On the way home from the bus stop the other day my darling daughter dropped her phone and although it is in a protective case it landed just so on a rock and cracked the screen right down the middle. Oh boy, was she ever upset when she got home. The deal at our house is that everyone is responsible to buy their own phones and Mom pays for the service.
The idea behind that is to teach my children to be responsible for their phones and by having to buy them themselves they are more apt to take care of them and not lose them. And we've put that to the test a time or two when my youngest ran her phone through the washing machine, not once, but twice, and later left one at the bus stop. We actually got it back because some nice person turned it in. My oldest is a dropper and this is the second time she has dropped her phone and damaged it. Me, well, I was scrubbing the toilet one day and mine slipped out of my shirt pocket and plop.
So while they get to reap the benefits of carelessness they also have the option to choose the phones that they want with all the bells and whistles. I personally don't care about all that stuff. As long as I can make a phone call and send a text message I'm fine. Bare bones, nothing fancy. Phones don't really do much for me. In fact, if you haven't figured it out already, I really don't care for them.
Our cell phone plan is that we don't have a cell phone plan.
I've talked about this before and we use Tracfone. It is a pay as you go service and we pretty much just pay for what we use. I purchase 90 days of service at a time for each one of us and where there are three of us I have it worked out so I am only renewing one of us at a time. Depending on our usage and what is going on in our lives depends on how high our usage is, but it runs me $19.99 or 29.99 a month to renew. Usually it is only $19.99 each month as we try to be fairly conservative. So basically for an average of less than $25 a month we have pretty darn good cell service for three people.
To stretch that service we also use any available free wifi, which is pretty abundant in the city, to surf the internet, receive and send emails instead of texting, download GPS directions, etc. We rarely use our data. Plus any minutes, texts, or data left at the end of our 90 days rolls over with our renewal so they are never lost to us. This makes it really nice to store up extra data to use when we are travelling. Whenever I renew our service I always check online for promo codes that will give us extra minutes too. And there are always codes.
My oldest started shopping for a replacement phone a couple weeks ago. She found a phone at ShopKo and a coupon for $10 OFF a $30 store purchase. When we go there the phone she wanted was out of stock, however there was another one, slightly better, on clearance for $44.99 ($34.99 after the coupon) so she got that one. I found one too even though I wasn't looking. Mine is five years old, very scratched and has a tendency to dial people all on its own, which can be frustrating.
The phone I chose was also on clearance for only $19.99 so I figured it was a good time to upgrade. My daughter checked out first using my store rewards card and when she paid the register spit out a $10 OFF a $10 store purchase coupon. I used that to pay for my phone spending only $9.99! Loved that!!
Really good cell phone service with really good coverage doesn't need to be expensive. And you don't need really expensive phones either. It works for us and we are quite happy with it. I'm happiest about the price. Now I just need to figure out how to use my new phone (sigh).