Before purchasing or renewing your cell phone plans, ask around and find out what your friends and family are using. Some cell phone carriers allow you call people on their network for free which can dramatically reduce the number of minutes you need each month.
I have seen the Judge_________ (Judy, Joe Brown, etc) where the cases involve cell phones and those outrageous bills. This was the reason why I delayed getting one of my own for so long. Finally, a few months ago, I got a TracFone. You buy your own minutes (ranging in price from $20 to $129) and you have 60 days to add more minutes (for the lower prices) or one year (for the $129). No 'surprises'. Sometimes you get good online incentives, too. I carry mine with me because I have two autistic kids, and I travel with them to various appointments four days a week. If I were to break down, I want a way to call out for help. I do NOT, however, talk on my phone while I am driving. For those who don't talk a lot, or don't have a lot of money, this is a good solution. Also, you will never get a nasty little surprise in the form of a big bill.
Since I have access to a regular phone all day at work, I only needed a cell phone for emergencies. I priced around for those pay-as-you-go plans & so far, the cheapest & best plan I found was by Virgin Mobile. I bought my phone from Target (I'm sure Walmart sells them, too) & activated my phone online where I got an even better phone plan. I estimate I pay a little over $5/month for this phone plan, plus I get to use the minutes I've paid for if I need them. I believe if you sign up online & have your credit card automatically debited every 3 months, you get the best deal. Go to: www.virginmobileusa.com
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