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Old 11-23-2012, 10:25 PM   #1
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I am a 26 year old working grad school student. I have always had cheaper cell phones on my parents cell phone plan. Iíve considered upgrading to a smartphone for awhile. The Galaxy S3 is the one Iím looking at. My cell phone is now really the only thing I have left that is tied to my parents (ie own credit cards, car, car insurance, health insurance etc). My mom brings up the fact that Iím still on their plan in a demeaning way from time to time and Iíd really just like to be done with it. Regardless, itís only about $10 a month to keep me on it.

Now that I am seriously looking into it, I am BLOWN AWAY by how expensive these plans are. I make maybe 3-5 calls a day and text infrequently. I really just need a meat and potatoes plan with a little data and even that is in the $70-$80/month range. I can get a %25 discount though work but still.

A few weeks ago in class the teacher did a show of hands asking who has a smart phone. I was one of 2 people that didnít. Every time I get on a campus bus literally every other person is scrolling though a smart phone. I see them everywhere. I even see employees at work who I know make close to min wage with them. I cannot comprehend that many people are paying $1000+ a year for smart phones.

Iím going to visit best buy tomorrow and compare plans and see what I come up with. I think Iíd rather deal with my parents, keep my slide phone, and take a vacation with the extra $1000. I donít know.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:37 PM   #2
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Have you thought of maybe getting a pay-as-you-go plan? Some carriers offer pretty good smartphones on those plans. That way you only pay for what you use, but still get the smartphone. I can tell you, I've had smartphones since they first started coming out and I'm pretty much addicted to it LOL
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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I try not to think about all the money I've spent on blackberries and iPhones over the years... and thankfully I don't have to have a blackberry anymore for work... I've tried a few 'droid phones and I like them for a change of pace from the iPhone... Currently I have both an iPhone 5 and a Samsung Galaxy s3... I use the iPhone more... the s3 is more for "fun"

You can get some decent smartphones on a pay as you go plan... which run around $45-$50 a month, but I'm not sure how much data is included with that... Although once you factor in the price of the phone... You could very well average out to $70-$80 a month over a year...

Good luck...
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:12 AM   #4
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I personally think smart phones are overrated. I wouldn't get one unless you really had solid reasons for having one. I had a blackberry through work for years then gave that up then decided I wanted an iPhone. Overall, I wish I would've waited a few more years to switch to a smart phone.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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Are you around wifi a lot? An iPod touch might be enough for what you want.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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I don't know if this is possible for you, but I switched to an iPhone in August (on a grad student salary as well!) but saved money by adding it to my family's plan - so it's on my dad's plan, but I give him the money to pay for it. It gives you the cheaper plan (adding a smartphone to a family plan was cheaper for us than me having a new plan by myself) and the independence!
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:02 AM   #7
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ah yes, I actually lived without a cell phone for years when I was still in Canada..finally got the basic one (you know the I want a monthly plan, show me the free phones)... and now living in Egypt I have the most old school Nokia phone ever... I might upgrade after Winter break, but like you I don't use it a lot (though I do tend to text a few of my friends constantly) it's hard to justify the price.

I wanted an iPhone.... but I doubt I'll get one.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:50 AM   #8
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Let us know what you come up with. I like the way you figured out the yearly cost & what else it would buy. Like you, I've wondered how people can afford the plans . . .
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:16 PM   #9
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I didn't think I needed or would want anything other than a basic flip phone (which I had) Then hubby got me an android at WalMart on the Straight Talk plan. I am hooked and I love texting with my kids who live across country. Needless to say they have decided maybe I am a cool mom after all.
My plan is $45 a month unlimited everything. No contract. You can go as low as $30 a month. My phone is a Samsung Galaxy Precedent and was half price at $79 and some change. You can pay 6 months or a year in advance and save money. The best thing, there are WalMarts everywhere when you need a card or you can call straight talk or go online to add minutes.
I have not had any problems with mine, only had it 2 months, so hope I don't have a problem in the future.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:42 PM   #10
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I don't have a smart phone, but I do have an ipod touch. Right now my cell phone bill is only $30 a month. If I get a smart phone, my bill will be at least $60 a month. I'm not sure that I can justify that expense for what I need. I mean....that's $360 a year! I can do a lot with that cash.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:47 PM   #11
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I appreciate the feedback. I decided to keep the slide phone. Even the cheaper smartphone options are more than it is worth to me. I wanted one for stuff like using the star gazing app, maybe a diet app, price check apps, occasionaly looking something up and other dumb stuff. I used the vacay example because my bff and I have talked about taking a girlfriends trip for awhile. Her career situation is more stable and we decided a cheapo all inclusive trip would cost about $1000 each if we share a room. I would enjoy that more than the convenience of having a smart phone. Although I probably wont take a vacation anytime soon either.

On a cheaper plan I would worry about using too much data. This would take some of the fun away. Also The general consensus seems to be that it’s near impossible to go back to “stupidphones” once you own a smart phone. I plan to finish graduate school next year and then enter a credentialing program. I want to wait until I finish my career stuff (1-1.5 years) and get a better job before I take on a contract like that. I plan to check out best buy and ask about plans, but unless I get offered some insane deal my mind is made up.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:00 PM   #12
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I get free apps at Google play. I would not do any of this if I had to sign a contract with anyone. Too many horror stories of people trying to get out of those contracts. I, and the many people I know with the pay as you go phones have been very satisfied. Another good one being Virgin mobile that my son has used for many years.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:51 AM   #13
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I just upgraded to the iphone 4 from a very old flip phone. The iPhone quit working within hours of my getting it. Trying to get this resolved has been one of the most stressful things I ever did. I had to eat half a bag of corn chips to feel better!?

I had a perfectly good pay-as-you-go plan which I hardly ever used. I don't know what possessed me. I think maybe it had something to do with rewarding myself with something non-food for loosing weight.

Personally, I think you made the right decision.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:58 AM   #14
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I have a phone through straighttalk. The phone can be a little expensive since it pay as you go, so there is no discount for agreeing to a contract. But, I only pay about $52 a month for unlimited talk, text, and data. I've had for over a year and I love it. Had Verzion before that and was paying almost $80 a month for 450 minutes of talk, unlimited text, and no data at all. No thank you. Lol
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:25 PM   #15
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I know this is kinda an old post but I have a pay as u go plan, straight talk. I pay 45 a month, unlimited text and talk and I think like 2 gigs Internet. I bought a used iPhone 4 for about 200. If I exceed Internet use I am just slowed down. I like that some months when my plan is over I take a few days before reconnecting. Or u could just pay your mom for your service so she doesn't complain. Kick in an extra 10.
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