Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

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BashDash
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Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by BashDash » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:34 am

Thank you bogleheads for helping us cut the cable cord! Now it is our 100$ Verizon cell phone plan costing us 100$ with employer discount. Wife has iPhone 5 and I have iPhone 4 although I would be willing to use any. Any discount plan that would be good with service for us outside of NYC.
Like having wife's iPhone as it helps us with our cod cutting with Apple TV.
We don't need much data I think we currently share 1gb. Thanks in advance! This well help us max out 457 and 403b each!

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BL
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by BL » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:39 am

See this current link for cheap phone service:
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=202763

jjface
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by jjface » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:40 am

How many mins /texts do you need?

Redpocket do a 1000mins/1000texts/500mb lte/500mb 2g plan on ebay for $199 for a whole year. You can use verizon. Can be renewed each year.

That would save you $800 a year.

http://m.ebay.com/itm/131593551826?_mwBanner=1

BashDash
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by BashDash » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:56 am

Thanks for the quick replies! I will check that thread out and the eBay link.
Unlimited text would probably be good as we receive and send lots of pics to family of our children. Calling minutes not as important. I didnt even know this prepaid was an option. Ill look into the prepaid more as t looks like we can use our own phones. I have to check if wife's iPhone is paid off I think we were paying monthly for it even though we had no contract.

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dumbbunny
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by dumbbunny » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:13 pm

Consider Consumer Cellular. Been with them for 2 years and their plans are flexible. You can thank me later.
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"

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sunny_socal
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:33 pm

Cricket

mdba73
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by mdba73 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:00 pm

If you have good T-mobile/metropcs coverage in your area - think of moving to metropcs - they are giving away free phones if you decide to move - https://www.metropcs.com/switch.html?ic ... ain|switch
You will save 20% in monthly bills.

I am thinking of doing the same for the above average free phones.

Forgot to mention - if you can sustain sub-par customer service you can think of totalwireless.com sold via walmart stores.
Last edited by mdba73 on Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

centrifuge41
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by centrifuge41 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:03 pm

Freedompop is totally free, though it's data only (you'd have to use something like google hangouts, burning into your data bucket, for voice). Also, you may need to do some social networking with Freedompop friends to get a bigger free data allocation.

BashDash
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by BashDash » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:14 pm

Thanks for all the replies! Seems my current plan is 72$ for two lines. We don't even use 1gb. Consumer cellular and page plus seem like they would save us. How do we unlock our iPhone 4 and iPhone 6? Of maybe they are not locked in the first place? We also have to pay off the iPhone 6 they are charging us 18$ a month for two years. Thanks for all the replies!

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snowshoes
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by snowshoes » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:15 pm

BashDash wrote:Thanks for all the replies! How do we unlock our iPhone 4 and iPhone 6?
Minimally you need new simm cards from the service provider you select. Good luck!

BashDash
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by BashDash » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:27 pm

I will look into cricket thx! Seems my wife's phone would transfer to consumer cellular no problem. My iphone 4 wouldn't but I'm fine with that. I'm not a phone guy. I can buy one pretty cheaply on there it looks like. They have customer service at local target stores it looks like. Thanks for the help!!!

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CyclingDuo
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by CyclingDuo » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:35 am

BashDash wrote:Thank you bogleheads for helping us cut the cable cord! Now it is our 100$ Verizon cell phone plan costing us 100$ with employer discount. Wife has iPhone 5 and I have iPhone 4 although I would be willing to use any. Any discount plan that would be good with service for us outside of NYC.
Like having wife's iPhone as it helps us with our cod cutting with Apple TV.
We don't need much data I think we currently share 1gb. Thanks in advance! This well help us max out 457 and 403b each!


Many of us survived for decades without a cell phone. :mrgreen:

BashDash
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by BashDash » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:22 am

Good point! Wow my research is really surprising. I didnt think it was possible to save so much. For cricket; ting, ring plus, and consumer cellular is there one that has the best service for a previous Verizon customer. What I mean by that is my house currently using Verizon and gets good phone reception and I don't want to make a switch only to find we get spotty service. We are in suburban NYC so maybe all carriers are fine.

The goal for each household trim is to literally not notice any change in quality of service but pay less :). And keep my wife happy who has been going with the flow on all changes thus far :)

pochax
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by pochax » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:59 am

BashDash wrote:Good point! Wow my research is really surprising. I didnt think it was possible to save so much. For cricket; ting, ring plus, and consumer cellular is there one that has the best service for a previous Verizon customer. What I mean by that is my house currently using Verizon and gets good phone reception and I don't want to make a switch only to find we get spotty service. We are in suburban NYC so maybe all carriers are fine.

The goal for each household trim is to literally not notice any change in quality of service but pay less :). And keep my wife happy who has been going with the flow on all changes thus far :)

total wireless uses verizon's network...not quite as cheap as some of the other options but those would force you to switch to AT&T or TMobile (which use GSM technology as opposed to CDMA tech which Verizon and Sprint use).

Nyc10036
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by Nyc10036 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:02 am

Ringplus went out of business.

Cricket =AT&T
Ting = Sprint
Consumer Cellular = ?

