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Old 09-26-2012, 12:24 PM   #31
erin1715
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
I can't think of any convenience big enough and important enough to pay a car payment amount for cell phones. Sure it would be cool to be able to look something up while at the store (recently wanted to look up something for the car while in the automotive section of Walmart) but it certainly isn't worth that kind of money just for the occasional convenience.

That is why we have AT&T GoPhones. We don't use them to talk because a - the sound quality on any cell phone isn't close to a regular phone, b - the reception isn't anywhere close to a regular phone judging on the amount of people who I talk to while they are on a cell and breaking up, c - We simply just don't need to be gabbing on phones. My wife talks to her mother constantly, but that is when she is home. When driving, we are both driving and do not gab on the phone. When we are out we are doing what we are out for and not gabbing on the phone. When we are eating dinner, we are eating dinner and not gabbing on the phone, etc.

We got cheap cell phones so we can keep in touch with each other when at work. We work different times and rarely even see each other. We first had Tracfones and upgraded last Christmas to the GoPhone with Android phones. We only communicate with texts as there is nothing we need to be gabbing on the phone for except for emergencies.

We pay $5/month for each phone for texts. On the rare occasion we talk, which is maybe 3 times a year, we pay $0.10 per minute. We don't have data, as I said, it isn't worth $200+ per month for the occasional "what kind of filter does the car need" data search while at the parts store. We use the phones at home on WIFI for general time wasting surfing that we normally would use the computer for. The phone wouldn't come close to replacing the computer though, I'm a photographer and play around with photos, I play the guitar and play around with guitar stuff on the computer, I play around with various simulation "games" and can only do that on the computer. I fly RC and use a simulator in the winter when I can't fly outside. I work our budget in Excel and pay the bills which would be a PITA on a tiny phone screen. So, the internet usage on the phones is just time waste while watching TV in the evenings.

My daughter wants a phone for her 12th birthday. For $15/month, we will have 3 Android phones being used for texting. I looked up Verizon and AT&T (only 2 that gets decent service, though still not perfect) and it would be over $200 for 3 phones. That's a pretty large difference at $185 just to be able to get quick communication while apart from each other. Our yearly cost for 3 cell phones is just a hair more than what everyone else pays per month.

Every time smart phone discussions come up, people jump in to justify with the "I need it for work". That has no bearing in any of these discussions as that is a business expense and not a personal household budget expense. Aside from those trying to justify it through the "I need it for work" excuse, I just can't see how everyone justifies the need to be on the internet while out and about. Why do people have to be banking constantly? That is one excuse I see a lot of for justification of expensive cell phone service. What other things do you folks do that is a "necessity" that you all justify the expense?

Don't get me wrong here, folks want smart phones and if you can afford the want, that's great. I just see so many people justifying it as more than a want and I can't figure out why you need to do all that stuff while you are away from home.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:04 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by 4GoofyCrew

I think it must be 98% of people in 98% of America because we don't live in the boonies and our Sprint service was AWFUL. We dropped them about a year early on our contract because we just couldn't justify paying each month for service we couldn't even use.
This! We were originally with AT&T and when the contract was up, I justified switching because I could save about $50 a month. ( more money for my Disney habits). The service is AWFUL!
AND.... When we first switched, we turned in our AT&T iPhones for credit toward our Sprint iPhone . Well..... The employee thought it would be good idea to steal my phone out of the recycle bin in the store and sell it to someone across the Mexican border! (I live in So San Diego, so it's literally 8 miles away)
I didn't plan ahead and shut off my AT&T service a few days after turning it in. When I got my final bill, I almost vomited! $1275 in international roaming charges! I reported it to the Sprint store and they could have cared less. The Mgr never called me to apologize after following up or to update me on what happened. She "promised to look into it" and that was about the extent of her concern. I'm about ready to switch back..... Had to vent.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:06 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
......
My daughter wants a phone for her 12th birthday. For $15/month, we will have 3 Android phones being used for texting. I looked up Verizon and AT&T (only 2 that gets decent service, though still not perfect) and it would be over $200 for 3 phones. That's a pretty large difference at $185 just to be able to get quick communication while apart from each other. Our yearly cost for 3 cell phones is just a hair more than what everyone else pays per month.
Well, it's Verizon's switching over to the Family Share Plan that is really ticking me off about the whole thing. I don't need a Smartphone, it's just a toy to me (and honestly, it is for my husband, too, but he just flat out wants one). To switch even one of our phones to a smartphone would triple the cost of our "dumb" phones now- to $30 a month, each.

It's not a matter of being able to afford it. I just don't think it's worth it, ad I really don't like the feeling of being ripped off, which is what is happening.

