How We Save Money…We Changed Cell Phone Providers & Canceled Our Home Phone


Last week, I talked about how we save $336 a year by canceling our cable. Now, I’ll share how we save money with our phone bills – we changed cell phone providers and canceled our home phone.

Like most people, Nate and I paid for cell service and a home phone line for a few years. As time passed, we used our home phone less and less. We dropped to the most basic package possible (just local calls) but we paid more for line fees and taxes than the actual service itself. It wasn’t worth it and, last fall, we canceled our home phone.

Time to Change Cell Phone Providers

We used to have AT&T. When we signed up a few years ago, it was a reasonable cost compared to other plans, plus it had reception at our house.  (We don’t get reception for many carriers since we’re kind of remote.) But with time, things change, and rates and service can too. Nate and I both had a phone and with our “unlimited minutes” family plan, we paid somewhere around $95 a month. I had unlimited minutes, but only a $5 text plan, with no data plan at all. Too much money!

The kicker was when I started looking into getting a new phone and discovered that AT&T had put in a new policy, requiring anyone with a smart phone to get a minimum $20/month data plan. No thank you!

It was time to look elsewhere.

Other Options

I started seeing advertisements for T-Mobile and their rates seemed pretty good. And they had reception where we lived, so it was a viable option.

Upon researching our options, I learned that I could purchase a phone outright (full cost upfront), then do a monthly pre-paid plan, with no contract, And that’s exactly what we did. I paid $325 for an Android Samsung Galaxy last fall, then chose the $30 prepaid plan. Nate simply canceled his AT&T cellphone (he never used it, he uses his work iPhone.) {Insert my little disclaimer here – I have no affiliation with T-Mobile or any other companies. This is truly just my personal opinion about what my family does.}

Our Savings – $960 a year!

Now, I pay a flat $30 a month. I have 1,500 minutes and each text deducts one minute. Since I’m usually home and just connect to Wi-Fi, I don’t need a huge data plan. I have a small data plan that’s enough for me to check my email when I’m out. I’ve been on this plan for 9 months now and it’s worked out great. And since it’s month-to-month, I can upgrade anytime, if I need more.

We went from $110 a month ($95 cell phone + $15 home), down to $30. We save $80 a month with our decision to change cell phone providers and cancel our home phone.

How Can You Save?

You may not be able to cancel your home phone or switch to a prepaid cell phone plan like we did, but my advice is to simply evaluate your options. You may be surprised at what you can do. Once again, ask yourself if a certain feature is really worth the cost you’re paying. It may be, but then again, you may decide it’s not, and you could save yourself a lot of money.

How do you save money with your phone bills?

Erika
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About the Author

Erika is a happily married mom with four energetic children. With a love for Jesus, photography, organizing, and encouraging other moms, she stays busy and definitely does not have it all together.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing…honestly, my SO rarely uses his cell phone too..I feel that we’re paying too much too!

    • We figured that if something changes, we can always get Nate another cellphone and plan then, but no sense in paying for it every month otherwise. It all adds up!

  2. We’ve been considering this step too. It’s great that there is a cost effective alternative.

  3. I’ve been considering this for a while. I barely use my house phone. I’ve had the same number for like 22 years though, and I’m oddly attached to it!

    • Yeah, that was a hang-up for me too, but when I figured out how much we would save a year, I decided it wasn’t worth it. It is strange though to say good-bye to that #, lol.

  4. DenSchool says:

    Wow, that’s awesome!

  5. We’re still on pay as you go cell phone plans… I put $25 every 6 weeks on mine and both Wayne and my daughter use theirs so little that I only put on $20 every 90 days on theirs…
    I am dreaming of a smart phone though and am looking at options for future plans so thanks for sharing yours!

    • Yes it is possible to have a smart phone and not pay a fortune each month! I think it’s great that you are saving so much each month!

  6. Wow, you’re saving a lot of money! We have cut back at our house as well. We don’t have cable or a home phone, we’ve been trying to use as little electricity as possible, and we’ve cut out restaurants for the most part.

  7. This is something we definitely need to look into. Costs seem to be going up each month!

  8. That is so cool! We also don’t have cable because it just costs too much and doesn’t give enough in return. We also only use cell phones, we got rid of our home phone a while ago because we always only got calls on our cells anyway, why pay an extra $60/month for a basic local calling only home phone that wasn’t used?

  9. NYC Single Mom says:

    I do think about getting rid of land line but as someone who lived through 9/11 and the East coast blackout years back, cell phones are all but unusable except for emergency personnel, hence why so many new yorkers keep their landlines also, because of the buildings cell phone clarity is not always best.
    FB group

  10. That’s a great way to save money. I’m sure you and Nate are super happy. We saved money recently by kicking Cox to the curb and switching to Direct TV.

    Great job!

  11. This is a good idea. I need to consider this once my contract is up.

  12. We cancelled out home phone a long time ago, too…but we recently got it again, because our internet providing was offering it for FREE for 2 years! Free works for me. :)

    Dawn
    http://www.cheapisthenewclassy.com

  13. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    Wow! You are saving so much now!

  14. You know it’s interesting b/c I’ve heard people doing this to save money and I’ve been curious about it. The only thing is I talk on the phone a lot…I wonder if I would go over minutes…KWIM?

    • I talk a lot too, and I’ve been fine with my 1500 minutes a month. The next plan up is unlimited minutes for $50 a month. Not too bad!

  15. Thanks so much for sharing. I feel like I pay way too much in phone bills:(

  16. You’re so lucky you get T-Mobile service in your house! We can only get US Cellular and then it “roams” when we’re in the house! Grrr!! We have to keep our home phone! BUT we also just got an iPod and use the texting app on that to “talk” to most people we know. Technology really is great sometimes! Reducing bills is great too!! Thanks for sharing because I’ve told so many people to do this and they think I’m insane. Good to know there is someone else out there!! :):):)

    • Nope, you’re not the only one insane! haha :) But that stinks that you can’t get much for service. It’s tough here in NH sometimes. Options can be limited.

  17. Great tip, and wow that is a lot of money saved! We still have our home phone because while my fiance has a cell phone and pays for his phone’s service, I do not have a cell phone. Never have had one, in fact. I know, me and the people who have been living in the nursing homes for the past decade are the only ones who have never had a cell phone. However, we did switch providers and instead of staying with our local phone service provider, we got Vonage which has saved us a considerable amount of money.

  18. I am grandfathered in under an old cell phone plan that is SOOO inexpensive, we still keep our home phone in case of emergency. We learned after the hurricanes that when there’s no electricity, and we couldn’t get cell service because of the bad weather, that the home phone (I keep a “regular” phone that’s not cordless in the house) was essential for emergencies..

  19. We have changed a few things like our cable provider and insurance, but not a phone service just yet. So far,, when we have called to ask for a better deal they give it to us!! Good advice on how to get he better deal!

  20. The prepaid plans are so much better. With the ability to call anyone on Skype through your computer for free and you can use your computer to call using GMail it is hard to justify a lot of money spent on cell phones.

    Rick

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