A Factory Working, College Grad Getting Out of Debt

A Raindrop – Shopping for Cellular Service

One might think this is a daunting task, but considering my circumstances, it’s really not.   You see, I’ve been on my mother’s cellular plan since I was 13.  At first it was a phone just for emergencies, and was required to be carried at all times since I walked home from school until I started having extracurricular activities that kept me out until dark (I used to joke that I never saw my house in daylight unless it was during summer vacation… and honestly, that’s not far off from the mark as I really was usually at the school until 8-9pm every night).  In the beginning of my senior year I received my own vehicle and then it was still a responsibility to keep at all times in case I broke down and still needed a ride home, or just to check in if those academic extracurricular activities required us to go out of town for tournaments and the like.

Either way, I really didn’t use my phone all that much during my high school career much like most teenagers did and still do.  It wasn’t until I was off to college and away from home that I started using my cell phone more.  And honestly, that was used loosely again as it was only used when the land-line was in use by another dorm mate or I was walking while I was talking to catch up with family.  Once I came back home to save some money from college expenses and student loans (I dread to think what they would’ve been if I’d gone back to my old college…) I used it more to keep in check with my mother again much like I did in high school.

You see, I worked forty hours a week and usually had a 16-18 credit hour load during each semester.  I worked my butt off even in the summer and always took the maximum amount of summer courses possible.  I was determined to prove myself after a rocky start in the college world and ended up graduating last May with two bachelor degrees.  But I digress…

My cell phone has become a texting hub of communication for me.  I talk frequently to my guy and my mother and a few friends, but as most of my friends are still busy and have found successful career paths, it’s easier for me to text them when I have the thought and await their reply instead of interrupting them at work.  They seem to be fine with it, and a lot of communication is still done through a few instant messaging services and voice messaging like Teamspeak.  My phone becomes second fiddle and I’ve never had the need for data, let alone minutes.

Previously, we had the T-mobile Fav 5 plan. This is the one from years back where you pick five numbers and they’re free no matter what time of day you call them.  Nights and weekends were free as well as to fellow T-mobile members.  I even paid my mother $20 a month to get unlimited texting so that I didn’t drive up a bill with my social media habits. Everything seemed to be in tip top shape.  That is until we found out that they no longer carried that plan.

You might be thinking that it’s time to get a new carrier. In actuality, we can’t. You see, we live in a valley and service is limited.  Originally we had a local service until they were bought out, then we tried Verizon Wireless, only to find out they had no signal at all where we lived.  We settled and even enjoyed Cingular until they were bought out (see a pattern much?) by AT&T.  That’s when we got the notice that such a huge company didn’t care about their patrons and were not going to continue our contracts or even offer us new ones because they did not want to offer service to the area.  Wow.

So we found T-Mobile.  Needless to say, we fell in love with them (and I’m not just saying that because it’s the only cell service available), and although they’ve been a little rough around the edges at times (such as when there were talks about them being bought out by AT&T), they’ve truly been trying to be gracious and keep our service.  Thus comes to our situation that happened this week.  My mother called to make a payment and asked if there was possibly another plan that was cheaper than what we had.  She had finally gotten tired of paying over $200 for three lines on a family plan, Fav 5, and unlimited texting.  We found out that there was.

In fact, it ended up that my mother was able to save over $50 a month on the service plan, and add things to our service.  We now have unlimited texting, data, and talking for all three lines on our plan for $50 cheaper.  That’s just.. wow.  I love that.  Once I get a job again, I’ll be able to continue paying my mother the $20 a month just to help out on that bill and take care of my line, but at this moment, she’s cool with me focusing on my stuff.

So unfortunately, because we were technically stuck with same service provider, we just never thought about changing our service plan, thinking it was still up to date.  Sadly, that was not the case, but now that we’ve changed our plan, we have even more, for a lot less money.  And not only that, but I’ll be able to update my very old, 5 year phone for a smart phone.  So check your service plan.  You might be surprised at what you can do in order to get a cheaper price for a better plan.

Count those Raindrops!

-DecMeadow

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