Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership (phone + bills)?

<$1,000
59
53%
$1,000 - $1,500
23
21%
$1,500 - $2,000
14
13%
$2,000 - $2,500
10
9%
$2,500 - $3,000
1
1%
>$3,000
5
4%
 
Total votes: 112

Topic Author
acegolfer
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Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by acegolfer » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:06 am

Curious about how much BH would pay for 2-yr cell phone ownership, which includes the phone cost and monthly bills. Please include the phone cost, even if you had it for more than 2 years for fair comparison.
With the $350 phone and a $70 a month service charge over 24 months, the total cost of ownership amounts to $2,030. If I don't need unlimited data, I can opt for the $50 plan, including unlimited talk and text with 500 megabytes of full-speed data, dropping the 24-month cost of ownership down to $1,550.
source: http://www.tmonews.com/2013/04/the-tota ... ownership/

Please share tips on how to lower the cost, if it can help others.
Last edited by acegolfer on Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

NightFall
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by NightFall » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:55 am

We recently switched to Ting from Sprint. Our bill for two phones dropped from $150+ to $57.50. We brought our own phones, but you can purchase a new Nexus 5 for $350. so (350x2+57.50x24)/2=1040. However, if you're willing to get a used phone, Ting sells an iPhone 4s for $130. So (130x2+57.50x24)/2=830. These estimates are off a bit because I'm using the cost of a two phone plan divided by two, but it shouldnt be that far off. It will also vary based on your usage with Ting, but we didn't change our habits from an unlimited plan when we switched.

msprotege
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by msprotege » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:56 am

off contract At&t or unlocked phone ~$300

Cricket $35 dollar plan (24*35=840)

Total roughly $1140

fposte
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by fposte » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:03 am

Semi-smart phone: $50 (actually bought 3 years ago but we'll fudge it)
Pay as you go prepay of $100 per year: $200

Total: $250

nordlead
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by nordlead » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:08 am

$400 nexus 5 + $12/month of ting usage takes me to ~$700 over 2 years. If my phone lasts 4 years I can take the 2-year amount down to under $500.

I use google voice, so I don't pay for texts. I also use a ton of WiFi and very little cellular data.

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packet
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by packet » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:18 am

Sorry if I've skewed you're poll a bit ... :/ ... ours is quite high because it includes our home internet service. Thus we pay more for a slightly higher data cap... :(

It's part of the cost of living out in the boonies ... and it's totally worth it!

:beerCheers,
Packet
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UncleBen
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by UncleBen » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:23 am

$30 in 2013
$65 in 2014
$95 2-year cell phone and service cost

Let's see, I can call, text, take pictures, send pics, connect to the internet. Pretty much all I need for <$4 month. (I thought there was a mistake on the poll with one zero too many :D ).

Confused
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by Confused » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:38 am

[Blanked for privacy]
Last edited by Confused on Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dbCooperAir
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by dbCooperAir » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:59 am

3 phones, pay by the minute with T-Mobile.

This years usage was $360 + last year, about the same = $720/3 = $240/phone/2 years
We used old flip phones for about the last 6-8 years, lets call that ((3 phones x $50)/6)2 = $23, $23/3= $7.66/phone/2 years.

If I did the above correct that's about $248/phone/2 years. That seems to jive with my $10/month that I use when looking at other options.

Starting about a month ago we bought 2 Moto G smart phones for $150 each, loaded Goggle Voice on them so I think our T-Mobile usage will go down, by all indications it will, it works rather well thus far. I will let you know in two more years how it turns out.

My general observation is that we will not get anywhere near the life out of the smartphones as compared to the old flip phones, do people use the same smart phone for 5 years?

Edit: I should add we still have a land line, but that does not see much use.
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BahamaMan
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by BahamaMan » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:01 am

My total Cost would be about $20.

I pay as you go with T-Mobile and extend my minutes for $10 a year.