But it's also true that it's this monthly spending here, there, and everywhere that adds up, and I am re-examining everything from the pest control man, to Genealogy.com, to the National Geographic subscription. It's kind of out of control around here, IMHO. A person can spend a small fortune without even realizing it, in monthly fees alone. My DH never even looks at the budget, only the checking account (sound familiar to anyone?) so it's up to me to obsess about these things. He is the grasshopper and I am the ant!

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Originally Posted by Irin997 View Post
Yup smart phones aren't cheap. My DH and I both have iPhones with Verizon and our monthly bill is $145 per month - BUT my DH's work reimburses him for the data plan, so technically our plan is $115 a month. It is most definitely a want and not a need - BUT it has certainly come in handy in more than one occasion. Could I go back to a "dumb" phone if I needed to, sure, but for now I love my iPhone.

With that said, when the time comes for DD11 to get a phone (which she desperately wants but isn't getting just yet) we'll just add a "dumb" phone to our plan for $10 a month.
I don't know about that. I also have a child who is also waiting in the wings, but Verizon is switching to the Family Share Plan. (See my complaint, above). An extra line on my current plan is $9.99, but you can't add one for that any longer. In the future, they will be $30 a month, and you will get hammered on the upgrade. Like me!

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Originally Posted by momof1princess View Post
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.
Yeah, I spent (wasted) time yesterday in a Verizon & ATT store. That was two hours of my life I'll never get back. I think they think people will put up with anything for an iphone.

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Originally Posted by DawnM View Post

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.

Dawn
Um- not in Montana. That's part of my problem. I did check out STraight Talk and I'm really interested in that, but there are some coverage gaps that I'm concerned about. We don't have T-mobile, or Virgin, or any of a half-dozen mobile phone companies I've seen mentioned in this thread.

What I might do is get my sister to put my daughter on her plan, and pay her back for it. Then DD can get her iphone. SHe's going to school in the Bay Area, and honestly, every kid there DOES have an iphone and I don't want to ignore the fact that technology is a really, really big deal there and her future may be dependent on how proficient she is with that kind of thing.

For me, DH, DS 20, and DS 14, not so much. DH loves him some Apple, though- we have more computers than people in this house . So I told him if he can make the media/communications costs net neutral after all the changes, I won't complain. (I'm lookin' at YOU Optimum!)
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:29 PM   #34
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That group plan (family share plan) is the one I'm looking at for $240, with below-average data usage. For most people it would be closer to $260
I've got their old plan, it's $145 for four regular phones. If I tried to get that very same plan now, it would be at least $170. I feel like staying on the old plan it until they kick me off!

Divided by 5 people that's only about $52/month? Can your college kids pay for their share or some portion of it? I have an iPhone 4S with Sprint and pay $73/month totatl for unlimited everything. When I looked into upgrading to the 5 (although I just got the 4S in April), I could get the phone for almost nothing, but for whatever reason my monthly bill shot up to $109/month . No thanks. I just did the IOS6 upgrade and went on my way.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:30 PM   #35
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We pay $275 month for three smart phones and two dumb phones on a Verizon familiy plan. Two of the smart phones have insurance on them and everyone has unlimited texting.

In our family, kids get smartphones when they start paying for them, which one has. He saves almost half by staying on our plan and reimbursing us. His money -- he can do what he wants with it.

DH and I don't *need* smart phones, but we do find them convenient. We both use them some for work, but neither of us are reimbursed, so I look at that as a *want* instead of a *need* on behalf of work. I use the GPS quite a bit. I am also doing Weight Watchers, and the phone has been a big help with tracking.

I'm sure most college students do have smartphones, but mine doesn't and I'm sure he'll survive.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:37 PM   #36
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I think I'm the only person in the world who does not have a smart phone.

I use a pre-paid cell phone with no data. I paid $100 for minutes the first year, so that I could get gold status and then have minutes roll over year after year.

I think this year I only paid for $20 worth of minutes so far. I pretty much only use it for emergencies or to call DH and let him know I'm somewhere.

DH gets his iphone/smart phone service through work. Our kids are 8, 4 and almost 2 so no phones for them.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:41 PM   #37
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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.

Dawn
Did you buy an unlocked iPhone and then get the sim card from Straight Talk? If so, where did you buy your phone? And is getting the sim card (only) from ST pretty straightforward? That's what I've been thinking about doing. Thanks.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:53 PM   #38
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Divided by 5 people that's only about $52/month? Can your college kids pay for their share or some portion of it? I have an iPhone 4S with Sprint and pay $73/month totatl for unlimited everything. When I looked into upgrading to the 5 (although I just got the 4S in April), I could get the phone for almost nothing, but for whatever reason my monthly bill shot up to $109/month . No thanks. I just did the IOS6 upgrade and went on my way.
The cost differential is only $20 or $25/person/month. That is a starbucks coffee each per week.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:46 PM   #39
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Divided by 5 people that's only about $52/month? Can your college kids pay for their share or some portion of it? I have an iPhone 4S with Sprint and pay $73/month totatl for unlimited everything. When I looked into upgrading to the 5 (although I just got the 4S in April), I could get the phone for almost nothing, but for whatever reason my monthly bill shot up to $109/month . No thanks. I just did the IOS6 upgrade and went on my way.
Yep, same as Verizon. Seems the major carriers are jacking up the rates when you upgrade. I think a lot of people who are happy smartphone campers right now are going to be in for a shock when they upgrade or change their plans. Right now, I can't even find my current plan on Verizon. It is no longer an option, I'm just grandfathered into it. Kind of like my old Delta Skypoints card.

