Shortly before Jacob was born in March we decided to switch my cell phone from our ACS shared plan to a prepaid plan called Net10. What’s the difference? I now pay $15/month, versus $18 on ACS. No, I am NOT that much of a cheapskate, there are other benefits too 🙂 Previously I shared 500 minutes with my husband, now I get 150 minutes a month, but Net10 minutes rollover from month to month. As of August I have over 800 minutes available on my phone. There’s no additional charge for roaming, long distance, etc. All minutes are a flat 10 cents, regardless of how the phone is used. The minimum you need to purchase each month to maintain service is 150 minutes ($15).

After using the new phone for a month, Kevin decided to make the switch too (the fact that he dropped his ACS cell in the pool may have had something to do with it). Now, he’s paying $15 a month instead of $45 (or was it $50?). It’s been more of a stretch for him, as he previously used around 300 minutes a month. Now he uses around 175 minutes (he’ll have to reedeem a couple extra cards per year, no biggie). Net 10 makes it easy to keep track of minutes, with the remaining air time clearly visible on the main screen of the phone. We even use text messaging occasionally, with an outgoing or incoming message costing 0.5 minutes (5 cents). When we’re together we try to remember to use my phone for calls, since I am banking so many minutes.

The Breakdown:

  • Initial Cost = $30 ($60 for both of us) The start up package comes with a cell and some bonus minutes, usually equalling 100-300 minutes
  • Monthly Cost = $15 ($33 for both of us)
  • Monthly Savings = $35
  • Where to Buy = WalMart or Net10.com
  • Who’s it for = People who already don’t use many minutes, or those who would like to try using less minutes. If you consistently use more than 300 minutes a month, this plan probably isn’t for you.

The best part about these phones is that you can always give one a try, with relatively little pain. It’s 30 bucks to get a phone, and $15 for airtime, so $45 out of pocket. You can test it out, and if you don’t like it you’re not out a whole lot of cash. If you decide to stick with it, it’s easy to port over your current number.

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