We paid on average $160 per month for cell phone service through Verizon until we realized we could cut our bill in half if we switched to an unlimited family plan on AT&T. We are now sharing a plan with another couple in another household – which is totally legit! AT&T rocks! How much is your cell phone bill? Are there ways you could cut it down?
How we cut our cell phone bill in half
First, to give you an idea of what we had and what we got when we switched, I made this nifty table!
How our old and new cell phone plans compare
|Verizon (old plan)||AT&T (new plan)|
|Phones||Simple phone and iPhone 4||Two iPhone 5s’|
|Cost of phones||$99 and $400||$519 and $540 (purchased new on eBay)|
|Data||1GB||4GB (shared between four people)|
|Contract||Two-year||Month to month|
|Cost of protective covers||$0||$72|
|Cost per month||$160||$80|
9 things that we changed to save money
1. Higher upfront cost (see chart above). We both had to buy our phones out of pocket because our new AT&T plan is month to month. When I compared the one-year cost of AT&T and Verizon, including service and the phones, AT&T still came out ahead. When you look at the two-year cost, we are saving more than $1,000 – $1,288 to be exact! The caveat is that we save money AS LONG AS WE DONT BREAK OR LOSE OUR PHONES! We have been enjoying the mobile togs covers with selfie mirrors built in which I received from an earlier promotion. I upgraded to an expensive ($72) Lifeproof phone cover, which protects against drops.
2. Greater Internet access. My husband was using a simple phone on Verizon and I had a smart phone. So we were only paying for one data plan. Now on AT&T we both have smartphones. And we’re STILL saving money. For me, this switch really underscored how expensive Verizon is.
3. Unlimited texts. With Verizon, we were paying $15 per month per line for 1,000 text messages. We only used about 400 each, but the next lowest rate was $10 for 200 texts. Our new AT&T plan has unlimited texts so we don’t feel guilty about texting or have to squeeze down to fit the lower allotment.
4. More data. Because we’re on an unlimited family plan with another couple, we have more data between the four of us. We all share it, but I doubt we’ll ever go over our 4GB per month allotment. On our Verizon plan I had 1GB for data and only once approached that limit. Most months I average .6 GB of data.
5. Unlimited calls. Both our old plan and our new plan has unlimited minutes.
6. Shared billing. We share a bill with another couple who are good friends. They control the bill, we send them a check every month. (Actually, we haven’t paid them yet! They are very trusting. :)) We have our own online accounts we can log into to check usage and minutes and bills, and we can always disassociate our accounts with our friends should we decide to go our separate ways. We own our phones and are not tied into a two-year contract.
7. Lower taxes. Because the overall bill is lower, we are all paying fewer taxes, which can be a HUGE portion of your cell phone bill.
8. No more piecemeal. With Verizon every item was charged piecemeal, leaving a sour taste in our mouth. A charge for the minutes. A charge for the second line. A charge for texts. A charge for texts on the other phone. A charge for data. Taxes all around! The beauty of an unlimited plan is that there is one flat fee, plus taxes, and that is your bill. Unless we go over our data allotment, the bill should never change. I like knowing exactly how much our cell phone bill is going to be every month.
9. Less coverage. Verizon has the best coverage, there’s no bones about it. Especially in smaller towns like where we live, there are dead zones more common with other carriers. But we decided the high bill just wasn’t worth it. If AT&T or another carrier dropped a call a week, the savings would make up for it. As it turns out, I don’t drop any more calls now than I did when I had Verizon.
As confusing as it can be to compare all the data points, I highly recommend it. We’re saving $1,288 over two years because we switched to a cheaper plan.