If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Money management-how we spend less on smart phones

When cell phones started becoming common, we had cell phones with AT&T and paid a pretty high monthly fee every month.  We never have spent lots of time using cell phones. The bills were just too high for what we used.
Then in 2009, when our contract expired, we switched to Tracfone, their phones are cheap but work fine, they don't require contracts and the charges for use are really low. 
With tracfone, my husband and I each spend roughly $100 a year for the phone and service. Our old plan was about $80 every month.  $200 instead of $960 a year for cell phones that we don't use much is much better. 

Just before Christmas, my basic tracfone was a year old and I was having a hard time hearing on it. (It had been probably been dropped by me or a grandchild just a few too many times) 
Many stores now take coupons on smartphones and I like to use coupons. So we did some research and ordered a Tracfone LG Optimus Dynamic for me from Amazon. 
Once it got here, we liked it so much, my husband got one too. He ordered his from QVC.

These will probably end up costing us each $150 or a little more a year. Still much better than the $960 we used to spend. 
The Tracfone LG looks a lot like a smartphone.
It is easy to check your balance.
I can read blogs, like this from Terri who writes at BlueHouseJournal, one of my favorites.
I can read silly picture text message for a son
I can read my email
I can pull up store coupons like this one from Hobby Lobby and watch YouTube videos. 

The text messages show up in bubbles on a scroll so it is easier to follow a conversation.

It also takes photos and movies, goes to any website and probably does lots of other stuff that I don't know how to do or even want to do. 

Tracfone used to activate their phones through a call center that I think was in India. That was difficult but now, all activations, questions and number changes can be done though their website and it is very easy. 

If you do buy a tracfone, we recommend you buy one with triple minutes for life. Anytime you buy minutes, you will get triple and that makes them cheaper in the long run. 
This model does not have lots of storage so we added a big memory card to each one. 

If you are a heavy IPhone user, I don't think you would be happy with this one. 
But if you are not big time cell phone users and just want a smart phone with minimal cost, we think these Tracfones are great.

Linking to several parties including
Friday Finances at Renaissance


  1. We both have iphones and they are nice, but pricey. I would love to try the track phone but don't know if I could convince my husband to make the switch. I think that would be fine for me though! The savings would be great!

  2. This is a perfect post for us. The Dude has been told to get a smart phone by his PTSD counselor....that way he can keep track of more...easier for me!
    blessings, jill

  3. That is the phone we got for our teenager. She likes it because it looks like an iPhone. These types of things are so important to kids this age....

  4. we use tracfones and was also considering updating to the new one, like you have. WONDERFUL TIMING!!!! Cant wait to tell hubby!!! I knew the ones we had are old and harder to navigate but I also love the thought of being able to use them like a regular smart phone.....coupons and such. I am so HAPPY you posted this!

  5. Interesting post! We just entered into a 2-year contract with AT&T last summer when we finally broke down and got smart phones (Samsung Galaxy 3). Yes, the monthly bill is high. Ugh.

  6. This is good to know! Jeff and I still have our flip phones from 2007. They work fine but the big kids are bugging us to get smartphones. And getting online would be nice...I've had a few situations lately where I really needed it!

  7. This was very interesting to me. I'm still using a basic phone, no internet on it. I know the day is coming when I will need to upgrade, but hate to spend a lot of money. Even my plain phone plan is $57.00 a month now. My contract ran out a couple of years ago. Thanks for the info.

  8. This is a great post! Thank you so much for your thorough pictures and describing all the "usual" functions of a smartphone on the track phone. I have an LG Spectrum on Verizon but my line is part of my family's plan. Even though I'm married and pregnant with our first baby, a solo family plan price scares me! So we stay on our family's plan and repay them for our lines ($10+$30 data a month). Though I think it is high time to switch and your post is the welcome recommendation and kick in the rear that I need. :) Thanks!!

  9. Rhonda
    We just got our smart phones in the last quarter of 2013 -
    I think I'm a already a heavy iPhone user. But I used to be a prepaid use w/o a contract. It is good to see they are keeping up with the technology.
    Good information!


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Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda