Getting Rid of my Debt, Part 9: Changing Cell Phone Carriers

Osito!

Just one reason I am working hard to get out of debt. So I can save more like my baby girl, Osito.

If you know me in real life, you know that I can sometimes be what they call, ahem, “decision-impaired.” 🙂 Before I make a decision about something, I feel like I have to research every option, you know, leave NO stone unturned! It might be because of my current full-time occupation of being a law librarian, and having a wealth of resources at my disposal every day. I feel like I need to keep looking for things until I find out definitively that I have found all that is to be found.

Other than cutting my grocery bill, which I mentioned in last week’s post (Part 8), the only other thing I can think of to cut is my cell phone bill. Currently, I’m with AT&T and pay $91/month. That gives me up to 3GB of data and unlimited texts and something like 450 minutes, of which I never use all of them. I’ve looked at my data usage over the past year and a half and it seems like I have never gone higher than 1.6GB of data usage, even with all the texting I do. Also, I’m no longer on a contract with AT&T (yayy!!!!) So I can switch carriers and not have to pay an early termination fee (which I find to be completely total BS, anyway.)

I have an iPhone 4S, and truth be told, I do love the Apple products. I love my iPad mini much more than I liked my Google Nexus 7 tablet, I have to admit. So I’d like to keep my own phone. Otherwise, what’s the point of saving on the monthly fees when you have to buy an expensive new phone? Kind of defeats the purpose if you ask me.  Plus, the 4S that I have is only a few months old. My original one started freaking out on me back in October, so I was able to get this one for $49 instead of paying full retail. Cha-ching!

So, this leaves me with fewer options. Good for the decision-impaired part of me, but bad for the $ part of me. I narrowed it down to T-Mobile and Straight Talk. And then, out of the blue, came another competitor — Aio Wireless.  T-Mobile charges $60 + taxes for 2.5 GB at 4G speed, supposedly Straight-Talk does the same. Aio Wireless charges $55, inclusive of taxes, for the first 2GB of data. Since I know the taxes can add up to a ridiculous amount, I’ve decided to go with Aio Wireless.  Why? Well, I read some reviews of Straight Talk and the customer service wasn’t known to be that great. And while I don’t love AT&T, I am thinking going with one of their subsidiaries might get me higher priority on a cell tower. We’ll see.

I figure that regardless of which carrier I switch to, it’ll be a no-contract plan. So if it doesn’t work out after a month or two, I take my business elsewhere. It may be only $30/month I save, but that’s $360/year, and over the next three years, almost $1,000.  What could you do with that amount of money? (I know, my bike was $999, and so worth every penny.) Or, better yet, take that money and invest it, and you have a lot more than $1000!

On another matter, but still related to finances, it’s possible I may be able to start working at the gym one night per week and possibly a weekend day, and I plan on having anything I earn from that job to go directly into my online savings accounts. I don’t even want to see it in my regular bank account! (And if that happens, I also will have a free membership, thus saving me another $59/month, which turns into almost $720/year, which turns into about $2100/3 years……you see where I’m going with this.) Every little bit helps!

What kinds of things have you done, or are you contemplating doing, to save money on your monthly expenses?

6 thoughts on “Getting Rid of my Debt, Part 9: Changing Cell Phone Carriers

  1. Terri I tend to do the same thing especially when it involves finances. I want to ensure I’m getting the best deal. Our money represents our time and that is precious to me. You also touched on this in your previous post. I’m in the market for a new cell phone carrier as well, so your research is valuable. I think the no contract option gives you options try things out without any longer term commitments. I love that option! And another job…girl how much time do you have? lol

    • LOL – well, I guess I’m getting good at managing my time. Oh, and I checked out another company called Cricket for wireless pre-paid plans. The plan numbers looked really good, but I did some googling and people said their customer service was awful. The other thing about AioWireless is that if you need to buy an extra GB of data for a month, it’s $10. So you can buy what you need essentially. Also, one of them (forgetting which one right now) made you buy a plan for 3 months. It saved you money but also tied you in for 3 months.

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