I have a problem with cell phones. I should say that they are good products, but, I feel that there is sometimes the illusion of something for nothing. I have learned in life that there is always a cost. I have a seventeen-year-old son, and, “texting” is the latest rage. Unless you have a wrinkle in your basic plan to cover that service, you can end up owing a lot of money if you go over you “basic plan” minutes.
It is for that reason that I like “pre-pay” plans. Perhaps you are figuring that they are expensive, and, they are, but, you have a “plan” that you are forced to monitor. You may pay a little more up front, but, you never have to worry about putting your house up for sale to pay your cell phone bill.
I found the “TracFone” system at a small retail store. I was able to purchase a phone for $19.99 and, a phone card for $19.99 which gave me about 60 minutes of phone time; “texting” at 1/3 of a minute. It works out to about 33 cents per minute to talk; 11 cents per “text”.
There are Nokia and Motorola brand phones under the TracFone System. Further, there are always “time” specials; in fact, you can purchase a card that allows you to always get your minutes at half price.
You can buy your time card refills at most any retail outlet as well as purchasing them online.
The big benefit that I see to this system is that you are monitoring the use of the phone. It is true that the cell phone is a standard part of student life these days, and, not having one makes a teen feel like an outcast; however, not all of us are rich, and, I personally don’t think that a teenager’s future should be jeopardized by overspending; much more important that we are able to help them with college, even if they don’t see it that way.
Cell phones are fine; being “cool” is fine and, as a parent, I certainly understand wanting to give your child the tools to feel as though they belong with their peers.
I do think, however, that the TracFone is an overlooked system since it is a prepaid system.
I use the TracFone. I don’t use a cell phone that much, and, the reception is always good. Further, I don’t have to worry about where I stand with my plan. My phone tells me that. Also, I am not locked into a large or uneven monthly payment; if money is a little tight, then the phone just isn’t used that much. The nicest aspect of paying on this basis is that there is no monthly bill to look forward to; everything has been paid.
Perhaps prepaying your cell phone cost isn’t for you; however, I would urge you to at least consider it for your teens.