[Editor's Note: The first time I published this, I found a bug in the WordPress publishing system where one typo can make the whole article disappear. Let's give this another try.]
A year and a half ago, I wrote about the Best Cell Phone/Plan Savings Today. Nearly 18 months later, I still think the Nexus 5 on StraightTalk is extremely competitive. That phone cost me around $399 for a 32GB and StraightTalk is between $42-45 a month depending on how many months you buy at a time.
The cell phone industry moves fast and there's more competition nowadays. There are bunch of Motorola Android phones that fall in the under $200 range (some even under $100). You have to be a little careful if you want LTE, the fastest data speed. I'm not sure sure if they come with full 1080P screens, but remember that Apple went "retina" with worse resolution quite a few ago. And if you don't want to pay $399 like I did on a Nexus 5, you can get it on Ebay starting at around $250.
I've always be a fan of spending a little more money on the better phone. If you think about it, even spending $45 is spending $540 a year. You'll pay more in service than for the phone, so a cost of an $50-100 shouldn't break you. This is specially true considering that it was fairly normal to pay $100-$120 a month just for service as recently as 3-4 years ago.
What's caught my attention is the Cricket Wireless's new plans. They are offering a 2.5GB plan on AT&T's LTE network with unlimited talk/text. The price is $35 if you give them a credit card to put it on autopay. My Straight Talk plan is 3GB, but everything else (even the network) is the same for that $42-45 a month. I rarely use more than 1GB of data, so the amount of data doesn't matter to me. Thus I'd be looking at $35 with Cricket vs. $42-45 with Straight Talk.
A switch could save me $100, even $150 a year. That's better than a poke in the eye, right?
I typically have the mentality of, "Why fix it if it isn't broken?" There's new sim card purchase involved, which is a few dollars. That's a one-time cost, so it is still something that will be made up in a few months.
I'm a little on the fence of whether it was worth it until I realized that it would be around $250 a year because it is two phone plans (my wife and mine). That's enough to swing me into action.
P.S. I know some people really like Ting. I think it has save families some money by sharing all the minutes, data, etc. However, I don't like the idea of feeling like "the meter is running" when I use my phone. It is worth it to me to pay a little extra every month knowing that I'm not going to get surprised with a big bill. I think this Cricket deal makes Ting a non-starter for us.
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