Paying Too Much For iPhones

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:58 am on Monday, October 22, 2012

Even as people have cut back on their expenses the last four years, they have been paying more for their iPhones. The Wall Street Journal reports that with smartphone bills running about $100 a month, “the average household’s annual spending on telephone services rose to $1,226 in 2011 from $1,110 in 2007, when Apple Inc.’s iPhone first appeared.”

And those with numerous iPhones pay “sometimes more than $4,000 a year.”

On top of that, people sign contracts locking them in at these high rates for a years at a time.

Needless-to-say, we can do better than that. Up until recently, I used a T-Mobile plan that cost about $45 a month and had unlimited Internet and more texts than I ever came close to using. It was important to me that my cell phone plan:

a. not be AT&T, because their bad customer service and monopolistic tendencies bother me,

and

b. not be month-to-month. As soon as you sign that contract, you lose your right to switch carriers and are at the company’s mercy.

But $540 a year for a cell phone is still pricey, so I decided to try this $10 per month plan recommended by Mr. Money Mustache. Assuming it works out, that will save me $440 a year.

And if it doesn’t cut it for my cell phone needs, Virgin Mobile has a plan that costs $35 a month with no contract.

More contract-free plans are showing up every day, so a bit of shopping around can save you hundreds, if not thousands, in your budget.

What cell phone plan do you use?

5 Comments »

Comment by Eileen

October 22, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

$4000 a year is CRAZY. I read that MMM article–but since I don’t have cell service at all, I don’t know if I’m going to bother!

Pingback by Savvy Housekeeping » Reassessing Luxuries

January 9, 2013 @ 7:32 am

[...] Phones–Sometimes cell phones are a necessity, but judging by how much people pay for their iPhones, there are data plans and other extras that can be [...]

Comment by Justin Watt

January 30, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

Someone at work recently recommend <a href="https://ting.com/"Ting to me. Looks pretty sweet to me, like everything a cellphone company of our generation *should* be, but I’m not sure it’s that much cheaper than the competition. I guess the nice thing is they scale down or up your service depending on how much you use. The only catch is it runs on Sprint’s network, so it requires a Sprint compatible CDMA (as opposed to T-Mobile and ATT and the rest of the world’s GSM phones).

How are you liking Airvoice Wireless?

Comment by Justin Watt

January 30, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

Whoa, I kinda messed up the link above. Meant: Ting.

Comment by Ms. Savvy

January 31, 2013 @ 7:27 am

I’ll have to check out Ting. Airvoice is perfect for me, since I barely use my phone. I can look things up, text, make calls, etc. and it costs only $10 a month. The downside is that the money goes fast. I had to turn off data usage so that the phone didn’t eat the $10 by automatically checking e-mails or whatever. So it’s a little extra work every time I want to use the Internet, since I have to turn on data (or check for free wireless) first. Also, you have to go on their site and renew every month, which is annoying. So it’s definitely not for people who use their phones for business or have an active texting life, but for my purposes, it’s perfect.

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