Showing posts with label phone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label phone. Show all posts

How I Left Sprint and Kept My Same Smartphone

I admit that I'm hooked on my smartphone, an older model Samsung Epic 4G. I signed up with Sprint a little over two years ago and was hoping to switch over to DH's Sprint SERO plan when my contract was up. Well, Sprint won't let his grandfathered $30 plan have any extra lines at that price. So, I'm quitting Sprint. Actually, I already quit and it happened overnight.
I'm now up and running on my same phone with same phone number after porting my number to Ting (#ad). I used to pay $80.10 for a monthly plan that gave me unlimited everything, but month after month my usage is around 250 minutes calling, 250 texts and 1GB of data. I just signed up for Ting at $44/month for 500 minutes calling, 1000 texts and 1000 MB of data.  And I have no contract so I am free to change carriers if this does not work. But for saving $36 a month on my smartphone, I will make it work. I've effectively cut my bill in half, so now my phone will cost just over $500 a year, rather than $961/year. 
If you're interested in switching, Ting runs on the Sprint network, so if you have a Sprint phone (no iphones allowed on Ting though) you can bring your own device and it will work. You can also buy a phone from them or use an unlocked phone from another provider. Ting has a referral program where you would get $25 in phone credit or services credit by using this link.
I realized while on a cruise last week, that I can get by without constantly checking my phone, since it was out of commission as I was out of the country. Sure I had thousands of feeds and emails and texts when I signed back on - but I didn't have to have all that stuff. I just deleted without reading to start fresh. Now I will need to try to change my usage behavior and use Wi-fi more which won't use my data plan. There are lots of places that have free Wi-fi like the grocery stores, libraries, and my home. I sit at a computer all day long and can check my finances and weather on the PC rather than using my phone. I've started putting it in a drawer instead of being plugged in on top of my desk  beckoning me to check something every five minutes.
As part of my frugal lifestyle, I'm seeking to minimize wasteful, costly activities and behaviors in my daily life. Getting a cheaper phone plan is a step in the right direction. I realize there are more options, and LIfehacker outlines a lot of them here. So, if you are out of contract, check out your options before you commit to that expensive plan.

Seven Ways To Chop Down Your Phone Bill

Telephone service is a requirement for most people. It is one of those necessary evils in life. However, just because it necessary does not mean that it has to bog your wallet down. There are ways you can have a significant amount of phone service and not have to spend every penny. The following tips will help you to save on telephone service.

1.   Choose Mobile Phone Service Over Landline Service
Even if you are a work at home mom who hardly ever leaves your home, it will still be cheaper for you to use a cell phone as your home phone unit. The reason is the long distance charges. Landline companies usually charge extra for long distance calls. Just about every cellular phone provider offers nationwide calls as a part of the monthly allotment. This one change can save you a huge amount of money and you can speak to your friends and family members as much as you like.
2.   Choose Plans with Free Minutes
The best mobile phone plan is one that offers unlimited minutes. If that's too expensive, the alternative option is to choose a plan that offers free night and weekend minutes. The hours may vary between providers. You just need to investigate and choose the option that best fits your situation.
3.   Try Prepaid Service
Many prepaid service providers offer excellent monthly packages. The great thing about prepaid plans is that you can stop paying for them whenever you like. With a post-paid plan, you have to pay the bill every month whether you use the phone or not. Prepaid plans give you the freedom to cut your expenses any month that you see fit to do such. Some providers will allow you to skip three months before they release your phone number.
4.   Make it Basic
You can cut down your monthly telephone bill significantly by passing on  the extra features. If you do not absolutely positively need text messaging and data, cut them from the bill. The reason you have a phone is to make calls. Downgrading to a cheaper plan will not prevent you from doing so.
5.   Ask About Discounts
Some cellular phone providers reward their faithful customers with discounts. They give special V.I.P. privileges to people who maintain service and pay on time. In addition, customers who work at specific companies may be eligible for a discount on their monthly bills. Check with your provider and inquire about all eligible discounts. If some of them pertain to you, opt to take them.
6.   Perform Frequent Price Plan Checks
If you do not have an unlimited plan, check your usage each month to see if you can possibly move to a cheaper price plan. You might find that you have not been using nearly enough minutes as your current plan allows. If it looks like you can save money by downgrading your plan, tell the customer service representative to cut you down.
7.   Make Referrals
Not all cell phone companies offer discounts to customers who refer other people, but some do. Make a phone call to your provider and ask about referral rewards. If you are persuasive enough, you just might be able to maintain a free cellular phone account.

There are many tips and tricks to lowering your telephone bill. Test these out individually or in any combination. Your next bill should be a lot lower than your previous statements.

Talia Martinez likes to shop, write about personal finance, and writes for

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

This is one belief in our household, if it ain't broke - don't fix it. It kind of goes along with "If you don't make a mess, you won't have to clean it up". Consequently, we have some old stuff around our house. Our outdoor TV is 1983 JCPenney color TV, with a remote that only has 5 buttons: on/off, up & down volume, and up down channel arrows. It still works fine and we just can't find a valid reason to get rid of it, and put a new TV outside in the heat and humidity of Florida.
We also have a 1986 Litton microwave, I think its 600 watts. Everything on it works as designed and until we have our kitchen remodel done, we'll continue to use it. Then we'll donate it to one of our job office breakroom since we can always use another microwave at work.
It seems like the newer appliances we've purchased just aren't as good a quality and workmanship as these old relics, and they break or become sufficient within a couple years.
Well, I'm thinking its time to get a new cell phone. Ours is a Samsung A925 we got free from the Sprint contest in the summer of 2006. We signed up for the Sprint SERO plan for 500 minutes, unlimited data, texting and picture mail, plus free nights at 7pm and free weekends. We love the plan and it meets our needs. Come to think of it we love the phone too, since its synced up with my laptop and Nokia 800m so I can surf while driving down the highway. The problem is I have phone envy when I see all that the new smart phones can do. The cameras are sharp, the weather radar is nice and they are fast. So now I want a new phone, but the SERO plan is a thing of the past and I'm afraid that Sprint will try to switch us to a different plan when we get a new phone. The pros on slickdeals SERO forum say its not a problem, but the thought lurks in the back of my mind that it could happen.
The other dilemna is what phone to get? I"m limited by what Sprint is compatible with, but there are lots of choices that are perfectly fine. I've heard LG's have short battery life, but we love our Samsung - never had a problem in 4 years, not even a battery. Plus we have all the plug ins and chargers for Samsung - is that a big enough reason to stick with Samsung? They do have the Instinct which I think I like. I'd of course love to get it free and we have a $150 sprint credit, for plans over $39 but we don't qualify as our SERO plan is only $35 with taxes and fees included.
So, any recommendations?
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