because it's an additional monthly charge overall AND per phone.

DS18 has a data package for his smartphone, but he pays us for the data package monthly. DD13 wants a smartphone, but we've told her she would need to pay for the data plan, so we're safe for a bit!

The cost really is outrageous.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:46 AM   #23
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We have 2 iphones and just switched to at&t mobile share plan.

It saved us about 30 a month to switch to mobile share.

Our gps died about a year ago and we had a sirius receiver in our car that died a few months ago.

I have a bluetooth fm transmitter in my car. So, my phone is now my gps and my radio (I stream pandora and Iheartradio instead of regular radip).

Our kids have ipod touches and they can facetime my spouse when she is working on the road or text her without using my phone.

We also haven't had a home phone in several years now.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:01 AM   #24
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I was against smartphones for a long while. Until I got one.

As for college students, we are allowed to use the smartphone to look up information in some classes during tests/quizzes if we have electronics so that could help. The smartphone allows students to get online and do work without have to drag around a laptop. You can email and check the online university system for messages and assignments (and grades ).

We also use it as our everyday digital camera and video camera.

My DD14 got the i-phone 4s for Christmas last year and she is able to face-time with her cousin and far away family members which is an added bonus for her.

I rarely see anyone at my university w/o a smartphone. It's noticeable when someone has a regular flip phone.

Obviously people can live w/o any cell phones (my mom refuses to get one for herself) but for the younger generation it is more of a lifeline and social extension of themselves.


ETA~ we have 3 smartphones on a Verizon plan with 750mins(?), unlimited texting and unlimited data. Including taxes and reg fees we pay $235/mth.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:28 AM   #25
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We are in Canada and have 4 smart phones on our plan(my husband has a dumb one paid by his work). Ours runs about 230 a month, but my kids have paid their own bill since they got their phones ( minus $10 that I pay towards their plan til they graduated). My two oldest now pay their full bill so I am only paying 65 a month out of my pocket for my bill and my daughters $10 (she pays 45). I honestly don't think I could have afforded paying the full amount each month, that would have been our Disney trip money ...is there a way your kids could contribute each month? For us, it has been greatest to teach my kids about budgeting and bill paying, they always knew when they had to pay their bill by and made sure to give me the money ...good luck, I love my smartphone and would hate to live without it.

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Old 09-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenElinor View Post
We are a family of five...
Are we behind the times? Are we going to stunt our children's growth and impede their social well-being if we don't jump on the smartphone bandwagon? Does everyone have one of these things?
The short answer to all your questions is NO.

Just because everyone else has something doesn't mean you have to and not having the latest and greatest builds character. They will learn that "keeping up with the Joneses is not important. My son was the only kid who didn't have a cell phone through 7th grade. OMG, it was such a tragedy and we even heard from the parents of his friends that the kids thought we were SO mean. Haha! He got a cell phone when HE could pay for it. He got a job and bought and paid for his own phone. And you know what? He doesn't even USE it now!! I'm not paying an extra $40/month either so he can have internet on his phone. No thanks. He bought his own IPOD touch too. I'm not paying for that either!

Parents make all kinds of excuses for buying phones for their kids, but the truth is, many of them don't truly need them.

My two cents for what it's worth and right there with ya!
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:36 AM   #27
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Yeah they really are that expensive.

When my older kids went from the cheapie phones to the iPhones with data plans they because big presents for birthdays or Christmas. I'm going to be happy when my oldest finally ages out of having Mom pay for his cell phone. I'm pretty sure I'm getting him the iPhone 5 for Christmas and I think after that he's going to be gently nudged into moving to his own grown-up cell phone plan and off of ours.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:37 AM   #28
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I always said I wouldn't use a smartphone, but I almost can't live without it. We travel quite a bit and it has come in really handy. I don't like paying $140 a month, and that's with a 23% company discount, but I can't see giving it up. All of DH's family lives a long distance from us, so not having to pay long distance is great and we don't have landlines at home.

I think when our contract is up, we are going to switch to Virgin Mobile, the upfront cost is high, but it would cut our monthly bill in half and most of the time, we use our phones well beyond the end of the contract, so it's a toss up.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:02 PM   #29
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I was never particularly into smart phones, until I got one. LOL Now I love my phone, I can do so much with it! I want to get DBF one but he doesn't want to pay for it. DD16 has an iTouch and DD12 has a netbook that they can use around the house for doing things online. DBF also has an iTouch that he uses at home. When we are out and things need to be looked up I do it on my phone. We have 4 lines, unlimited text and data (for me only) and we pay $185 a month on Verizon.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:08 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apnep View Post
The short answer to all your questions is NO.

Just because everyone else has something doesn't mean you have to and not having the latest and greatest builds character. They will learn that "keeping up with the Joneses is not important. My son was the only kid who didn't have a cell phone through 7th grade. OMG, it was such a tragedy and we even heard from the parents of his friends that the kids thought we were SO mean. Haha! He got a cell phone when HE could pay for it. He got a job and bought and paid for his own phone. And you know what? He doesn't even USE it now!! I'm not paying an extra $40/month either so he can have internet on his phone. No thanks. He bought his own IPOD touch too. I'm not paying for that either!

Parents make all kinds of excuses for buying phones for their kids, but the truth is, many of them don't truly need them.

My two cents for what it's worth and right there with ya!
I do not have a smartphone, neither does my husband or son. We have truly no need for them and I will not pay more than my cable bill for one. If my son wants one he can buy and pay for it himself. I'll gladly keep my cheap dumbphone.
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