A Change in Plans

So today is Cyber Monday, which means it’s the first Monday back to work from an extended Thanksgiving break–that’s if you don’t work at retailers that decided to open Thanksgiving night.

While many people are buying things online or actually going to stores to make their purchases, I finally initiated my plan to cut back on my cell phone bill. For anyone who knows me, it’s not a surprise that I don’t use my phone that much these days. Several years ago, I was involved in a bad car accident but had no way of contacting anyone, so I gave in and bought a cell phone for emergency purposes. After monitoring the minutes I have been using for the last few months, I realized that I’m paying a lot of money for something I don’t use much.

As I thought about it, I do most of my communcation in person or online via email, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Face Time, texting using Google Voice, chatting, and so forth. It didn’t make sense to me for me to continue paying $45 per month for a service I use seldom–last I checked, I was averageing about nine minutes per month! So I pondered and pondered and pondered, finally deciding to go to a prepaid phone plan.

On Saturday, I went to one of my cell phone provider’s brick-and-mortar stores. I told the sales associate there that I wanted to cancel my plan, much to his chagrin–I think he was hoping to make a commission by talking me into an upgrade. I stood firmly though and insisted on canceling my plan in order to open a prepaid account. I had done my homework already, choosing a $10 plan that offers thirty minutes per month and electing to use my current phone–all the associate had to do was switch out the sim card.

Now I’m sure most of you are thinking I’m crazy for thinking I can get by on only thirty minutes a month, but remember I had only been using nine months a month previously. The minutes that I do purchase are good for 90 days, which means I can spend about $10 on my cell phone bill every three months.

In terms of the money I will be saving, I have three likely scenarios:

  1. I will use all thirty minutes each month, which means I’ll be spending $120 per year on the prepaid phone–under my old plan, I was spending close to $540 per year ($45 per month for twelve months). Under this scenario, I will save myself $420 per year ($540 less $120).
  2. I will use the thirty minutes every two months, which means I’ll be spending $60 per year on the prepaid phone. Under this scenario, I will save myself $480 ($540 less $60).
  3. I will stretch the minutes for three months because I hardly use my phone, which means I’ll be spending $40 per year on the prepaid phone. Under this scenario, I will save myself $500 per year ($540 less $40).

The savings do not sound that significant, but any savings, especially in this economy, is very welcomed!

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