I was paying way to much for my cell phone bill each month. You probably are too.
It turns out that I could save over 50% a month on my phone bill by making a simple switch.
Let me explain how.
First, I love saving money. There’s something special about getting a deal or finding a way to save a few extra bucks. It feels like free money or a bonus!
One of the best ways to find extra money each month is to revisit your monthly fixed expenses. These are bills that you pay every month.
- Cable Bill
- Car Insurance
- Internet Bill
- Home or Renters Insurance
- Cell Phone Bill
Whenever you have one of these services for a long time. You get comfortable. You stop shopping around and looking at options. You just send them money each month and you don’t really think about it.
It’s worth your time to regularly shop around for your monthly services.
For me, my cell phone bill was the biggest issue. I recently revisited my bill and was surprised to find that I could save about $60 a month!! I was overpaying by A LOT.
Switching didn’t take me a ton of effort. Here’s how.
I previously had my phone service from AT&T. I’ve actually been with AT&T for a loooong time, easily over 10 years. That was the biggest wake-up call for me. As I mentioned, any time you’ve had a service for so long, you get too comfortable.
Not taking the time to review my service with AT&T was costing me a lot of money.
My monthly cell phone bill with AT&T was $107.80 total for:
- 900 Minutes Talk
- Unlimited Data
- 1500 Text Messages
For many years I assumed that I needed to get my cell phone service from a major provider such as AT&T or Version because my cell phone is important to me. Heck, I’m a co-founder and CEO of a mobile app company! (If you haven’t joined Tip Yourself yet, you should!)
I was wrong. Here are two lessons that I learned.
Many smaller cell phone providers that offer discounted services use the exact same cellular network as the big companies. The same network!!
That’s right. The smaller companies may not have as many TV commercials or fancy branding, but their cell phone service runs on the exact same network. That means you can change cell phone companies but stay on the same cell phone network.
Here are a few examples:
- Boost Mobile = Sprint
- Cricket Wireless = AT&T
- Republic Wireless = Sprint & T-Mobile
I was using AT&T. That means I could switch to Cricket Wireless and still expect my phone to work in the same places that it does now. The network is the same! No risk of new dead spots or spotty service.
There are lots of service options. Here’s a full list of providers and the network they use.
Unlimited Data and Data Speeds are overrated.
I thought I was getting some sort of deal with my unlimited data plan. I wasn’t.
First, I checked my AT&T bill and looked at how much data I was actually using. And remember, I was “unlimited”. So I wasn’t the guy looking for wifi at Starbucks or asking for the wifi password when I was at a friend’s house. I as a data hog!
AND… The most I had ever used in one month was 4.9 GB and on average I was well below 2 GB per month.
So, do I really need unlimited data? No.
Not to mention that it’s actually not unlimited. AT&T will start to “throttle” or limit my data speed if I use too much of my “unlimited” data.
Speaking of data speeds. Would I really notice a difference if my data speed was a little slower? More about that in the “What’s the Catch” section at the end. Spoiler Alert: no
Looking At Options
So taking these two lessons into consideration, I started to research what my bill would be with Cricket Wireless. Knowing that I wasn’t actually going to be changing cell phone networks removed a lot of concerns.
With Cricket Wireless, I found I could get:
- Unlimited Minutes – (AT&T – 900 minutes a month)
- Unlimited Text – (AT&T – 1500 text per month)
- 5GB of Data per month – (More than I ever used in a single month ever)
And what would this cost me… drum roll please…
$40 per month! WHAT?!?!
Oh, and to make it even better. It’s actually $40 a month. The cost includes taxes and fees. There’s no surprise cost added on to my bill each month. I pay $40. That’s it.
That means to switch from AT&T to Cricket Wireless, my bill went from $107.80 to $40.00 = $67.80 saved per month!
That’s $813.60 a year!
AND… I’m still overpaying for data. I don’t actually need 5GB per month. When I drop my data plan lower, I can get my bill down to $30 a month!
What’s the catch?
There has to be a catch right? I’ve looked long and hard. So far the only trade-off I found was that AT&T claims their data is “faster“. I’m supposedly getting a slower data service with Cricket Wireless.
How much of a trade-off is it really?
First of all, this data speed only applies when you are not on a wifi network. So anytime I’m on wifi at home or at a coffee shop, my cell phone will be exactly the same between AT&T and Cricket.
When using cellular data, on average Cricket is slower in terms of data speed than AT&T, but actually slower and noticeably slower are two different things. I don’t notice any difference day-to-day.
As of writing this article, I’ve had my new Cricket service for 2 weeks and I can’t tell any difference in my service except in my wallet! 🙂
No difference. Zero.
Need more details. I found a full side-by-side comparison of speed. Cricket vs AT&T Data Speeds. Judge for yourself if it’s worth the cost.
So what should be your take away?
First, take some time to revisit your monthly bills. What other options are available? Are you getting the best deal? For example, when’s the last time you shopped for car insurance?
Second, specifically for your cell phone, if you are using a major company like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint. Take a look the comparison chart. I think you’ll be surprised to find you can save a ton of money without losing much if anything in your actual service.
Third, take that extra money you save each month and Tip Yourself with it! Put the extra money toward your savings goals. You earned it!!!
Finally, share your victory! Let the rest of us know what deals you found and how much money you saved!