As soon as my kids started school and soccer this year, I knew we were going to need to invest in a cell phone for them. Our current mobile plan asks for a two-year commitment (yikes) and costs $45 (with taxes) for a non-smartphone and $50+ (with taxes) for a smartphone for EACH DEVICE. (Of course, there’s also the purchase price of the device itself initially.) I knew putting them immediately onto our plan wasn’t the right way to go, especially since we weren’t sure how the kids would do with this responsibility – would they take care of it? Would they respect it and our rules regarding its use? It was clear we needed a cheap wireless plan for them, offering unlimited options, so we didn’t have to worry about overage charges.
I have done a lot of research on the subject. Already knowing what we were paying and what our current company offered, I knew I wanted something with no contract. Something that offered a low price rate plan that we could cancel at any time, or upgrade/add on to for less than we were paying now. Something that wasn’t like the prepaid services out there, with only a certain amount of minutes, because they become quite costly over time. That’s why we turned to Walmart Family Mobile for their unlimited plans.
Walmart Family Mobile is a no-contract, post-paid wireless service powered by T-Mobile. I was simply blown away by their incredibly affordable options. You can start your child out on a cheaper, non-smartphone type of phone and only pay $29.88 a month for unlimited talk and text, or get them a smartphone with web and app capabilities (and great parental control apps available, too) for $39.88 unlimited talk, text, and web! This is a full $10+ a month cheaper than what we could get from our own cell service, AND we could cancel or stop the service at any time! Hooray! (Also noteworthy: additional unlimited talk and text lines with Walmart Family Mobile are only $24.88! WOW!)
We opted to get them the Samsung Galaxy SII smartphone and the unlimited talk, text, and web plan for $39.88 a month. To activate our Walmart Family Mobile phone, we needed to purchase their one-time Starter Kit for $25 (per line). We found out you can choose to activate it in store or online, but I chose to activate it at home because I had more control over seeing everything there was to see and read on their website.
I haven’t received our first bill yet, only having had the phone for a little over a week, but I look forward to receiving it, having faith in it’s low cost even before it arrives!
I am proud to say the kids have taken wonderful care of their new phone so far. They’ve attended sleepovers, after-school practices, movies or out to dinner with friends, and their phone has been responsibly kept on them at all times. They’ve been able to reach us if they needed us, and vice versa, and that’s all I could ask for! Another thing I was so proud to see since we purchased this GSII – they’re not “addicted” to it like other teens I’ve seen seem to be. They’re not constantly checking it, not texting everyone and their mother every second of the day. Sure, phones like these are a fun thing to own, but my teens are genuinely using it responsibly and proving to us that they can handle this responsibly just fine (so far).
I look forward to keeping you all updated with how we’re doing, the billing process, and more in our next post in a month. You can follow along on mine and others experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #FamilyMobileSaves.