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jca's avatar

How much do you pay per month for you and your family's cell phone plan?

Asked by jca (27858 points ) February 17th, 2014

I have a friend with a husband and two kids (grown) and they pay $250 a month. My parents pay $200 a month for the two of them and my sister.

If I ever needed a phone, I would consider doing the Walmart thing for $40 a month. Right now, my phone is provided by my job so I am clueless.

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38 Answers

glacial's avatar

I pay about $45 per month, no contract, for a pseudosmart phone. Payment is not bundled with any other services, like cable or internet service (I do have internet access on my phone). And this is in Canada, where we pay ridiculous rates for cell phone plans.

There’s probably a plan out there for your budget, you just need to be willing to make some sacrifices. I chose my phone plan based on what I was willing to pay, fully aware that I’d rather have more bells and whistles. I don’t think it’s reasonable for cell service providers to charge what they do for the bells and whistles, so I won’t pay that.

hominid's avatar

$150/mo for me and my wife. At some point later this year, there’s a chance we’ll add my daughter. That will be another $40/mo.
We’re on Verizon – it’s the only provider with service in our town. If I had access to AT&T service, I would likely switch to one of those contract-free Straight Talk plans, which is probably what you are referring to by the “Walmart thing”.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Three phones for $170/month with Verizon.

turtlesandbox's avatar

$125 per month for 3 phones with unlimited text and talk, no data, with USCellular.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

$95 for single smartphone on Verizon Wireless, with a company discount.

Darth_Algar's avatar

$15/month for a pre-paid which I seldom use as it is, so paying any more than that would be nonsensical for me.

Seek's avatar

My husband – $35 a month for 1000 minutes/texts
Me – $35 a month for 300 minutes (which I’ve never come close to hitting), and unlimited texts and data. It’s also got a wifi hotspot I pay $15 extra for. My cell phone’s main use is as our home internet router.

Oh, mine is Virgin Mobile, my husband’s is Net10. I got his phone for $12 on clearance at Target, so that’s why he has Net10. Haha.

Pachy's avatar

Including taxes and fees and heaven knows what other extra charges, $97/month for one mobile line and one home office VoIPs line.

hug_of_war's avatar

$180 a month for me and my mom. We’ll probably go our separate ways in October because I am 25. It’s just one of those things that kept going longer than meant to because it’s convienent.

We both have Verizon iPhones.

ragingloli's avatar

t-mobile, prepaid. I expect to last several months on my 10€ balance.

Cruiser's avatar

4 phones with Verizon is $318.64 per month. 1,400 minutes per month unlimited messaging and data packages on all 4 phones.

JLeslie's avatar

$240 for three smartphones and one regular phone.

Cupcake's avatar

Less than $200 for three smart phones, unlimited calls and texts, and 6 GB shared data on Verizon. I get a 20% discount on data through my employer.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

$60 plus taxes, for unlimited talk and text in Canada only ,no data, and it’s month to month no yearly contract.

zenvelo's avatar

$240 for three iPhones and one mifi, 4GB data, unlimited texts, unlimited voice, Verizon.

Leanne1986's avatar

About £50

gailcalled's avatar

Grandfathered $25/month for a dumb phone, 60 minutes of service monthly and nothing else, from Verizon. I keep it for the occasional car emergency or power outage at home. I rarely use it since there is almost no signal available in many spots, including my house.

I pay $100/month for a bundle of unlimited landline and medium speed DSL internet service from the crappiest provider in the country. Since they are a monopoly, they use ancient equipment and are understaffed. The repair guy is one of my closest friends, he has been up here so often.

During heavy rains and thundershowers the service is dropped due to water on the lines in inaccessive spots in the woods or on craggy precipices. I must recycle my modem 50 times a month in this bad weather. (And there is the mouse problem.)

I’m with Pachy about taxes, fees and other secret additions to the bill.

ragingloli's avatar

You must all be mad to shell out so much for a phone.

hominid's avatar

^ You have to keep in mind that we call it a phone, but nobody uses it as a phone. That’s why it’s unlimited talk but caps on data. I used 32 seconds of talk time last month. So, it’s roughly $70/person for mobile data. There is practically no competition here in the U.S.

gailcalled's avatar

And I used my cell phone twice last month, to call the local deli and reserve some chicken soup for take-out. That was about 4 minutes of service.

glacial's avatar

@hominid It’s still pretty crazy. A lot of you are paying 4–5 times what I pay monthly for internet service at home. And not getting more for that than phone-related functions (call and text).

livelaughlove21's avatar

@glacial If only you had access to your home Internet in your pocket.

glacial's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Yes, but my point is, that extra cost (over call and text) shouldn’t cost that much more on a phone than home wireless.