I am using Tracfone's Verizon.

You need to do your own cost analysis based on your own personal usage.

BashDash
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by BashDash » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:14 am

That helps. I will look into tracfone and total wireless because that seems like a pretty seemless transition. Thanks!

gator1
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by gator1 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:27 am

I spent months researching this stuff. I wanted the Verizon network without paying Verizon prices. Leaving the Verizon network wasn't an option as it has been the best service anywhere I've been. I also needed unlimited talk and text. Lots of data isn't important as I'm almost always on wifi or willing to wait until I am.

Boom Mobile is what I currently use. It's on the Verizon network, and I get the same coverage I got with Verizon directly. Taxes are already included in the price so no additional taxes or fees. All plans are unlimited talk and text. $19.99 gets you 250mb data, $24.99 gets you 500mb data, $29.99 1gb data. I started out on the $24.99 plan, but just started winging it on the $19.99 plan. And you can autopay, which works flawlessly so far. And your customer service is American, not overseas. All that for $19.99 is a win-win. It also comes with hotspot, but you won't be doing much hotspotting on 250mb. But the higher data plans will enjoy that. It also has visual voicemail, but I don't use voicemail.

Good luck!

aceoperations
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by aceoperations » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:28 am

DW is on Google Fi project, and loves it. You need to have one of the specified phones, but it should not matter to you if you are not a phone guy. DW is very strict about not using cellular data, and as a result, her cell phone bill averages $23 a month.

BashDash
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by BashDash » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:11 am

Thanks gator. Why would a customer use Verizon directly if they can use boom for next to nothing? We only need a 1gb between the two of us? And our service would not change at all since we are on Verizon network still just not thru Verizon directly? Is this a no brainer? No hidden fees? What about when we travel? Roaming charges?

chuckb84
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by chuckb84 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:47 am

If it works for your situation, I'd suggest investigating family plans and then getting all your extended family on one plan, because the marginal cost to add lines is so low.

We use tmobile, 5 gigs of data on every line, unlimited talk/text, $150 for 5 lines, so $30/line/month. It's our two phones, two grown kids and my parents. We live in 4 different states and t-mobile doesn't care at all that we're all on one plan.

I suspect the other carriers will do the same.

BashDash
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by BashDash » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:19 pm

So it looks like we can each use boom wireless for 24.99 with no taxes. Verizon said over the phone our phones are not unlocked. So we would have to port our numbers over? Not sure how that works. How does the 24.99 prepaid work? I've never used prepaid before. Can I automate it somehow? Can it really be this simple?

Also,
I guess I can add my inlaws to our current plan ( however they are already Verizon customers) to see if it divides out to cheaper as a previous poster mentioned they do with tmobile.

Thanks for all the help. Any tips with transferring over to boom please let me know. I like simple!

surfstar
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by surfstar » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:30 pm

another Cricket family here :)

Are your phones "paid off"? If you no longer owe VZW money on them or have them under contract, ask them to provide the unlock codes.

MathWizard
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by MathWizard » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:11 pm

aceoperations wrote:DW is on Google Fi project, and loves it. You need to have one of the specified phones, but it should not matter to you if you are not a phone guy. DW is very strict about not using cellular data, and as a result, her cell phone bill averages $23 a month.


We ahev google Fi as well.
Ulimited talk/text.

Data is $10/GB , only charged for what you use. I almost always use wifi data, so my bill is about $23/mo.
The phone can even be used as a hotspot in an emergency. (No extra charge beyond the data charges)

I use a tracfone iphone 5s for the occasional business call (my google phone is my private phone).
$100/year. 1200min/1200 texts/1.2GB data per year.
The iphone was $200 new at target.

The tracfone uses the verizon network, I think. The Fi uses whatever is available.
The only problem with connectivity was at the mouth of a cave on a mountain in Kentucky.

Nyc10036
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by Nyc10036 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:35 pm

Tracfone can be either Verizon or AT&T.
My mom's Tracfone purchased fromHSN is AT&T.

randomguy
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by randomguy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:57 pm

aceoperations wrote:DW is on Google Fi project, and loves it. You need to have one of the specified phones, but it should not matter to you if you are not a phone guy. DW is very strict about not using cellular data, and as a result, her cell phone bill averages $23 a month.


FI is good until you use data. 10/GB is very expensive for anyone using more than 2 or 3 GB/month. For the OP the problem is having to buy new phones. That is a big upfront cost

Steps for picking a plan.
A) FIgure out what networks are acceptable. I used to live in a house with verizon and sprint coverage but no AT&T.
b) Figure out your needs. Want 10 GB per month or do you need <1? How many texts, messages
c) Start looking at the various plans.

jjface
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by jjface » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:43 am

Obviously verizon works for you. Switching to cricket or someone else could mean poor coverage, weak data signal etc (or not). Boom is a great option as you can continue to use verizon. I'd consider them.

To port usually you just select that option as part of the sign up process. They will require an account number and pin you get from the old provider ie verizon.

Prepaid just means you will be billed in advance rather than in arrears. Most will allow you to autopay as normal.

