Every since we got the “cable/phone/modem” bundle at the house, I barely use my cell phone anymore. I guess I’m just of the wrong generation. I don’t do the text message thing, and since I can call as much as I want long distance from the home phone, well, I do! The cell phone now is reserved mostly for those “Honey, I’m on my way home” type calls, and as a way to be contacted in case of emergency with the kiddos (either by the school, Nana, or the babysitter).
I researched getting out of my cell phone contract early, but found out that it would have cost me over $200 dollars. That hurt my frugal soul!-Honestly, it really was cheaper just to wait until the contract ran out. Knowing that for the last few months I have been gearing up in my mind to do a nice article or series of articles comparing cell phone plans on prepaid phones, which seem like they are probably the way to go in my situation. (you know you really are a blogger when everything in your life seems like fodder for you blog. I’m ALWAYS thinking “hey! I can write about that!”)
Now that we are drawing close to the end of the contract it was time to start real research in earnest. I started out by going to my local Wally World, where the array of plans, carriers and options seems specifically designed to frustrate and confuse the consumer. Actually, knowing the industry, it probably really was! The details and terms of the plans are all so different as to make comparisons almost impossible-you are oftentimes comparing apples to oranges. Although I took a copy of each type of literature available (and not each service provider even HAD literature) I was no more enlightened leaving the store than I had been upon entering.
Next I went to the Internet. Again, it was apples to oranges. I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to build myself an excel spreadsheet just to keep track of all the different options and make an educated comparison.
And then it happened! I found it. The holy grail of cell phone plan comparisons.
Eric Bernatchez at the About.com cell phone section has actually written a “quiz” that directs you to the top 5 cell phone plans for your situations. You simply answer 12 questions as honestly as you can and he directs you to the 5 cell phone plans that will cost you the least.
Ta Da! How cool is that?
According to his quiz, the absolute cheapest plan that I could get, assuming that I use my cell phone only 10 minutes a week:
Virgin Mobile – Pay by Minute (Prepaid)Refill Card: $20.00 at least every 90 days.Average Monthly Cost: $7.83 Full Details…
Even if I went up to scenario two of 30 minutes a week, that would be:
STI Mobile – Nationwide Calling (Prepaid)Refill Card: $10.00Average Monthly Cost: $15.67 Full Details…
That’s half of what I’m paying now as it is!
So, head on over to About.com and check out the Prepaid Plan Test