Newly Budget-Minded Turn To Prepaid Phones

Sunday, December 21, 2008, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

I read an article Newly Budget-Minded Turn to Prepaid Phones by ANDREW LAVALLEE on the Wall Street Journal website. The author gives examples of consumers who have switched from monthly bills to prepaid cell phones. The article gives pros and cons of the prepaid phones.

It is, I guess, fine for one person. We are four in the family with Verizon two-year contract, made out over a year ago. We have three phones. There is a limit of 700 minutes a month on our family plan. If we exceed the limit, we pay $.45 a minute, a very expensive minute.

So far our average has been less than 600 minutes a month so we pay the fixed amount month after month. The call to another Verizon cell phone is free 24/7. So far we have not exceeded the limit and we don’t intend to. We follow our own strict rules.

The reason we chose Verizon Wireless was that my kids’ friends had Verizon plan already. So my kids talk to them for free. My wife uses her cell phone only over the weekend. The calls from our cell phones within the United States are free between 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM and all weekends till 6:00 AM on Monday.

The rest of the time, we use Magic Jack home phone for which we paid $40 at the time of installation. That’s $20 for the USB unit and $20 for usage for the whole year.

Magic Jack is good for us. The calls within the United States are free 24/7. We have some family members in Canada and those calls are free as well. You cannot beat that for less than $2 a month.

My daughter is studying overseas. We call her once a week over the weekend. We use one of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services to call her using our Magic Jack home phone. On International calls, the voice from the other side is OK, but my daughter tells us to speak up when we talk. We get by.

Read the Wall Street Journal article in full – Newly Budget-Minded Turn to Prepaid Phones by ANDREW LAVALLEE.

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