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Tracfone vs. Other Carriers

Everyone I speak with says they want to be debt free.  Not many of us enjoy having payments each month.

The issue is not many of us are willing to put in the effort to become debt free.  Debt free means financial freedom, which allows us to live the way we want on our terms.

One of the largest discretionary spending items we have as families is the cell phone.  Families have cell phones for everyone including the kids these days and they have the data plans.

I went in and started to create accounts for two different phones.  One was on AT&T and the other was a Tracfone.  Below are the differences.

What is the difference between the two phones below?

This is the iPhone 6s, which you can get from AT&T.  I went through the online process to select my phone.  I made choices like a consumer would.  The plan that offered me plenty of data, text and voice, along with being able to swap my phone out for a new one whenever the latest technology comes along.

My total bill for a single phone was going to be over $150/month.  I had the option to add additional lines for $35 each as well.  We would need to add the additional phones also and those ranged from about $25/month extra unless you just paid for a phone.  I won’t use the additional phone costs in my calculations since you could buy some used ones on eBay or Amazon if you wanted to.

For 3 people, the cost of the phone with data plan would be ~$220/month.  To have a nice phone, data plan so we are always connected and plans (not the phones) for each family member per year the cost is $2,2640.

iPhone 6s

The next phone I looked at was the Tracfone.

tracfone plan

I did not select the top of the line phone, so the phone was free.  Remember we are now thinking like someone who wants to be debt free.  This means we do not care if our phone has Nikon and Cannon camera resolutions or that we can play Call of Duty on our phones if we want.

Knowing we want our phone for things such as emergencies, getting directions, letting family know we are on our way, etc… I selected the annual minutes plan with quite a bit of talk time.

tracfone checkout

Our bill for the entire year is $125 and the phone we selected gets triple minutes for life when we purchase more at the end of the year.  Tracfone minutes usually roll over if you use the same phone also (nice bonus).

If you buy 2 of these phones so family members who are leaving the home have one with them, the cost is only $250/year.  This is 10% of the regular phone carrier bill.

Both phones can do the following:

  • If we break down, we can call a tow truck.
  • Send a text if we need to letting someone know we are on our way.
  • Call for directions if we are lost.
  • Let our loved ones know we may be late home from work.
  • Letting our friends know we have arrived or on our way.
  • Check email if we have important work emails coming through.

Because we do not have an unlimited data plan with the Tracfone some unexpected side effects may occur however.  I do need to warn you about these as well.

  • You will have more money in your pocket at the end of the month.
  • Your head is not buried in social media, thus you enjoy the company of those around you.
  • You will not feel the need to text someone ever 2 minutes with what you are currently doing, wearing, eating, seeing etc… You can email or call them later.
  • Your family will enjoy your undivided attention and company more.

You get the point.  I see people on walks in beautiful areas and their heads are pointed directly down on their phones.  Enjoy the world around you and save money.  Does not get much better than that.

Oh and the hours worked saved with the Tracfone vs. the AT&T phone, drum roll please…   If you make $25 per hour and we factor in taxes taken from our pay, it comes out to over 129 hours of work for family phones per year.

Get a Tracfone and give yourself 3.2 more weeks of vacation a year!

 

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