Author Topic: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier  (Read 6871 times)

dfree86

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Hi all,

So my wife and I are looking to get off our own families cell phone plans and start on one of our own (we just got married). Here are the parameters:

- We live in NYC
- We want to stay on one of the big 4 carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile)
- We'll each be getting a new iPhone 6.
- We need either 5-6GB of of data monthly.
- My wife's work will pay for at least half of the data plan as part of her job.

What I'm looking for now is the best company and plan to go with given that it will be just the two of us on the plan and we're a long way from having to put kids on the plan.

I know there's been a lot price competition as a result of the new no-contract models where you basically lease the phones. I also believe that the old 2-yr-contract model plus a subsidized phone purchase (like $200 total) is still available in most places.

What have been your experiences in finding the best plan and price from these carriers while getting a new iPhone? And what would you suggest? I'm currently browsing around, including Consumer reports, but this is obviously my go-to community!

Thanks a bunch.

MrSal

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2015, 11:19:34 AM »
If you want to stay with those big names instead of their sub-brands my bet would be T-Mobile with their 30$ plan.

Unlimited everything, even data, although useable speeds only until 5 GB of data per user. I think it's the best deal around even included sub-brands for what they offer.

GoingConcern

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2015, 11:22:55 AM »
Why is a new iPhone 6 a requirement? 

T-Mobile has the best rates but you will have to buy your phone outright so you are dropping at least $1300 on two phones. The math works out in the long run.

 If you aren't big talkers I would recommend T-Mobile's prepaid plan. 100 minutes, unlimited texting and 5gb for $30. Over two years that plan would come out to under $1,500 for the both of you without considering your wifes job reimbursements.

Most subsidized plans will cost atleast $100 a month and you will be locked into the plan for two years. Just remember these phones are being subsidized at first but in the long run the subsidy will be less than the overall cost compared to no contract for the most part.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 11:24:49 AM by GoingConcern »

dfree86

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2015, 12:14:25 PM »
Most subsidized plans will cost atleast $100 a month and you will be locked into the plan for two years. Just remember these phones are being subsidized at first but in the long run the subsidy will be less than the overall cost compared to no contract for the most part.

A little confused by this - does this mean that the leasing plan or the initial lump-sum subsidy is cheaper in the long run?

So for the iPhone 6 question, our current phones are dated and we're looking to do a full upgrade.

Keeping our same numbers is also important, though I get the sense that's no longer a huge problem when switching carriers.

UltraRunning

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2015, 01:09:08 PM »
No such thing as a good deal if your going for the latest and greatest I-pit. Unfortunate that you deem it as a necessity.  Maybe question why an I-pit is a necessity? What true value and happiness does it really bring to your life. 

Cassie

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2015, 01:12:58 PM »
At & T got rid of their contracts. When I lost my old phone I had to buy a phone from them.

MrFrugalChicago

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2015, 01:38:23 PM »
Why is a new iPhone 6 a requirement? 

T-Mobile has the best rates but you will have to buy your phone outright so you are dropping at least $1300 on two phones. The math works out in the long run.

 If you aren't big talkers I would recommend T-Mobile's prepaid plan. 100 minutes, unlimited texting and 5gb for $30. Over two years that plan would come out to under $1,500 for the both of you without considering your wifes job reimbursements.

Most subsidized plans will cost atleast $100 a month and you will be locked into the plan for two years. Just remember these phones are being subsidized at first but in the long run the subsidy will be less than the overall cost compared to no contract for the most part.

Not true about tmobile and buy outright. they will split any phone cost over 24 payments W no interest or fees.

I did tmo w 4 friends on a giant family plan. Ends up about $50 including aforementioned iPhone 6 payments.


dang1

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2015, 07:12:55 PM »
you gotta go with the premier carrier Verizon Wireless for the premier iPhone 6. Going with a lesser carrier is like taking a brand-spanking new top of the line Rolls-Royce and gassing up cheap at Delta

alsoknownasDean

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2015, 08:26:13 PM »
you gotta go with the premier carrier Verizon Wireless for the premier iPhone 6. Going with a lesser carrier is like taking a brand-spanking new top of the line Rolls-Royce and gassing up cheap at Delta

Haha, seriously? Are they paying you for that comment?

My suggestion is reconsider your need for a fancypants iPhone 6 and try and get by using less data.

Hey It's Me

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2015, 08:46:45 PM »
If you just bought a few iPhone 6's and are using 6GB per phone per month, I've got news: you're really not that mustachian in this area...

There is no great deal with that much data consumption. The $30/month T-Mobile plan references above is 5GB but only 100 minutes. If that works for you, go for it. (Or alternatively, you could get Google Hangouts and make phone calls for free through data.)

