Making the Switch: How I’m Saving $100+ Every Month on My Cell Phone Bill

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I gave Republic Wireless a test run a while back.  They’re a cell phone company that allows you to make calls and do everything else a smartphone does via wireless, and when wireless is not available, you revert to the Sprint network.  And they charge you very, very low monthly bills.  That include everything you need.

I loved them.  I was locked into a contract with a major carrier, though.  So I waited to make the switch.  And I’m not really sure why I did.  I look at the cancellation fee vs. what I could have been saving every month and it’s AMAZING how much money I lost.

I would link back to the post where I talked about my original experience, but it’s been a while and some of the information is outdated, so I’m just going to lay it all out again here.  First of all, I was initially worried about coverage.  I need my phone for my kids, for my work, for my everything.  (It’s sad, but true.)  You get some of these smaller carriers with smaller monthly charges and your service can end up suffering because of it.  That did not happen for me.  In fact, I’ve had Sprint in the past.  While they have pretty great coverage in Pittsburgh, I get MORE reception with Republic Wireless because of the ability to use WiFi.

So how much does it cost, exactly?  Here’s a breakdown.  Try not to have a heart attack if you’re like me and were spending well over $100/month before making the switch:

$5/month-You can talk, text, and use data all you want, but only on WiFi.  No Sprint network to back you up.

$10/month-Unlimited talking texting and data usage on the WiFi, PLUS unlimited talking and texting using Sprint’s service area.

$25/month (This is the plan I have)-Unlimited talk, text and data via WiFi and cell service with 3G for the data.

$40/month- Everything the same as the $25/month plan except it’s 4G data instead of 3G.

 

Best part:  contract-free!  And you can switch plans up to 2 times each month.

I have yet to encounter a dead zone.  That being said, if you know Sprint’s service is crappy in your area this may not be a good alternative carrier for you.  Ask a friend who has Sprint before you sign up.

I’m also in love with the actual phone.

Moto X

Republic recently updated their phone options.  Now you can get either a MotoX or MotoG.  I went with the Moto X.  And it’s easily the fanciest phone I’ve ever had.  The voicemail interface is innovative and so much easier to use than a traditional system.  I flip my phone around twice and have my camera open without having to unlock it.  The camera’s pretty great, especially with the KitKat update.

Also, I can talk to my phone.  I say “OK Google Now…” and then tell my phone who to call or what to search for AND IT DOES IT.  It’s crazy to me.  (I know I’m behind the curve compared to people who have a previous relationship with Siri.  That does not whither my enthusiasm.) This has been especially great for me when I’m driving and need to make a phone call.  It’s now 100% hands-free and I feel so much safer doing it.

I’m pretty sure there’s a million other features I have yet to discover.

My husband brought up that you do have to pay for the phone up front.  The Moto X is $299, and the Moto G is $149.  We’re thinking he’s going to try out the Moto G when he makes the switch in a couple of months because from what we can tell, there’s not a huge difference unless you need to talk to your phone or care a lot about little extra features.  And while I enjoy them on my Moto X, it may not be worth $150 for him.

But here’s the thing:  when you’re paying so little for the plan, you make up for the cost of the phone itself in about 3 months.  Maybe a month less, maybe a month more, depending on how much you’re paying for service now.  And that’s for the more expensive Moto X.

And here’s the other thing:  the way major service providers have revamped their service arrangements to accommodate new upgrade plans, you’re paying for your phone anyways. Just over a longer period of time.  The days of contract re-up discounts are virtually gone.  Want to hear the real kicker?  You’re not just paying for your phone once, but twice.  And you’re probably not even aware of it.  I wrote an in-depth article on the subject, and anyone who has a cell phone period should read it, even if you’re not planning on switching carriers.

If you are interested in switching carriers, you can sign up for Republic Wireless here.  For me, it’s been a really smart decision for my budget.

 

While we’re talking about cell phones, I wanted to share this video that’s been going around the blogosphere.  I’m so happy it exists.  I’ve been talking to so many people lately about how zombified we’re becoming as we’re so attached to our phones.  We’re becoming worse significant others, friends, and parents because we pay more attention to our devices and “social” media than to the real people in our lives.  We are becoming worse human beings.  Remember that while you may “need” a phone to function in our modern world, you don’t need to have it glued to your hip, or beeping every time something happens on the internet.  We need real, human interaction in our lives, and to get that we may have to start a type of revolution.  Even if it’s ironically internet viral.