Actually, thinking about it – perhaps this is simply because people are covering so many users on their plans. I tend to think in terms of service for one person.

hominid's avatar

@glacial: “My point is, that extra cost (over call and text) shouldn’t cost that much more on a phone than home wireless.”

I don’t know what the profits are for these mobile carriers, but I suspect they are pretty decent. I’m not sure if I can accurately evaluate what the “fair” cost should be. And more importantly, since there is only one carrier that provides mobile service in my town (and the areas that I visit), I can’t shop around. If they raised my bill by $50 next month, I would just have to pay it.

Stinley's avatar

It’s a good thing that petrol/gas is cheap in the US as you all must be better off visiting the actual person or company than call them or go to the website. That’s crazy prices! I pay for 3 phones, all smart, with more data, call and texts than we ever use and its £37 a month. So about $60

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Stinley I’m not sure a deal like that even exists in the US. $20 per phone? That’s awesome. How’s your service?

I used to be with Boost Mobile and paid $45/month (one phone), but I hardly had signal anywhere. And their phones sucked. I pay extra with Verizon because I have signal everywhere and I got the iPhone for free with my contract. $45/month is about as good as it gets with a decent data plan.

SwanSwanHummingbird's avatar

2 iphones with a teacher discount and unlimited talk, data and text for about $140 a month.

AT&T.

Lightlyseared's avatar

1 iPhone. £22 a month for unlimited calls, unlimited texts and 5gig if data.

Brian1946's avatar

I pay about $100/month for 550 voice minutes and 250 units of text messaging.

That’s for two phones and our carrier is Verizon.

flutherother's avatar

My previous phone was a pay as you go basic text and calls model that cost £5.00 a month on average. I am now paying for a fancy phone with unlimited text and calls and lots of mobile data that costs £46.00 a month.

hearkat's avatar

I have 2 smartphones with unlimited data, 1 seldom used flip-phone, and unlimited texts for all in the plan. After taxes, my monthly bill is around $190.00

I’ve heard that newer plans are finally available that are so reasonable that people are giving up their ‘grandfathered’ unlimited plans and saving significant money.

Cupcake's avatar

This question caused hubby and I to log into our carrier’s website and do some investigation. We realized that we all used 0.9 GB data last month (and paid for 6 GB), so we changed our plan to 2 GB and now pay $170/month (that’s for 3 smart phones).

@hearkat My hubby gave up his grandfathered plan because that was the only way he could upgrade his barely functioning smart phone. We are now paying $80 less per month than when hubby had unlimited data.

keobooks's avatar

I only pay 4.99 a month! But that’s because I am on my mom’s plan and I pay her. I get no data at all, though. Still can’t beat the price.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I have a family plan, with myself, my two grown sons and a daughter-in-law. I got the new AT&T family value plan, which is $160 for unlimited talk and text, 4 devices and 10 gigs of data. That is $40 each. Here’s the catch – no contracts and no specific upgrade time, but you are on your own when you want a new phone. That is, you have to pay full price and finance it on your plan. The cost is about $25 a month for a new iPhone or the new Samsung Note. So, I upgraded and so did my son and daughter-in-law, which means we will each be paying $65 a month, and the other son will be paying $40.

ragingloli's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt
That is madness.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Hey, I am happy because we were paying $260 a month before this new plan came out. And if I am happy with my phone after the 18 months of payments are done, then my part of the bill will go down to $40 again.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

If I didn’t need my damn cell phone for work I would get rid of it in a heart beat.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@keobooks and @SQUEEKY2 I always said I would never get a smart phone – but then I got one and now it is half of my brain. No more need to have mp3 player, iPod, address books, calendars, passwords and account numbers written down. No more need to make grocery lists or reminders on paper, or for CD’s. I can check my facebook, e-mail, and surf the web on it. My flight information is there, wait times for the lines at Disneyland, my genealogy research, bank account balances, games, e-mail. I don’t even need a flashlight, camera, compass, video camera, telescope, phone book, yellow pages, debit or credit card, maps, or a GPS navigator, computer or kindle. It’s all there. Amazing! So no data plan or no cell phone wouldn’t be an option for me.

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