No, my college kids don't pay for very much. A long time ago I made a deal with them to excel academically. That is their "job", and they've done well. Their scholarships are worth more than they could ever save up working. So it's all on Mom & Dad, but it's okay, I'm just trying to get the best deal for everyone.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:53 PM   #40
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I'm not getting the hype with smart phones either.

Why do people feel the need to be online when at restaurants or at the mall or a sporting event, etc??? I don't get it.

If you want to be on a computer that badly, go home! lol
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:58 PM   #41
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The cost differential is only $20 or $25/person/month. That is a starbucks coffee each per week.
True, but it is just that kind of thinking that leads to $1000 in membership fees, subscriptions, and services every month, as I was complaining about earlier today. Lots of things are only the cost of a starbucks coffee- I just don't think we need all that "coffee". I don't even want to say what we really spend on things we think we need, but don't. Even though we can afford it, it just seems wasteful.

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I'm not getting the hype with smart phones either.

Why do people feel the need to be online when at restaurants or at the mall or a sporting event, etc??? I don't get it.

If you want to be on a computer that badly, go home! lol
Haha, home is a problem, too. I just visited my sis, and you know how people used to sit around and quietly read, play, chat or whatever all together in the family room? My sis's family all read their ipads. But she lives in the heart of Silicon Valley so I suppose this is considered normal behavior. Now, I don't know that this is a bad thing, except they will ignore a real-time conversation to do it. I don't know that it's any worse than TV. But perhaps this is the way it's going to be and we all just need to adapt? You and I might just be Luddites!
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:58 PM   #42
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Our Verizon bill is $270 a month for 3 iPhones & one regular cell phone. We have unlimited texts & phone calls, insurance on all the phones & I think it's 10G & the family share plan. This is with a 20% discount too! It's a lot I'll admit it but we love our smart phones. Technology & electronics are our families only vice so we can totally justify the high cost
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:12 PM   #43
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I do not have a smart phone and neither does DD12. I've reached the point in my life where I don't feel the need to have the latest and greatest stuff just because everyone else does. And I feel good about that. I think my parents set a good example for me growing up in that way, and I can look back now and see that life really was pretty good despite all of the things I wanted and didn't get Really, life was much simpler in a good way back then I think BECAUSE we didn't have so much "stuff", and I guess I am at a point where I am interested in having a bit of that simpler life back now. I don't want to be tied to my work email 24 hours a day, and I don't really need to spend any more time on the Internet than I do already! Now, I admit the whole "simplify life" persepective didn't really kick in until I was in my 40s, but I really enjoy having it now. And it makes me want to set the same example for my daughter so that when she's in her 40s she can have the same epiphany.

Of course, I've worked in IT for over 25 years now. I'm pretty much sick of technology by the time I go home every night. I need more technology in my life like I need a hole in the head.....

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Old 09-27-2012, 09:01 AM   #44
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We are a family of five (two parents, two in college, one middle-school age) and the four adults have cell phones. I casually promised my kids and DH that I'd sign us up for some iphones when our contract with Verizon came up- but was totally shocked by the cost- $230-$240 a month!

I'm sorry, but I just can't see spending $3000 a year on cell phone service. Now I kind of feel like a heel about going back on my word, but I had no idea. None of us really need these things- my husband is a doctor (I can't even get him on the line most of the time!) and I'm newly retired. And, of course, the youngest child will need a cell phone in about a year when he starts to drive.

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?
Don't sign 2 years of your life (and $3K) away!

Look around the Budget Board -- there are a lot of threads popping-up every day about the "Prepaid Revoultion" and how it relates to today's smartphones -- you may be about to find great service on the most popular devices for only $45 a month -- yes, I said $45 a month ($540 over a 12-month period)...with no committments.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:06 AM   #45
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For those curious, I only recently leaped into the smartphone world (after a lot of thought) -- I have a fully-featured Android device with unlimited calls/text/web carried over the Verizon national network for only $45 a month -- the only "catch" is I pay Net 10 for the service (they are reselling this service for VZW), and I am not handcuffed to a contract for 2 years, which means if I get bored with the device, I can move-on to something else...on my terms...
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