You are probably wasting money on your cell phone service if you haven’t changed your plan in the past couple of years. A wireless plan typically costs you $50-80 after fees and taxes per month depending on what company you are with and what plan you signed up for. You also usually add in an additional $20-40 per month for the new phone.
A cell phone plan for one person can quickly add up to $100-$120 per month! This equals $1,440 per year. My spouse was paying almost $100 every month with AT&T. If you add in a couple of family members, you end up paying upwards of $160-$200 per month.
2% of Nurse’s Salary
The average nurse makes $68,450 per year. With a $1,440 per year cell phone bill, a nurse pays about 2% of their salary. That doesn’t sound like a lot right now but imagine if you saved that 2% every year for 10 years? You would have $14,400 extra cash.
Now imagine if you invest that 2% every year for 10 years in an index fund that grows at an average of 9% per year similar to a total stock market index fund. You would potentially have almost $24,000 at the end of 10 years and about $214,000 at the end of 30 years and $500k after 40 years just saving 2% or $1,440 per year. Little expenses can make a huge difference over time. No one is going to go without having cell phone service these days, but you can cut dramatically the cost of your cellphone bill.
Modern LTE Coverage
Several years ago I switched to the T-Mobile $30 per month prepaid plan through Walmart. It gave me unlimited data and text with 100 minutes of talk. When I first signed up for T-mobile, service coverage was probably on par with Sprint in that it wasn’t too great especially in rural areas.
In the last couple of years, T-Mobile has upped their game and is now one of the top cell phone service providers as far as coverage and quality in my experience. I have done several long distance trips in very rural areas and have had full LTE service. We did a backpacking trip not too long ago in a national park that was pretty remote, and I still had LTE cell phone service. This was actually disappointing because we were trying to get away from the continual data blast.
Rise of Discounted Cell Phone Service
Several years ago there were only a couple of major cell phone companies. In the past several years, several smaller cell phone service providers have arisen such as Republic Wireless, Project FI, and Mint Mobile. These 3rd party providers piggyback on the larger networks. Mint Mobile provides service through the T-Mobile network. Project FI provides service through Sprint. These alternative cell phone providers are often no-contract, prepaid plans that offer service much cheaper than the main wireless companies.
Discounted Cell Phone Service Experience
A couple of months ago, I wanted to try out Mint Mobile to see if I could save even more money then my already ridiculously cheap $30 T-Mobile plan. I also wanted to get more talk time minutes as I would occasionally use up my 100 minutes. I spent a lot of time reading the reviews and opinions of others and finally went for one of the cheapest 3rd party cell phone providers: Mint Mobile.
Mint Mobile offers unlimited text and talk with 3gb LTE data for only $15 per month. That would cut my cell phone bill in half. I was skeptical because cheap does not necessarily result in savings if the service is terrible, but I couldn’t find any drawbacks for my situation. They do require you to buy a year of service to get the best rates which is essentially like a contract. I’m not looking to switch providers every couple of months, and I have the savings to pay for a year at a time.
Limited Data Concerns
The major concern I had with switching to Mint Mobile was locking myself into a data plan that was too small. 3gb of LTE data is not much in today’s world of mobile video and music streaming not to mention Facebook and Instagram data. I figured with the availability of wifi almost everywhere I could limit the data guzzling apps on my phone to wifi-only and use my LTE for web browsing, Google Maps, and other apps that use less data.
I thought it would be more difficult to remain under 3gb per month, but for the last year I have used less than 1gb of LTE data per month without feeling restricted. Web browsing and Google Maps use most of my LTE data, but I haven’t really noticed any major difference in the way I use my cellphone. When I want to look on Instagram or Youtube, I’m usually connected to wifi, so I don’t even notice a difference in my usage or access.
Real Life Savings
I pay $15 per month for 12 months plus tax. This costs me about $200 a year for my cell phone service ($15 x 12 months + 10% sales tax). Compare that with my wife’s old AT&T plan of $100 per month equaling $1200 per year. That’s a savings of $1000 per year for just one of us!
This savings could be worth $16,560 in 10 years if saved in an index fund with 9% compounding interest or potentially $148,575 in 30 years. These savings numbers in the future are theoretical, but illustrate the potential saving we will experience by switching our cell phone plans.
My spouse, an iPhone user, has also switched to Mint Mobile and loves it! We now pay an average of $32 per month after tax for two lines of cell phone service. This has been a major savings win for us.
Mint Mobile is easy to work with. You can transfer your current number. Mint Mobile uses the T-Mobile network which has significantly improved in the past 1-2 years. You can also bring your own phone including your iPhone.
Check out Mint Mobile and save your hard-earned money!