 

*I am an affiliate of Republic Wireless, and links provided herein reflect that.  Because of our relationship, I received my phone free of charge along with a few months of free service.  My opinions are my own, regardless.  I wouldn’t have made the switch if I didn’t whole-heartedly love my first experience, and I definitely wouldn’t have written even more positive words if my second experience hadn’t been so incredibly fantastic.*

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32 thoughts on “Making the Switch: How I’m Saving $100+ Every Month on My Cell Phone Bill

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      That’s because they’re awesome! That’s good that you’ve found a family plan with good rates. Mine was crazy expensive.

      Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      It is! And hope it helps! Pittsburgh has great coverage with Sprint…can vouch for that!

      Reply
  1. thephroogaljason

    It’s important to look at coverage before making the switch. Many of these cell phone companies have very good coverage using the larger well known carriers. I was toying with a switch to Rep Wireless too but where I travel often it wasn’t the best plan for me. I definitely do think people should reassess their cellular relationship.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      It’s good that you researched it! I love that it’s not a contract so if it ends up not working out you don’t have to wait two years or pay any crazy cancellation fees. But if you already know it’s not a great fit, saves the headache. People definitely should. Especially with all the crazy shifts going on in the industry right now.

      Reply
  2. Rebecca Stapler

    I’m so ready to make this switch. Our rent just went up $75/mo and our internet went up $10/mo. So, saving over $100 on our cell phones will just about even the playing field against inflation. I’m just about ready to take the plunge, too, because our contracts are up very soon.

    Reply
  3. donebyforty

    Yay! I’m always so happy when someone I know switches away from the major carriers. We are almost always in Wifi so we went with a pay as you go plan with Ptel, but Republic Wireless was definitely a consideration (and they have a really sweet phone, too). Maybe when our phones crap out we’ll take another look!

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      I’m so happy I finally did it! Good to know about Ptel. Might be good for people who live in areas without Sprint coverage? Republic’s new phone options are amazing!

      Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      This is awesome then. You get the same Sprint network PLUS calls anywhere with WiFi plus a lower bill. Check those cancelation fees…I wasted hundreds by waiting to switch.

      Reply
  4. Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter

    I live in Canada, so we have far higher cell phone costs to begin with when it comes to voice and data plans. I am fortunate though, because my employer has a great plan that we can sign up under, and it saved me and my fiance together over $60 per month.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      According to MMM Canada doesn’t count as international calling…maybe there’s a loop hole somewhere in that? Nice score with the employee discount!

      Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Thanks, Kylie! I feel like until recently, we didn’t have many RELIABLE options here, but things are changing.

      Reply
  5. Elizabeth McCarthy

    Thanks for the review. I was just wondering if I should switch. Unfortunately I found out about RW after I signed a new contract. If I was to switch my fam right now it would be approx. $800+ (ETFs and new phones). Still thinking about it. Need to tally if it would better to switch right now.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      That’s exactly what happened to me. I would figure out how many months it would take to make up for that initial $800, then evaluate how spending that $800 now would or wouldn’t hurt your savings. Long term it is probably better. A lot better. But if the initial cost with those etfs are too high, I understand waiting. That’s what I did. Though I kind of regret it after the fact because of how much I could have saved…it can be a conundrum for sure!

      Reply
  6. Mel

    All I hear are terrific things about Republic Wireless. I’m actually part of my parent’s family plan, so at $30/month, that my dad only even accepts from me like 50% of the time, I’m going to stick with it till they decide to do something new and kick me off their plan. I’m definitely keeping Republic Wireless in the back of my mind for that day though.

    Did you get to keep your phone number when you switched over?

    Reply
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  10. Jean

    This looks great! Unfortunately I travel a TON for work and would end up roaming more than their data plan allows. But, I’ll be retiring in < 5 years and will definitely circle back to look at their plans.

    Ed and I have unlocked cell phones that can work on any Sprint or ATT carrier. I do think you'll like the freedom of owning your own phone, even though it's a bit of a gulp during the initial purchase

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      I don’t think they have limits on their roaming via data. From what they told me, I’d have to be streaming movies all day day in and day out for it to be a concern.

      That’s awesome that you guys have those! I like owning it, but I can’t say I’m sure if it’s unlocked.

      Reply
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