Data speeds are faster direct with verizon so if that is important then sticking to verizon direct is worthwhile. Sounds like it won't matter to you though and boom, redpocket etc speeds are still decent.

jbuzolich
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by jbuzolich » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:57 am

BashDash wrote:Thanks for all the replies! Seems my current plan is 72$ for two lines. We don't even use 1gb. Consumer cellular and page plus seem like they would save us. How do we unlock our iPhone 4 and iPhone 6? Of maybe they are not locked in the first place? We also have to pay off the iPhone 6 they are charging us 18$ a month for two years. Thanks for all the replies!

If you are with Verizon now and the phones are off their two year contract then you should already be unlocked and can go prepaid or when you pay that one remaining one off. Call or chat with them to confirm. I think Verizon keeps everything unlocked now. I just did this with two Motorola smartphones in the last four months and it was great. Switched my sim chip and went to Page Plus still using the Verizon towers.

Alto Astral
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by Alto Astral » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:33 pm

BashDash wrote:So it looks like we can each use boom wireless for 24.99 with no taxes. Verizon said over the phone our phones are not unlocked.

They should be able to give you unlock instructions over the phone or do it for you, since I don't believe you are not in a contract. The $18/month is probably the option you picked to spread out the cost of the phone over 24 months vs paying it upfront.

BashDash wrote:So we would have to port our numbers over? Not sure how that works. How does the 24.99 prepaid work? I've never used prepaid before. Can I automate it somehow? Can it really be this simple?

You should be able to keep your phone number. You will just need to pay off your phone cost before you switch. Pre-paid payments can be automated too; you just need to select automatic billing. It may be a slightly different bill each month in case of any overages (depending on your plan)

bloom2708
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:36 pm

TotalWireless.com (Verizon network). Keep your Verizon phones. 2 line Family plan for $60 including all taxes/fees. Unlimited calling, unlimited texting, 8GB shared 4g data.

Two individual lines on H20 Wireless for $54 including all taxes/fees. AT&T network. Unlimited/Unlimited/3GB 4g data each line.

I know you don't need much data, but what if you had it and used it if/when you needed it? Stream more music? Use your GPS more? Watch a Netflix show when waiting?

H20 works if your current phones are unlocked (I see they are not unlocked). 2 brand new Moto G Play (4th gen) phones on Amazon for $99 each. Awesome phone that works on all carriers and MVNOs.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

gator1
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by gator1 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:57 pm

bloom2708 wrote:TotalWireless.com (Verizon network). Keep your Verizon phones. 2 line Family plan for $60 including all taxes/fees. Unlimited calling, unlimited texting, 8GB shared 4g data.

Two individual lines on H20 Wireless for $54 including all taxes/fees. AT&T network. Unlimited/Unlimited/3GB 4g data each line.

I know you don't need much data, but what if you had it and used it if/when you needed it? Stream more music? Use your GPS more? Watch a Netflix show when waiting?

H20 works if your current phones are unlocked (I see they are not unlocked). 2 brand new Moto G Play (4th gen) phones on Amazon for $99 each. Awesome phone that works on all carriers and MVNOs.


I've heard numerous complaints about both of these companies. Which is why I didn't recommend them, and instead went with(and now recommend) Boom Mobile. I've also heard if you go on auto pay with TW it is an absolute pain in the rear to get off it, and their customer service is overseas, and bad. Boom is all American, based in Oklahoma.

If you don't care about that(or it's an overreaction) then Total Wireless is a great option for users with high data.


As for Boom, they recently made their $24.99 1gb from 500gb, even better!! I'd say that plan is now the hard-to-beat plan for anyone needing: unlimited talk and text, and a decent amount of data while staying on the Verizon(the best) Network.

bonustreats
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Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

Post by bonustreats » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:29 pm

MathWizard wrote:
aceoperations wrote:DW is on Google Fi project, and loves it. You need to have one of the specified phones, but it should not matter to you if you are not a phone guy. DW is very strict about not using cellular data, and as a result, her cell phone bill averages $23 a month.


We ahev google Fi as well.
Ulimited talk/text.

Data is $10/GB , only charged for what you use. I almost always use wifi data, so my bill is about $23/mo.
The phone can even be used as a hotspot in an emergency. (No extra charge beyond the data charges)

I use a tracfone iphone 5s for the occasional business call (my google phone is my private phone).
$100/year. 1200min/1200 texts/1.2GB data per year.
The iphone was $200 new at target.

The tracfone uses the verizon network, I think. The Fi uses whatever is available.
The only problem with connectivity was at the mouth of a cave on a mountain in Kentucky.


Project Fi uses both Sprint and T-mobile networks; whichever one gets the better signal at the time. I test drove it last summer and, while I got service just about everywhere I went (WV is a black hole for all cell networks), it was maddening to actively restrict data usage.

The only other thing that would make me nervous is that that Google tends to be scatterbrained when it comes to software. Something being named PROJECT Fi doesn't instill me with a huge amount of confidence for its existence in perpetuity.

They recently added international service (where applicable) at the same rate. It would be nice to get off a plane and your phone just works at the same rate.

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