Out of all the bills we have to pay every month, there is only one that Jeremy and I grumble about on a regular basis: our cell phone bill. We are paying way too much money for something that does not give us nearly enough value. Sending so much of our hard-earned money to T-Mobile each month just seems like such a waste!
The worst part is that we're locked into a contract so we can't seek out other, more cost-effective options. Until August, that is, which is why I'm asking for your help. When we get out of our contract, I think we'll look into some combination of a regular cell phone, a prepaid cell phone, and a land line to match our needs better and hopefully bring down our bill quite a bit.
Here are the facts on the ground as they are right now. We have the cheapest available Family Plan from T-Mobile which includes two cell phones sharing 700 daytime minutes, with free evenings and weekends. The plan, which doesn't include text messaging, is $60/month. With taxes, of course, it ends up being a few dollars more.
My main damages with this plan are as follows:
-We never, ever come close to using 700 daytime minutes. Cell phone bills are (purposely?) really difficult to decipher as far as usage patterns, but as best as I can tell, we are using around 300 total daytime minutes per month, max. That's less than half of our allotted time.
-Why the sam hill do text messages cost four times as much as they did five years ago? Time was, they were 5 cents each to send and receive. Now the same service costs 20 cents. Rubbish, I say.
-Anyway, I wish we had text messaging, or at least that we had a pricing structure that treated a text message the same as a minute of talking (like in many other places in the world). In Syria and Jordan, in fact, a text message was cheaper than a minute on the phone, which makes so much more sense to me. It's just how I would prefer to use my phone. (Also in Syria and Jordan: incoming calls are free, which also makes sense.)
-Another way I would prefer to use my phone is by utilizing "Missed Calls" more often, but that's another story.
-By far, the most common calls Jeremy and I make are to each other. With our T-Mobile plan, those minutes are free, which is great except then what are we paying $60/month for?
-We don't have a land line. We opted out of a regular phone to save money, but I have to wonder if that is really happening.
Based on the above information, my ideal phone plan would have fewer daytime minutes, include text messaging, and be a lot cheaper than $60/month. Ideally, both Jeremy and I would have a cell phone (but one or both could be prepaid). Do you think that such a thing exists, somewhere out there, in some combination?
Have any of you had these same problems? What have you done to solve them? Do any of you have experience with prepaid phones? If so, which ones? How much IS a land line these days?
Please solve my problem. Thanks.