How Much Do You Spend on Your Cell Phone Bills?

July 26, 2011 by
Filed under: Shopping 

flickr---AMagillA friend of mine posed an interesting question to me the other day. She asked me if my husband, Jim, has a cell phone because she didn’t think he did, but her husband couldn’t imagine Jim not having one. I found it fascinating that it has now become an anomaly for someone to be without a cell phone.

Jim does not own a cell phone because he doesn’t see the need to be reached at any given moment. I technically have a cell phone, but my phone is for emergencies only. It’s the phone number I give the schools, babysitters, and others who may need to reach me in an emergency. I also like to have the phone in case my car breaks down or something happens and I need help–especially when I have the girls with me.

I bought a Virgin Mobile cell phone from Best Buy. My phone cost no more than $50, and it does not have a contract tied to it. I pay by the minute and add money to my account when the balance gets low. I pay $0.25 a minute to use my cell.

To remain active, I need to add at least $15 every 90 days. If I don’t add money within that time frame, I will lose my remaining balance.

I was able to pull up my records for January through July 2011 to see how much money I have put on my phone. For seven months of service, I have paid just $65.58.

I did have a regular cell phone right out of college and I’m a talker. I spent an incredible amount of money every month just talking on the phone. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a cell phone with Internet access, but I don’t need it and I can’t afford it. I’d rather spend my money in other places.

I know a new trend is to get rid of the land line and use cell phones exclusively. If you choose to get rid of the land line at least you’re not paying twice for phone connection.

What do you do? Do you have a cell phone and a land line? How much do you spend per month on your phone bills?

Stay tuned for a future post where I explain how I save hundreds every year on my land line.

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6 Comments on How Much Do You Spend on Your Cell Phone Bills?

  1. Julie on Tue, 26th Jul 2011 5:42 PM
  2. Great post Jill. For me, I can’t imagine the lost opportunity without a smart phone at technology conferences. Our phone bill is a business write off, but I know we pay more for our phones than water. Then again, we live in an 1100 square-foot duplex and neither one of us commutes to a job. I think just being “budget conscious” is half the battle.

  3. Jill on Tue, 26th Jul 2011 6:36 PM
  4. Exactly Julie. We save some here so that we can put it there.

    When I did have my contract cell phone, it didn’t have all of the bells and whistles that the phones have now, so I really don’t even know what I’m missing. I have an idea, but no past experience to draw from. I’d love to have a smart phone and have someone else pay for it! Hmm…there’s an idea, maybe I need to work that into my contract. :)

  5. Sun on Tue, 26th Jul 2011 7:49 PM
  6. Hi Jill,

    I love your site – finally a Madison web site devoted to saving money – yaaay. I use a tracfone, and I spend $20/3months. It’s mainly for people to send me a quick message, and emergencies.

  7. Jill on Tue, 26th Jul 2011 7:56 PM
  8. Hi Sun! So glad you like the site! :)

    Does the $20 every 3 months include texting? How is your coverage and customer service? Sounds like you’re happy with your phone and what you need it to do.

  9. Sun on Wed, 27th Jul 2011 9:15 PM
  10. HI Jill,

    LOVE the Jimmy Johns’ deal tomorrow – hurray!!, I’ll be a hit at the office tomorrow. Yes, my tracfone includes texting, it deducts .5 minutes.

    Coverage in the Madison area is excellent!, customer service …well, let’s just say tracfone users are independent, capable, tech-savvy customers who need very little hand holding. Honestly, it’s not horrible. It’s the wait-time that really blows.

    […] couple of weeks ago I posted a blog about how I save money on my cell phone bill. At the end of that post I mentioned a future topic would be how I save hundreds of dollars on my […]

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