One area in which most families can probably try some new, creative budgeting techniques is with cell phones. You may be surprised at how much you can save with the right cell phone plan and a little bit of discipline.
In fact, one family of Pure TalkUSA customers, that happen to author their own travel blog, used wireless internet service (WiFi) and Apple iPhones to get their combined bill for two smartphones down to $15/month, saving $135/month!
With the money they saved in a year, they were able to purchase a trip to Central America for their family of four.
Their strategy was to use their cell phone minutes only when they were out and making (or taking) a call was of utmost importance. Besides that, they strictly used their smartphones only when WiFi was available. They even installed and used an app called Talkatone that allowed them to make Google Voice calls over WiFi for free.
“Do I really need to be available ALL of the time — available to talk on my cell phone at any moment? Rather than taking those calls while out and about we’ll wait till we are home where we can connect to our wireless internet (WiFi) — or anywhere that offers wireless internet like Starbucks [or McDonald’s] or thousands of other locations.
The same is true when it comes to data. Anywhere I am connected to the wireless internet my iPhone will operate at it always has. When I am not on the internet, my iPhone becomes a phone with lot of cool apps for my kids to play with or a camera for me to snap photos.”
-Clark, Pure TalkUSA customer and author of the Family Trek blog
Are you interesting in seeing if you can follow in their footsteps? Here’s a step-by-step of how they did it:
1. Purchase unlocked WiFi enabled GSM phones. They don’t have to be a top-of-the-line smartphones like the Apple iPhone either. There are plenty of less expensive, affordable WiFi enabled smartphones on the market now. If you currently have an iPhone that is locked, it will have to be “jailbroken.”
- Visit the Pure TalkUSA online phone store and view or inventory of compatible cell phones and smartphones
2. Get SIM cards from Pure TalkUSA. Then activate our Family Flex plan for a flat rate of $15/month. That will get you two lines with 190 cellular rollover minutes per month to share. If 190 minutes just won’t cut it for you, you can always get more minutes. $25/month will get you 390 rollover minutes to share. (Pure TalkUSA Standard SIM cards are FREE. Pure TalkUSA Micro SIM cards go for $4.95).
3. Install a voice calling app. This will allow you to make phone calls over WiFi (and most of these apps are free). The Google Voice app works great for Android phones. The Talkat0ne app that we previously mentioned works for both Android and Apple (iOS) phones.
After that, just practice some discipline in regard to your phone time. If they can do it, you can do it too! Who knows…in another year, maybe you’ll be the one planning a family trip to Central America! Send us some pictures (over WiFi, of course) if you do.