Want to save on your smart phone bill for the entire family?? Here are a few suggestions. I have one teenager, one tween-ager and one adolescent. I made the mistake of giving my eldest child an iPhone for her birthday. Not that an iPhone is bad, but I didn’t realize the expense of having that $9 add-a-line( the data on that line is $40 before you add any taxes). Within a few days of giving that phone to my eldest the next two in line were begging for a phone. I quickly realized that there would be no way we could afford to spend, actually waste that kind of money….on a phone that I take away when she gets in trouble. My original bill was $220 a month for two unlimited iPhones but with that third line my bill jumped to $280! For 5 iphones it would have been $400 a month! Ouch! For a year I sucked up my pride and paid the outlandish bill until a friend gave me an idea…a brilliant idea.
She showed me how to go wireless. We bought a wireless router to make our house a HOT-SPOT. Our computer is capable of being wireless and running on Wi-Fi as is our printer and even our Wii. (Now, understand this was all new to me as I never knew it was all wireless since we had wires running to these items before). Our router cost about $80, once. Now, we are not using any of our data plans for our phones as we sit in our house facebooking or researching info for school reports or chatting since we run our phones off the wi-fi router.
Next, we discovered by looking at our eldest’s bill that she mainly used text not phone minutes, so we took her iPhone away and put the sims card in a cheap dummy phone from Wal-mart and kept the $9 add-a-line with no data because it was cheaper to pay her contract out than pay to terminate it. To replace her iPhone we bought her and our tween-ager two iPod touchs. They can text all they’d like at home off the wi-fi router to their friends…for free. It looks like an iPhone, it takes pictures like an iPhone and it holds music like an iPhone, therefore, she is still cool like everyone else who has an iPhone. So, not only did we save lots of money, but her reputation as well. Our bill has gone back down to $180 a month for two iPhones and all the iPod Touchs are free after purchase.
The last bonus is this, since we did not renew our contracts yet and we did not cut her contract, I took her phone as an off the books “upgrade” and now I carry her new iPhone without adding any new upgrade charges to my plan or extending my contract and passed my old iPhone down to the youngest. Since there is no data or phone activation she uses my old iPhone like an iPod touch (Otter Box included to keep it all from breaking since she is barely seven) and it also can run off the wi-fi at home for games, texting her sisters while sitting next to them, etc… Everyone is happy including my husband who foots the bill and in the famous words of Varuca Salt’s parents, “Happiness and harmony is all that counts with children, happiness and harmony”.