Like just about everyone these days, I do have a cell phone. I started out with one of those large Motorola phones that came out in the mid 1990’s. You remember those? They were state of the art and, by today’s standards, they were big and bulky.
The plan I was on, I stuck with, through changes of phones and also my provider being changed and bought out. My plan was grandfathered, and was pretty good if I didn’t use my phone much. But, as I became busier and ventured into new things, I found that I was using my phone much more often and, those minutes’ charges were making my once great cell phone plan not so great or cheap.
I’d seen those “pay-as-you-go” phones, as well as the minute and money cards for them, but thought that they would be too limiting for me. All of this was assumption on my part. But finally, when going over the bill I had last December, and really going over it with a fine toothed comb, I found that, on some days, my calls and minutes added up to $18 in charges! For one day alone!
I thought about the pay as you go plans and decided to investigate. There are several plans out there, depending on what company you choose. I was with Verizon Wireless and they’d always treated me right, so I went to a Verizon Store and asked about the Pay as you go plans. The one that suited me was the $1.99 per day plan.
This plan charges you only when you use the phone or receive a phone call on a particular day, and, only charges you $1.99 for that day. It doesn’t matter if you are “roaming”, or make or receive one call or 100 calls, or if you are calling next door or across the country, you only pay $1.99 for that day. Texting is 2 cents per text. Other than that, unless you do other things like going online, those are the only charges. Of course, there may be an activation fee, but this is the case with all plans, and it’s also no more, and often less, that with regular plans. And, you do prepay, usually with a credit card or phone card that you can buy in any store. Most require putting at least $15 on the phone, and usually have a $100 upper limit. This gives you a balance that you use, and also a time amount. The time that any amount of money you put in is pretty generous. $100 for me gets me a whole year before I have to use up any remaining balance. I often use up the balance well before the time is up. If your time expires or your balance is exhausted, you may lose your number if you forget to add money to your phone, but your phone will tell you when you’re getting close to having to add money. Your phone will let you know your remaining balance and time left. And, when you add money to your phone, any remaining time and balance is added, so you lose nothing and you don’t have to wait till your balance or time reaches zero before you can add more money and time to your phone.
There are no contracts or monthly bills and in most cases you can keep your cell phone number. And you can get off the plan by simply not adding money to your phone, however, in order to not lose your phone number, you would need to go to some other plan.
The most you would spend is $63 a month and for that you would have to use your phone every day that month! And, if you were to come down to say, $4 left on your balance, you would still be fine and not have to worry about inadvertently running out of money that day, as you only get charged when you use the phone!
To be sure, I went home and looked over my bills for the past year and made note of how many days I used my phone and what the total charges for each month as well as for the entire year were. then I made a hypothetical list, showing what I would have paid if I’d been on the $1.99 per day plan. I was astounded! My bills would have totaled about $300 for the year under the $1.99 plan, while my actual bills totaled over $700 under my grandfathered plan!
I was convinced and switched plans in January. And I’ve been satisfied ever since. My first month, I only spent a little over $17, and I’ve been averaging $25 -$30 a month since, even when I went out of what would have been my service area under the old plan!
Under my old plan, I often had bills from $40-$70, and occasionally, over $100!
To find out more, go to a cell phone provider or ask someone in the phone department or at a kiosk inside a big store or mall, and don’t let them sell you on some “grand plan” that could cost you considerably more!
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