Way back in the dark ages (you know, 10 years ago) the hubby and I both had cell phones, but we were on pre-paid (or pay-as-you-go, if you will) plans because we just aren’t phone people.  Occasionally text, sure, but chat on the phone – not so much.  Face it, we just don’t like talking on the phone – either of us.  It tends to be a time suck (no offense to those that we do talk on the phone with).

Even on the prepaid plan, I always opted for a better phone – and every once in a while I even opted to pay just over a dollar for 24 hours of Data Service to access the interwebs when I was out and about (for the occasional tweet or Facebook update since my DumbPhone didn’t have WiFi) though updates of that nature are something I don’t do very often when I’m out and about, since I’m otherwise occupied whilst out and about.

But the lure of a SmartPhone vs. a DumbPhone was always there – and finally the hubby crossed over to the dark side and signed us up for a two-year contract, picking up SmartPhones for both of us.  It was nice finally entering into the 21st century on an official capacity.  Ahem.

Now, almost two years later, our SmartPhones aren’t as smart as the current SmartPhones, and mine was having issues after a firmware update where I was having to pop the battery and do a hard reboot of the phone since it kept freezing up all the the time – and usually when I needed it most.  We were eligible for free phone upgrades, but were weighing all our options because a ‘free’ upgrade meant 1) paying for a new/better/faster phone and 2) committing to an additional two year contract.

Crunching numbers, it just didn’t make sense to continue on a contract basis for another two years.  Our so-called “Family Plan” with AT&T consisted of just the two of us – Princess Nagger won’t be getting her own cell phone until she’s 13.  I don’t know why we decided on 13, maybe it’s a magical number, or because it’s when she’ll officially become a Teen vs. Tween and will have earned the honor of a cell phone by then.  I know, my mind works in mysterious ways.

Our basic minimum monthly bill from AT&T always came in at $156 a month, give or take $10 or $20.  The breakdown was $60 a month for the first phone, $10 for the second phone, $30/mo. Data Plan for my phone and $25/mo. Data Plan for the hubby’s phone.  We opted out of paying an additional $20 a month per phone for unlimited texting – since we don’t text much, and instead with with the pay-per-text of 20-cents a text – and always came in under $20 total for both phones per month for texting.

So looking at it a different way – that basic $125 (which obviously doesn’t include the exorbitant taxes and ‘other fees’ which every month brought our grand total to $156+ per month) is simply for the convenience or privilege of having two phones on a contract service.  Where the signal here at our house (or other areas, for that matter) just plain sucked.  One bar for phone signal?  Even if my land line was out of commission, I still couldn’t make an emergency call to save my life since there’s no solid signal here.

Paying more than $1800 a year for both our phones is crazy, isn’t it?  Especially since we don’t use our phones that much – and paying for Data Service (which is required when you have a SmartPhone, by the way) that we don’t use since we usually connect with our phones through WiFi vs. Data because it’s a faster connection.

We kept thinking back to the ‘good old days’ when we paid $50 to $100 a year for our prepaid phone service – and actually had a signal on our old phones here at the house.  And everywhere else.  Nice, strong 5-bar signal. 

I researched other carriers and other plans looking specifically at phones I wanted (since obviously, no matter what we were going to do, I was getting me a new phone).  But no one came close dollar-wise to what we wanted to spend (read: didn’t want to spend) for what we consider for ourselves as frivolous.

After much debate we decided to ditch our contract with AT&T and go back to prepaid with T-Mobile.  I hadn’t deleted my old number and account, I kept it active by adding $10 a year so my existing money/minutes would continue to roll over for another year.  I’m so glad I did.  Even though we ended up paying a pro-rated cancellation fee for getting out of our AT&T contract, when it was all said and done, we still saved over $300 on the 3 months left on our contracts.

Crazy, isn’t it?  And yes, I did buy a new phone so I could avoid the issues with my old phone – and I’m very happy with my new phone, even though I originally wanted to get a Samsung Galaxy S3 (since I had a Samsung Galaxy S – the first edition pf the Galaxy series) and thought to stick with Android since I had a lot of apps and games purchased and downloaded, but was also thinking of crossing over to the other side by looking at the iPhone 5.  Needless to say, both options were a no-go because the phones are too new, hence too expensive unless you’re committing yourself to a 2-year contract.

Instead, I ended up getting a great deal on an LG Optimum L9:

It’s faster than my old phone, the battery life is phenomenal, and even connects to WiFi easier – which will come in handy should I be without cell service somewhere that has WiFi because this phone allows WiFi calling as well. 

I couldn’t be happier – plus the hubby is happy we’ll be saving more than $1500 a year on cell phone service – at least until Princess Nagger turns 13, then we’ll have to revisit our usage and options again.  Luckily we have 3 years to enjoy the cheap side.

Which brings me to this weeks question(s):

Do you have a SmartPhone on a contract, or something else?  Do you use your cell phone as your main phone or just an additional ‘while you are out’ phone like I do?

Have a great weekend!



Kailani’s had her plate full and hasn’t had the linky up the last couple of months for Aloha Friday, so I’m bringing back the Friday Free For All I used to have available for you – link up if you’re participating in Aloha Friday or just link up so I can easily come pay you a visit:


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Happy Aloha Friday!