I used to do that, and I got to do all my calling through data. I just gave everyone my Google voice number instead of my actual phone number when I switched phones - super easy. You can transfer your number to Google for a $20 fee too. There really is no justification, now that I think about it, of paying for unlimited calling/texting if you have data on your phone.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 08:49:23 PM by moe_rants »

Raislin

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2015, 09:24:57 PM »
If you just bought a few iPhone 6's and are using 6GB per phone per month, I've got news: you're really not that mustachian in this area...

There is no great deal with that much data consumption. The $30/month T-Mobile plan references above is 5GB but only 100 minutes. If that works for you, go for it. (Or alternatively, you could get Google Hangouts and make phone calls for free through data.)

I used to do that, and I got to do all my calling through data. I just gave everyone my Google voice number instead of my actual phone number when I switched phones - super easy. You can transfer your number to Google for a $20 fee too. There really is no justification, now that I think about it, of paying for unlimited calling/texting if you have data on your phone.

I've been using google voice as my primary phone number for years.  Before hangouts, you couldn't make calls through data without jumping through hoops, then those hoops were closed.  Did hangouts re-enable this feature?  I run an unlimited minutes, no data plan now, so I'm mostly just curious.

Daley

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2015, 09:27:39 PM »
dfree86, have you read the guide (unabridged here) yet?

GoingConcern

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2015, 09:39:25 PM »
Most subsidized plans will cost atleast $100 a month and you will be locked into the plan for two years. Just remember these phones are being subsidized at first but in the long run the subsidy will be less than the overall cost compared to no contract for the most part.

A little confused by this - does this mean that the leasing plan or the initial lump-sum subsidy is cheaper in the long run?

So for the iPhone 6 question, our current phones are dated and we're looking to do a full upgrade.

Keeping our same numbers is also important, though I get the sense that's no longer a huge problem when switching carriers.

T-Mobile's unsusidized phone plans are generally cheaper than subsidized phone plans over two years. 

You can keep your same numbers and you can buy a used Iphone 5s on swappa for around $300.

Why is a new iPhone 6 a requirement? 

T-Mobile has the best rates but you will have to buy your phone outright so you are dropping at least $1300 on two phones. The math works out in the long run.

 If you aren't big talkers I would recommend T-Mobile's prepaid plan. 100 minutes, unlimited texting and 5gb for $30. Over two years that plan would come out to under $1,500 for the both of you without considering your wifes job reimbursements.

Most subsidized plans will cost atleast $100 a month and you will be locked into the plan for two years. Just remember these phones are being subsidized at first but in the long run the subsidy will be less than the overall cost compared to no contract for the most part.

Not true about tmobile and buy outright. they will split any phone cost over 24 payments W no interest or fees.

I did tmo w 4 friends on a giant family plan. Ends up about $50 including aforementioned iPhone 6 payments.

I was trying to say you will pay full price for the phone.  But yes you are right T-Mobile does offer a payment plan.  Although paying $650-$700 for a phone is a bit unmustacian. 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 09:41:23 PM by GoingConcern »

Hey It's Me

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2015, 10:13:13 PM »
If you just bought a few iPhone 6's and are using 6GB per phone per month, I've got news: you're really not that mustachian in this area...

There is no great deal with that much data consumption. The $30/month T-Mobile plan references above is 5GB but only 100 minutes. If that works for you, go for it. (Or alternatively, you could get Google Hangouts and make phone calls for free through data.)

I used to do that, and I got to do all my calling through data. I just gave everyone my Google voice number instead of my actual phone number when I switched phones - super easy. You can transfer your number to Google for a $20 fee too. There really is no justification, now that I think about it, of paying for unlimited calling/texting if you have data on your phone.

I've been using google voice as my primary phone number for years.  Before hangouts, you couldn't make calls through data without jumping through hoops, then those hoops were closed.  Did hangouts re-enable this feature?  I run an unlimited minutes, no data plan now, so I'm mostly just curious.

Yes, the jumping through hoops is no longer necessary. Google has come out with a new add-on app called Google Hangouts caller that allows you to call from Hangouts through wifi/data. What really surprised me is how little data phone calls and texts use, as I mentioned earlier.

Raislin

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2015, 10:25:46 PM »
That's good to know.  I don't see us switching from our plan away from wifi-only, but I have friends and family who consider data a requirement.  My dad, for example, was already interested in having help setting up a GV account, but might be sold 100% if he can switch to a low-minute plan to save money without significantly impacting his data usage.

Hamster

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2015, 12:12:15 AM »
Unless you have no access to WiFi at home or work, then 5GB is really quite ridiculous.

Learn to configure your phone's data usage and save thousands of dollars a year.

Hey It's Me

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2015, 04:26:29 AM »
That's good to know.  I don't see us switching from our plan away from wifi-only, but I have friends and family who consider data a requirement.  My dad, for example, was already interested in having help setting up a GV account, but might be sold 100% if he can switch to a low-minute plan to save money without significantly impacting his data usage.

