Sunday, July 22, 2012

Smarter Smartphone

I want an iPhone. Lots of people that I know have them, and whip them out at the slightest provocation. What movies are showing? Oh, lemme check my IPHONE. I wonder if it will rain tonight. Oh, lemme check my IPHONE. How do you get there from here? Oh, lemme check my big, fat, shiny, status symbol IPHONE.

Phone envy. It's an ugly thing.

So, I break down and go into the local AT&T store. There it is. Sparkly. Beckoning.

The lovely, if slightly over-made-up, sales lady wants to tell me all about it. I already know all about it. What I want to know is the cost of the plan.

Well, I can buy the voice plan for $40 per month, then data for another $30. After taxes and fees, I'd be looking at close to $90 per month.


Two years ago, husband and I had Verizon cell phones. We were paying $90/month to Verizon for them both COMBINED. That's $1,080 a year. When our second son was born and I went on maternity leave, we switched to prepaid Tracfones.

At the time we bought...
1) Two double-minute phones ($20 each = $40)
2) Two 400 minute/one-year activation cards ($100 each = $200)

That's $240 for a year. AND THE COVERAGE WAS JUST AS GOOD.

Yeah. I'm sticking with Tracfone.

But...I still want a smartphone. Fortunately, Tracfone has started offering them. When husband's phone accidentally went on a magical trip through washer/dryer land, we were short one phone. I use more of the texting features, etc, so we set husband up with my old phone and I got this:

It cost $50. Yeah, I know that's more than twice the cost of my old $20 phone, but it does really cool stuff! I can check the internet with it! I can download apps! I can text with a wee little touch screen QWERTY keyboard! I can hang with the cool smartphone-wielding kids!

Sure, it's not an iPhone. It can't do ALL of the cool things than an iPhone can do. The thing is, it's a compromise. It does what I need it to do. It can make calls, send texts, and take pictures, and take videos, and check the internet. Best part: I can afford to keep the kids.

Know what's even better? Look at the picture again. See where it says "unlimited triple minutes"? That means that the 400 minute card (recall: $100) that I will put on it before October will actually give me 1200 minutes. This past year, I think I only used 700. Now I should have 500 extra to waste on FaceBook! Not bad, right?

In summation:

iPhone = $1,080/ year
Tracphone = $100/year
Savings = $980

Do you have any idea what I can do with $980? (*Hint: read my other posts).

Who's smart now, AT&T?


  1. One quick note: Everyone I have dealt with at Tracfone in the last two years has been awesome. Every. Single. Person.

  2. Replies
    1. It's 0.30 minutes. You can send a text, read a reply, and send another text for nine tenth of a minute.