Talking on the phone is something I did when I worked. I hate talking on the phone.

lululu
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by lululu » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:10 am

Consumer Cellular doro, $60 for the phone, $14.25 per month, taxes etc. bump that up to about $18 a month for 200 minutes, no contract, so it should run me $216 per year plus the first year the extra $60 for a total of about $500 for the first two years. I could get a cheaper plan, but I'm still seeing how often I use the phone.

Deliberately chose no text plan, people are too connected as it is.

I retired my Samsung flip phone recently, which I had used since 2003, and saved significantly changing from Verizon Wireless to this Consumer Cellular plan.

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jfn111
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by jfn111 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:21 am

Have 4 phones on the ATT family plan for $160 per month. This includes 15GB shared data. Still have an Iphone 4S so haven't bought a new phone in several years.

Topic Author
acegolfer
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by acegolfer » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:23 am

I should have created another choice: <$500. My bad.

Surprised to see many BH pay less than $500 for phone + 2-yr bills. I thought most would pay more than $500 considering high end smartphones costs >$500 itself.

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BigFoot48
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by BigFoot48 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:39 am

The great 4.5" LG41 smartphone I just bought for my Tracfone service is $119. It has ALL the bells and whistles that an Android phone can offer. Triple minutes too! http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Android- ... ords=lg41c

My annual cost is about $80 as the minutes just keep rolling over so I just buy 90-day extensions - four at a time. Need I say, our usage is minimal but increasing.

But, we still pay $380/yr for a land-line so that needs to be factored in.
Last edited by BigFoot48 on Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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CAP_theorem
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by CAP_theorem » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:42 am

Until last Friday my 2 year cost was 105 dollars a year.

That was for a 7+ year old motorola flip phone on t-mobile prepaid buying 1k minutes a year. My wife still uses a phone paid for by her father since she was in college 10 years ago.

Now it's going to be about 3k per 2 year period. One smartphone for myself, one for my wife, 1200$ a year in service. It's a luxury I am going to try out for a little while. I don't think it's really worth it, but I can technically afford it and my hope is that costs will go down.

my2014
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by my2014 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:01 am

$0

We're lucky......employers cover both the phone and monthly plans for both of us

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backpacker
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by backpacker » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:05 am

Used iPhone 4 off eBay: $200.
200 megabytes T-Mobile data: $0
Google Voice: $0
Total: $200

Topic Author
acegolfer
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by acegolfer » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:08 am

backpacker wrote:Used iPhone 4 off eBay: $200.
200 megabytes T-Mobile data: $0
Google Voice: $0
Total: $200
I doubt you will be able to use the 200mb free SIM card on iphone for months. Many ppl have tried it but Tmo eventually cut off the service.

Wish you good luck!

investor1
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by investor1 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:25 am

I pay $42/month for my plan, and I paid about $350 for my phone. That's $1358.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:34 am

Two lines through h2o wireless at $29.98 each line purchased through pinzoo and then 2% off that w/Amex card for total of $58.77 for about $700 a year. Phones purchased on eBay for $250 for both - no contract attached. - Motorola atrix 2 was $150 and Blu phone was $100.

Total $1,650 for 2 years and 2 lines

Unlimited talk text and 500mb data for plan
Last edited by pennstater2005 on Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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likegarden
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by likegarden » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:36 am

We have 2 cellphones at $50 each to buy the phones. We use tracfone at $70 per year for each. Total for one phone fort 2 years is $190. We do not need data plans because we do internet surfing on our PCs which also have much better displays.

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Aptenodytes
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by Aptenodytes » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:38 am

You are punishing the frugal by making the calculate a depreciation cost for the unlocked phones we bought online.

