Friday, May 31, 2013

food for finance: i'm smarter than my smart phone

(healthy) food for finance is a column where we talk about how fitness and finance correlate with each other. join us on our journey to be both physically and financially fit.
The people who are close to me know that I was totally against getting a smart phone. There was no way I was going to pay that much money a month. Especially since Kyle and I are trying to save to buy a car with cash and pay off our house.
Until I found out about Clark Howard from a friend at work. He is a guy who has a radio show about how to live frugal. A man after my own heart.
We were paying about $100 a month for Kyle and my "dumb" phone as I like to call it. We had 700 minutes together, unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes, unlimited text messaging, and stuck in a contract. That was with the 22% discount I get from work.

Lets rewind to the beginning of the year. Kyle started a new job and was given an iPhone as a work phone. We decided to cut his personal line since his contract was up. It was a pain to let everyone know about his new number but worth it to only pay for my phone.
Now one of us had a smart phone....and was not even paying for it! The only way to do it! FREE!
Now with only my line open, I was paying $70 a month. All for a stupid dumb phone. SERIOUSLY?!
Back to the beginning of the year. I came back to work from maternity leave and in my office was my new co-worker. She is like me because she is a Dave Ramsey follower! She is as passionate as me about getting out of debt! How do we get any work done?!
I asked her how is she drinking the Dave Ramsey Kool-aid AND have an iPhone. It made no sense to me.
Enter Clark Howard...
He suggests StraightTalk for a cell phone provider. Get this....I have unlimited minutes to anyone in the States, unlimited text, unlimited Internet, no contract. for only...
wait for it....
$45 a month!!!!
I also kept my old number. What is the catch? You have to get your own phone. I bought a used iPhone 3, bought a sim card, hooked it up, then BAM! Service! There was some hoops I had to go through but it works great.
If anyone wants to sell me their old iPhone 4, let me know. I would love an upgrade.
I figured if I did not like it, I could cancel and go back to my old provider since I'm not in a contract.
Good news about StraightTalk is that they use AT&T and Verizon towers. Win/Win!
I've had the service since February and I have had zero problems, even with traveling. I refill my "card" each month. This is a pay-as-you-go service. I have it automatically refilled each month.
I was paying $70 a month for a dumb phone to a company that I had been with since 1997. I had to even pay a little money to get out of my contract. Now I pay $45 a month ($48 with tax) for a smart phone! Where is the loyalty?!
We only pay $28 a month for both of our phones. How is that? Kyle's work pays for his. I get reimbursed $20 a month for my phone from work. 48-20=$28 a month. For 2 iPhone plans. SCORE!

I highly recommend it!

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