Amount Saved: $445.01/yr
As posted previously, I had been considering entirely dumping our Verison Wireless service in exchange for prepaid service through Boost Mobile. I spent several hours analyzing the true cost of doing so by evaluating the cost of the new phones (required for using Boost, optional to stay with Verizon), the monthly cost, etc.
Boost Mobile really looked good at first, but to get a decent phone for each of us would have totaled over $350 dollars, thus reducing the money-saving nature of going this route. The real savings of switching to Boost after buying the phones would have only been about $80.
With Verizon, we have a family plan with a base cost of $69.99/mo. I spoke with a VZW person who told me that the additional charges on wireless cell phone bills (at least in PA) totaled about 18%. Our true cost was usually around $100/mo. That’s because of an extra $5/mo. text messaging package that was added, etc. Our plan included free calling to any other VZW user. This cannot be discounted when choosing another service. It also included free nights and weekend calling – as most do.
We considered dumping local and long distance, then upgrading our plans so that we could eliminate some bills, but after we found Ooma that turned out to be a money-losing proposition.
Finally, we decided to keep one phone on a minimum verizon plan ($39.99/mo.) and sign the other one up for Boost Mobile and use per minute pricing ($.10/minute). Because one if us uses about 100-130 minute per month, this ends up being $10-13/mo total – no taxes or surcharges. Further, we found a refurbished Boost Mobile phone on ebay for $34.99 incl. free shipping.
By going this route, we’re dropping our cell phone cost $480/yr with a 2-yr savings of $925.
The take home lesson here is this:
- Evaluate your cell phone usage
- If someone in your family (if on a family plan) uses barely any minutes, then consider placing them on a pre-paid account
- By doing the math, you can likely find a way to save several hundred dollars per year.
- If you like to use your cell phone for your long distance calling while at home, consider getting an Ooma. You’ll save more that way if combined with the above approach.
Have you found a way to lower your cell phone cost? Please share with us by posting a comment.