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mhc
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by mhc » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:39 am

$150 per 2 years for a tracfone. I have an old Nokia dumb phone that fits nicely in my pocket. I don't think I paid for the phone which I got about 9 years ago.

mikep
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by mikep » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:40 am

used iphone 4 : $140.
page plus standard plan : $80 + $10 + $10 + $10
used Iphone 4s after daughter dropped the Iphone 4 in the toilet : $130
Various cases/ chargers etc : $50

< $1000

LeeMKE
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by LeeMKE » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:42 am

Priorities: I happily gave up having my own car to save $3500/year, but wouldn't consider using a less than the latest smartphone. Hmm.
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Aptenodytes
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by Aptenodytes » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:48 am

acegolfer wrote:I should have created another choice: <$500. My bad.

Surprised to see many BH pay less than $500 for phone + 2-yr bills. I thought most would pay more than $500 considering high end smartphones costs >$500 itself.
The phone companies want you to buy a new phone every two years minimum; they hope many will do so every year. However, I've found four years works out fine most of the time.

I consider myself a pretty heavy user, but it takes about two years for the phone to start feeling old to me, and I can usually wait another year or two after that to upgrade. When I buy I try to buy the bleeding edge so it feels new longer. So it doesn't surprise me that there are many Bogleheads who aren't springing for new phones inside a 2-year period.

That said, if you are a heavy user, say a highly connected worker out of the office much of the time, then spending an extra $2 a day to have the newest phone each year is not an extravagant expense.

gary11
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by gary11 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:54 am

$250 for Nexus 4. $10/month Airvoice Wireless plan. So estimated 2 years cost is $500. I am already into 16th month and plan to "drive-this phone-into-ground". :D

Topic Author
acegolfer
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by acegolfer » Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:06 am

gary11 wrote:$250 for Nexus 4. $10/month Airvoice Wireless plan. So estimated 2 years cost is $500. I am already into 16th month and plan to "drive-this phone-into-ground". :D
Learned a new carrier today. Thanks.

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mmmodem
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by mmmodem » Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:58 am

$115 T-Mobile including taxes per month for 6 lines x 24 months = $2760

$700 iPhone 5s new
$350 iPhone 5 used
$200 iPhone 4s used
$150 iPhone 4 used
$160 Nokia Lumia 925 used
$20 dumb phone
-------------------------------
$4340 total

Per line, it is $723.

My advice to save money is to check with your company if you qualify for a corporate discount. You can do it yourself online by inputting your company email address at the respective carrier's websites. My company actually qualifies for a discount with all 4 major carriers. I get an 18% discount off the main line with Verizon but I get 15% off all lines with T-Mobile.

We don't use a lot of minutes, text, or data. I can go cheaper with pay as you go plans but the cost increase to get unlimited everything and 2.5 gb LTE data with no overages equals our previous plan plus the couple of times my young daughter got a hold of my cell phone within the passcode lock period and watched PBSkids videos while we were outside of WiFi.

JohnF
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by JohnF » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:39 pm

BahamaMan wrote:My total Cost would be about $20.

I pay as you go with T-Mobile and extend my minutes for $10 a year.

Talking on the phone is something I did when I worked. I hate talking on the phone.
Same

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Ged
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by Ged » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:45 pm

$450

Nexus 4 $250
TMobile Pay by minute: $100/yr.

MathWizard
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by MathWizard » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:41 pm

mhc wrote:$150 per 2 years for a tracfone. I have an old Nokia dumb phone that fits nicely in my pocket. I don't think I paid for the phone which I got about 9 years ago.
$408.

Tracfone smartfone: $150 for phone, $129/yr. each additional year for 1200 min./yr, 1200 texts/yr. , 1200 MB of data/yr.
You can turn off data, regularly using wireless, and just turn in data when you need it and can't get to a wireless hotspot.

The $150 for the phone includes expedited shipping.

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nisiprius
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:53 pm

Just a guess... I've had my TracFone dumb handset (do you call it a handset?) for maybe six, seven years... cost maybe $30 for the phone... I guess there was some $80 "double minutes for life" options... I buy 400 minute cards for about $100, but I get double minutes and there's always an extra 200 minute deal, and I'm sort of puzzled because that card is only supposed to add a year to the service time but I don't buy a card every year and I don't seem to run out of service time.

