Budgeting August 22, 2021

Saving Money on Cell Phone Service

If you’re just joining me: Hi, my name is Jona and I’m a budget believer.

We have a written budget every single month and we (for the most part) stick to it. We don’t spend the month away and then tally up how much we’ve (over)spent for each category. Now that we’re down to one full-time income, we’re looking for more ways to reduce our spending and increase our saving – for travel! We don’t have much wiggle room with our casual spending, so I started taking a closer look at our fixed expenses. Enter: our cell phone bill.

I’ve been an AT&T customer since they bought out Cingular Wireless. Even with having my data plan grandfathered in and a significant employer discount, we were still paying approximately $87 per month. I knew we could get this total down but didn’t know how… that is until I stumbled upon this Frugalwoods post. If what I’m about to share sounds interesting to you and you have further questions, I highly recommend checking out her thorough post.

We used her affiliated link to sign up for Ting Mobile and received a $25 credit toward our first bill. Ting Mobile is essentially a TJMaxx of the cell industry. They buy up T-Mobile’s service and sell it even cheaper than what T-Mobile charges. I was weary because I don’t know anyone who uses the service and I’ve always had AT&T aka I’ve always had service, but decided to give it a try because WHO CARES IF I DON’T HAVE SERVICE?

Really, that’s not a trick question. I have an emergency beacon for hiking solo now and I don’t otherwise travel to remote locations alone – and really, when would I NOT run into another person to ask for help should it be needed? We took the gamble and signed up in June.

Total cost to transfer: $2.16 ($1.08 per SIM card and yes, that included shipping)

Total cost monthly: this is all dependent on usage but it’s $10 for the service per month per phone and then $5 for every gig of data used. Before making the switch we reviewed our usage from the last year and we’ve never gone over 2 gigs. We anticipated our monthly bill to be $30 not including taxes and surcharges and our first bill was $37.95 (minus a $25 credit, $12.95) and the second month our bill will be just over $25 (it’ll post in two days and frankly, I won’t have the time to come back to this. I know the rough amount because throughout the month it shows you how much data you’ve used and the estimated cost.).

Total savings per year: roughly $600+!

That’s money that could be put into B’s 529 account, a plane ticket to somewhere fun or even extra spending cash for vacation… that is, once we can travel again. It could also be 4 visits from the woman who cleans our house or a month and a half of groceries – it’s all about your perspective.

My truthful review: the service is not like it was with AT&T. At our house – not a problem. I’ve taken a couple of trips up north and I haven’t had service in places where others did, but again, they were planned trips and I didn’t need to use my phone (in fact when I go north, I like to escape tech.). The only person I use my phone to call is my mom and there is one spot on my drive into work that drops our call, so now I wait to call her until after I pass that spot. Easy enough.

If you’re what I call a “low maintenance” cell phone user, I do highly recommend their service. In my opinion, it’s worth the savings. If you’d like to give Ting a try and receive $25 off of your first bill, here’s my referral link – and yes, it is affiliated so I too would receive a $25 credit. Boom!

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