From Kailani at An Island Life:
In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So on Fridays let’s take it easy on posting, too. Ask a simple question…nothing that requires a lengthy response. It’s a great way to make new blogging friends!


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Note: None of this post is sponsored, paid for, or in any way advertising (or not) for Samsung, AT&T, T-Mobile or LG. The phone noted was purchased with my own hard earned money, and all opinions are all me me me.




  1. Hey Girlfriend: I don’t have a smart phone! I think they’re intimidating. Besides who wants an ol’ smarty phone… it makes me feel inferior! 🙁 A phone smarter than me hmph!!! I wish I could just have my cell phone. I tried closing my land phone, but because I have a bundle pkg. it would cost more to pay for my Interent/Cable alone then my bundle pkg. with Internet/Cable/Phone. So I just told them never mind! Talk about big brother! They got me by the short hairs for sure! Have a great weekend my friend. Good question!
    Xmasdolly would like you to read ..Aloha Flashback Stacy my Friend Follow with Friendship Friday!My Profile

  2. I too have a smart phone..an Android! Love it and use it all the time but mostly to text my family. I rarely talk on it!! Ha!!
    Also use GPS and internet a lot! Is it frivilous…yes….but I would be lost without it.

  3. To be honest, Stacy, I don’t know how smart my phone is – it is probably smarter than I know, lol – I only use it on a “need to” basis!

    We had both landlines and cells until our recent move when, to save money, my husband ditched our landlines to save us money. I miss my landline but, have to confess, the savings are nice!

    But – since I don’t like using the cell – and since we don’t have a data plan (which would make it far more interesting for me) – I only use it when I need to. I guess I’m not a phone person anymore!
    Create With Joy would like you to read ..2013 Reading ChallengesMy Profile

  4. We have been on a non contract plan for a long time now. How much we was paying for our phones with Alltel was just crazy. So we just had simple dumb phones for a while. But I really, really wanted a iPhone. So for Christmas hubby did get me a iPhone through Virgin Mobile. $55 dollars a month unlimited everything. The phone it self was pricey since it was non contract but I love it!
    Heather’s Happenings would like you to read ..Manicure BouquetMy Profile

  5. We just cut the cord, or the land line phone. We kept the number, but it’s now through AT&T along with our mobile service. Saved us about $20 a month. Not wildly thrilled with AT&T in general, but why pay for the land line when we mostly use our cells. The phone at home is for the kids to use. I didn’t want to give that up.
    VandyJ would like you to read ..Time to ConfessMy Profile

  6. You don’t EVEN want to know how much I pay for two smart phones and a standard cell phone – it’s nothing short of extortion. Especially when you consider the fact that I only have a smart phone so I can have a GPS, without which I don’t know how I ever lived. You have no idea how glad I was to see “updates of that nature are something I don’t do very often when I’m out and about, since I’m otherwise occupied whilst out and about.”

    You and me both!
    Jan’s Sushi Bar would like you to read ..Pomegranate MolassesMy Profile

  7. I used to think I wanted a smartphone until 2 years ago when my husband had to have an iphone for his job. He was so connected all the time that it drove me nuts and caused me to daydream of taking his company truck and running over his phone. To this day, if I hear the ringtone he had, I get the urge to grab a phone and chuck it out the window. I don’t have a smartphone. My friends make fun of me for it. I just don’t want to be that connected. I have a tablet for work, and I figure these days, most places have free wi-fi, so I take advantage of that. My most recent phone has a keyboard for texting, but I really hate texting as well. I long for the days of my flip phone. I don’t begrudge anyone with a smartphone, but it is not for me.
    lesa would like you to read ..Someday it will be ok…My Profile

  8. I upgraded but am still with BlackBerry. I have phone envy when I see all the apps and cool photos people get with the new Iphones, but I like the free BB messaging. All my home bodies are BB users, because of business. You have really done your homework. The numbers are shocking.
    rosemary would like you to read ..YouTube Saved Me AgainMy Profile

  9. I have a smart phone but it’s a Droid so I feel like I”m not as smart as the others because they have iPhone’s but I just can’t type on those. My hands shake too much. My plan alone costs over $100 a month, we’re considering merging onto a family plan but Ryan wants limited data and I have to have unlimited because I’m a web freak.
    ❤ Julie Maloney ❤ (Momspective) would like you to read ..Kids Don’t Know How To WhisperMy Profile

  10. Hubby and I have Trac Phones (and have had them for years). We rarely use our phones, but know they’re nice to have when we need them, so we’re both completely content and happy w/our choice ( I pay less than $50 every six months, lol, I’m not even kidding). This choice does come w/constant ridicule and teasing from our friends and family (my two grown boys and my daughter-in-law have smart phones), but so be it. 😉
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  11. The Mathemagician and I have Android phones–well, I have an Android and he has a crap phone, until he breaks down to get a new one. We both use Virgin Mobile (no contract), and it’s our primary phone.

    Found you via the Aloha Blog Hop, stop by if you get the chance. Aloha!
    T. A. Woods would like you to read ..Martin Luther King Jr. Peace PoemMy Profile

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