Anyway. DEFINITELY less than $100/year plus $100 amortized over AT LEAST 5 years, so definitely less than $120 a year so less than $240 for two years.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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englishgirl
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by englishgirl » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:03 pm

I am about to finally give up my iPhone and switch to Republic Wireless.

My boyfriend has been testing out their service, and it's been working really well. He paid $99 for his phone, and is on their $10 a month plan, which with tax works out at $12.something. I will probably go with a more expensive phone, and will probably get the $299 model but will probably also stay with the $10 a month plan most of the time but will upgrade to the $25 or $40 plan when traveling. The good thing about Republic is that you can switch plans up to twice a month, depending on your needs.

Up to this point I have been spending $70 a month (plus tax) and the iPhone initially cost me $200. So, $1880 for 2 years. If I average $25 a month with Republic, it'll be $900 for 2 years.
Sarah

UncleBen
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by UncleBen » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:45 pm

nisiprius wrote:Just a guess... I've had my TracFone dumb handset (do you call it a handset?) for maybe six, seven years... cost maybe $30 for the phone... I guess there was some $80 "double minutes for life" options... I buy 400 minute cards for about $100, but I get double minutes and there's always an extra 200 minute deal, and I'm sort of puzzled because that card is only supposed to add a year to the service time but I don't buy a card every year and I don't seem to run out of service time.

Anyway. DEFINITELY less than $100/year plus $100 amortized over AT LEAST 5 years, so definitely less than $120 a year so less than $240 for two years.
Nisiprius, no need to have an old phone unless you don't want to upgrade. You can almost always get a new Tracfone + one year service + 400 minutes (tripled these days) for less than the cost of $100. You can port your old number over too. It used to be a pain calling Tracfone customer service but I've been successful doing it online the last 2 years.

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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by Shadow_Dancer » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:34 pm

Principal Cell Phone:

Purchased a 2013 Moto X with a wood back panel on sale at the end of the model year – $324

Consumer Cellular (AT&T) voice, text, and data no contract plan + taxes for 2 years – $384

------------------------------------------------

Back-up Cell Phone:

Purchased a TracFone Verizon LG Optimus Fuel on sale – $30

On TracFone, I have accumulated over 2300 minutes/2300 texts/2.3GB data through rollovers over the past two years, and when I upgraded from my feature/dumb phone to the LG, TracFone doubled my service days for free. So, for the next two years, my TracFone plan should cost me –$0.

(Normally, if I just need TracFone service days, my cost would be $60 per year, which equals $120 for two years. And, if I need both TracFone service days and airtime minutes for one year, the cost would be about $85 per year (purchased on eBay), which equals $170 for two years.)

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Watty
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by Watty » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:46 pm

Less than $200 for two years with a basic flip phone using an old Virgin Mobile cash balance pay by the minute plan that I am grandfathered in on. Last week I accidentally left my phone in my pocket and it went through the washing machine. I could order a replacement using my cash balance so I will be getting that essentially for free.

I rotate being on call at work and I have a work iPhone the weeks I am call and while I do use it occasionally when I have it I don't miss it when I don't have it.

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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by mickeyd » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:54 pm

Way, way less than $1000. Our "plan" only charges about $1.50/month in fees plus .26/minute. We have had the phone for a while and have no idea what the cost to purchase it was. Most bills are less than $2/month as DW seldom uses it and I have never used it as I like to stay under the grid.
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by warner25 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:59 pm

When I was last in America I had a $50 dumb phone with $12/month prepaid service from PagePlus. Now overseas I got a used Galaxy 3 for $185 and my prepaid service is $10/month; it helps that all incoming calls are free here. Not sure what I will do upon returning to America since I've gotten accustomed to an Android phone with data access, even if only 100 mb per month, but I don't plan to pay much more than I do now.