Sounds like the T-Mobile $30 5GB plan is for him, then.

lakemom

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2015, 06:44:36 AM »
Unless you have no access to WiFi at home or work, then 5GB is really quite ridiculous.

Learn to configure your phone's data usage and save thousands of dollars a year.

How do we do this?  We have a pair of 5s's and dh will be using his while running his business as a GPS and to operate the program that he uses to run the business (pest control) all done while in his truck on the road (not able to use wifi which he uses at home/office).  We've grown a lot since last year and both the gps and the app will be new this year as the season gets underway.

Murse

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2015, 08:35:17 AM »
Unless you have no access to WiFi at home or work, then 5GB is really quite ridiculous.

Learn to configure your phone's data usage and save thousands of dollars a year.

How do we do this?  We have a pair of 5s's and dh will be using his while running his business as a GPS and to operate the program that he uses to run the business (pest control) all done while in his truck on the road (not able to use wifi which he uses at home/office).  We've grown a lot since last year and both the gps and the app will be new this year as the season gets underway.

Why not just buy a GPS? A one time 120$ price tag is a lot cheaper then monthly data expenses.

hexdexorex

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2015, 09:31:29 AM »
On a Tmobile family plan with 10 people myself. Currently its around 17 dollars a month with 2.5 gigs included (if anyone wants 2 gigs more its 10 dollars more a month)

mjb

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2015, 09:58:55 AM »
I'm with T-Mobile as well, on the $50/month 1 GB plan. I use wifi whenever possible, so my usage is almost always under.

It's a business expense, so I'm fine with paying that much. I also travel internationally a lot for work, and having global data included is a huge benefit.

Daley

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2015, 10:05:24 AM »
How do we do this?  We have a pair of 5s's and dh will be using his while running his business as a GPS and to operate the program that he uses to run the business (pest control) all done while in his truck on the road (not able to use wifi which he uses at home/office).  We've grown a lot since last year and both the gps and the app will be new this year as the season gets underway.

Why not just buy a GPS? A one time 120$ price tag is a lot cheaper then monthly data expenses.

...or buy a used GPS down at a pawn shop for around $30, or use an offline GPS app like Sygic for $40. Just two of many even cheaper options still.

Lakemom, if you want an idea of how to do this, it starts with a mindset towards usage. Try starting here.

lakemom

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2015, 10:32:56 AM »
Well, we've always just mapped out his routes beforehand but since he's learned to use the phone gps he's all gung ho for that.  But, yes getting an offline gps may just be the better option for that issue...but can anyone help me with how accurate and current a used one would be?  He's hitting rural areas and areas around the lake that are challenging in that the addresses read like this 110 E. EMS T28 Lane W. and there is also a 110 W. EMS T28 Lane E. and T28 is hard to find on the map to start with as in its actually an access lane as opposed to a county road.  I'm not caving on the increasing data usage yet but thought the previous poster was referencing ways to use wireless data with optimization as opposed to just wasting it.  We already only use wifi where it is available.

Hamster

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2015, 07:42:11 PM »
Well, we've always just mapped out his routes beforehand but since he's learned to use the phone gps he's all gung ho for that.  But, yes getting an offline gps may just be the better option for that issue...but can anyone help me with how accurate and current a used one would be?  He's hitting rural areas and areas around the lake that are challenging in that the addresses read like this 110 E. EMS T28 Lane W. and there is also a 110 W. EMS T28 Lane E. and T28 is hard to find on the map to start with as in its actually an access lane as opposed to a county road.  I'm not caving on the increasing data usage yet but thought the previous poster was referencing ways to use wireless data with optimization as opposed to just wasting it.  We already only use wifi where it is available.

I am an android user, and I *think*, based on prior forum discussions that it is much harder to control unnecessary data usage on apple products than android. That said, on my android phone, I just download the areas I go regularly on google maps so it doesn't have to pull the map info data every time I do a search (everyone should do this). When I do a search, I need mobile data (or WiFi) for a few seconds to do the query, so I just turn it on for a few seconds, complete the search, and turn it off again. I have a mobile data toggle button on my main screen - again android lets me do that.

A few iterations ago, google maps got much more data intensive. I used to just leave it on and not worry about it. Now I actually turn mobile data off while using it. If it really mattered to me, I'd look for a true offline maps app.

As for all other programs - I just manually turn off background data for everything except for a couple of messenger apps (I pay 2 cents per text, and paying data on messaging apps is even cheaper).

When I'm not using maps, I just leave background data on. Even checking Facebook and playing clash of clans when I am hanging around with nothing to do, I stay under 100MB per month easily. Just don't stream music or watch videos when you aren't on WiFi.

geekette

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Re: New cell phone Plan - Looking to stay Mustachian but on a big carrier
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2015, 07:55:13 PM »
With the latest iOS, it's not difficult to control cellular data usage on an iPhone.  I have almost everything restricted to wifi only.  In settings -> cellular -> scroll down for the list of apps and toggle stuff off.