How I Saved $200 On My Phone Bill and Got a New Phone!

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Have you ever felt like you are paying way too much for your cell phone service? Well you probably are! I have decided to be smart with my money this year and actually track where my dollars are going. I never spend crazily, but by setting a budget for myself I began to realize how much I am actually spending on various items like my phone bill, car insurance, and food.

My Phone Bill

I am currently receiving my cell phone service through Verizon. I have always known that they are often the most costly option, but with my work discount of 19%, it seemed to be reasonable when I signed up with them back in 2009. Plus, I have never had an issue with their phone service, which is always nice when I travel around to the more remote areas of Michigan.

Recently though, as I created my budget, I realized that I was spending $85 a month on my phone service, which just seemed ludicrous when I calculated that to be a $1,000 expense every year! Sure, I had 450 anytime minutes, unlimited texting, and 2GB of data, but $85 a month just seemed a little bit too high. So, I started looking at other plans.

Virgin Mobile

My nephew recently made me aware of how cheap Virgin Mobile can be. He doesn’t talk on the phone much, so he signed up with their cheapest plan that offers 300 minutes voice, unlimited texting, and unlimited data for $35 dollars a month – a full $50 less than I am paying with Verizon. I was about to jump on the bandwagon, but then discovered that they do not have night and weekend minutes or mobile to mobile minutes like Verizon, and there is no way I can talk for less than 300 minutes total for the entire month (my usual is 1,500 or so — give me a break, my girlfriend lives 2 hours away). But, even Virgin Mobile’s unlimited everything plan only costs $55 a month, so I contacted Verizon to see what they could do.

I’m Ready to Dump You Verizon!

I was seriously considering making the switch to Virgin Mobile, but that would mean that I would need to buy a new phone from their site that was “Virgin Mobile activated”, which would have meant an upfront payment of about $200. Instead of leaping over to their service and taking on that initial charge, I decided to contact Verizon Wireless to see if they could reduce my bill.

When they realized that I was ready to drop their service, they did everything to try to find additional discounts. Apparently, since I have been a customer of theirs since 2009, I was considered a loyal member and qualified for their loyalty plan. Instead of paying $85 a month for my package, I could now be upgraded to unlimited voice, unlimited texting, and 2GB of data for only $65 a month. This is a $20 per month savings which means $240 more dollars in my pocket every year! On top of this, because I renewed my contract, I was able to get the new HTC One for only $100 and trade in my old iPhone 4 for $100 also, making my net bill zero dollars!

That’s right! With one phone call, I was able to reduce my yearly bill by over $200 and I got myself a brand new Smartphone for free. Have you had Verizon for a while? Perhaps you could save some money with the loyalty plan as well!

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Money Save Money

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

23 Comments

  1. Timely, we just went to AT&T yesterday to see if we could get a better deal than we have with Verizon…they came back with a savings of $35. a month..so maybe I’ll call Verizon now and see if they can beat that!
    Thanks!

    • I would definitely try it! The worst they can say is no! 😉

    • It really is surprising how flexible their rates become. I am in the process of doing the same thing with my car insurance.

  2. My girlfriend and I lived three hours away and I got by on 300 minutes just fine.

    Now I live 10 minutes away from my mom and she uses all my minutes…

    • Haha. Sounds about right. 😉 Good to hear from you again Yoshema!

  3. Nice post Derek!
    But I must say that I average $50/phone/person for unlimited data/text and 1,500 shared minutes through Sprint. My only downsides are having having 4 phones on the plan, and never, ever coming close to using the 1,500 minutes. (*ouch*)
    My wife did get her phone recently for free (Samsung S-4), close to Christmas. Obviously we had to sign up for a 2 year contract again, but there were more peple in the Verizon/At&t line than in the Sprint line when we were in the Best Buy to pick it up.
    Chris recently posted..Unemployment extension suggestion

    • Yeah, there is definitely a discount when you get more people on the plan. Nice job getting the free phone though, and the S4 is a good one too!

  4. I wonder if AT&T has a similar loyalty program – sounds like it’s time for me to make a call. Have you heard of AIO wireless? It’s a relatively new provider I’m looking into. I think they run on AT&T’s network, but I’m not 100% on that.
    Matt recently posted..Analysis – Xcel Energy Inc

    • I haven’t heard of AIO, but if they are extremely cheap, then it might be worth a try! If you decide to switch to them I would love to know how well you like it!

    • And Sprint has a slightly cheaper plan I’m guessing? Do you think there are any more savings to be had?

  5. Thank T-Mobile.

    Their new low cost rate plans and recent announcement of giving several hundred dollars to pay your early termination fees to switch are really shaking up AT&T and Verizon. That’s why you’re seeing lower cost plans, AT&T’s recent ETF payments, and while Verizon hasn’t broken yet, they’re on the ropes.

    Lower prices, better plans, improved customer service.

    I love me some (regulated) open(ish) markets!
    Jack @ Enwealthen recently posted..2014 Financial Goals: Are Yours Smart?

    • Yep. Thank you capitalism. If someone out there can provide the same service at a cheaper price then there really is no reason not to switch! Nice job getting yourself a deal Jack.

  6. Starting with the company you’re currently with is always a good place to start. We recently switched from Sprint to Ting (which piggybacks off Sprint) and even after having to break our contract for $150, we saved a ton of money! In three months, we’ve already made back the $150 and then some.
    Little House recently posted..Landscaping for a Dry, Hot, and Windy Environment

    • Awesome! Yes, there is often an initial cost, but if you can make up that cost in 3 months then I would say it’s definitely worth it! Nice job Little House!

  7. We’re you already out of contract? I’m currently in a contract with them for another couple months but I feel like if they see I’m already in a contract they won’t bother trying to get me a discount. Good job on trying to save even more money, I’m in the process of buying a house and want to cut as many costs as I can!!

    • Yes, I have been out of contract since last March ;). Once you’re done with your contract, I bet Verizon might be giving you a deal too! good luck to you!

  8. That was smart! I had Virgin Mobile a few years ago, and it seems like it would be great, but the service is really not good. Plus the phones aren’t as good, and the support is also not great. I have Verizon and I love it. I do spend too much, but I need to be unlimited minutes due to my job, and I get reimbursed some of it. Next time I renew my contract, I will remember that trick!

    • Glad I could help Casey. I hope you get the same discount I did!

  9. I have been with Republic wireless since the beginning…..I just got the MotoX and I love it! Since I have been with them since the beginning I qualified for the 10% discount. I pay $9.00/month for unlimited talk and text (using Wifi and cell towers), and unlimited data on wifi only. I can always find wifi somewhere!!I think it is the best deal out there, at least for me!

    • Wow. That’s an amazing price! Keep that plan as long as you possibly can!


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