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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by BahamaMan » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:37 pm

warner25 wrote: Not sure what I will do upon returning to America since I've gotten accustomed to an Android phone with data access, even if only 100 mb per month, but I don't plan to pay much more than I do now.
Carry a Samsung Tablet (7 inch) and Flip Phone like I do.... Wifi is available most everywhere. The Tablet costs about $175 and no Bill. Save a Bundle and get a bigger screen while you're at it!

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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by S&L1940 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:51 pm

fposte wrote:Semi-smart phone: $50 (actually bought 3 years ago but we'll fudge it)
Pay as you go prepay of $100 per year: $200 Total: $250
ditto, ATT prepay plan and Nokia phone from Amazon $50, and never use up the $100 per year cost @ $.10 per minute; currently have $380 worth of minutes on phone from the yearly rollovers. Same deal with the dear wife only she uses an older phone and only has $200 + in rollover minutes.
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Toons
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by Toons » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:00 pm

Straight talk unlimited-47.80 per month includ taxes=573.60 per year. :happy
As long as Walmart stays in business,,,I allocate some of the the yearly dividends they pay to pick up the tab for the monthly phone bill. :happy
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icefr
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by icefr » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:27 pm

Nexus 5 ~$400 on Ting with an average bill of $25.69.

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Leif
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by Leif » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:33 pm

I have the $30/mo T-Mobile plan, so $720 for 2 years. But that does not include the cost of my 3 year old unlocked phone. I see from above that a 4S, which I have, is around $130 in the current market. Over 2 years then $720+$130=$850.

I thought that was a cheap price. However, reading these posts it seems I'm a big spender! :moneybag
Last edited by Leif on Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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acegolfer
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by acegolfer » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:38 pm

If I start fresh, I would do this. The 2-yr total cost is $310.

Buy an unlocked Moto G (2013 rev2 LTE version): $190 (a mid-range smartphone)
Get redpocket $5 512mb data-only LTE plan: $120 for 2 years
Use Hangouts app to make calls/text. (If you use all 512mb cellular data on phone calls, that's about 500 min.)

I have used Nexus4, OneplusOne on Tmo $30 unlimited data plan.

bluelight
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by bluelight » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:57 pm

I picked the wrong group in the poll because I forgot about DH's new phone this year. Our total for 2 years is about 2,800. That includes two new Samsung Galaxy S phones and 2 years of Straight Talk services.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:58 pm

Recently ditched a Samsung Droid Charge smart phone with Verizon service @ $84/month = $2016 for 2 years service.

Bought a used Verizon dumb phone, $40.
Bought a 1 year, no contract pre-paid Verizon plan, 400 minutes for $100 = $8.33/month.
Total = $240 for phone purchase plus 2 years service. Kept the same phone number.

Use a tablet and free wifi for everything but phone calls.
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by fsrph » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:12 pm

Bought a Windows smartphone over a year ago. Cost was $99. I use data with WiFi only. Yearly cost with t-mobile pay as you go plan was $18. Total cost $117 and have plenty of minutes carried over for another year.

Francis
"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." | Dale Carnegie

Quickfoot
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by Quickfoot » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:25 pm

Using Ting my cost was about $350 for 2 years, I've since moved to Verizon because their network is worth paying for. New cost is $1500 for 2 years which includes $600 for the phone (which I would have spent on Ting anyway, it was time for an upgrade).

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backpacker
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Re: Poll: Total cost of 2-yr cell phone ownership?

Post by backpacker » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:48 pm

acegolfer wrote:
backpacker wrote:Used iPhone 4 off eBay: $200.
200 megabytes T-Mobile data: $0
Google Voice: $0
Total: $200
I doubt you will be able to use the 200mb free SIM card on iphone for months. Many ppl have tried it but Tmo eventually cut off the service.

Wish you good luck!
Ah, too bad. I was using the AT&T $15 a month data plan. May have to go back...

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