Tag Archives: cell plans

Breaking Down the “Free” Phone Offers

Almost every add, from every cell carrier, comes with the promo line of getting a “free” phone. Well…not so much. What it actually comes with, if you read the fine print, is a two year locked in contract at a BIG price.

Not paying for a new phone up front has no connection to “free” over those two years. Plus, all those contracts come with BIG early termination penalties. I would never sign one of those. For me, it’s always critical to stay being a free agent!

My current carrier is FIDO. They are the 2nd tier small sister of Rodgers. Because they just sent me this “free” offer, I’ll use them as an example. All other 2nd tier carriers will be about the same. All first-tier carriers like Telus, Bell, and Rodgers will be similar, just more expensive.

My cost is $40 a month because it’s an old month-to-month plan. New customers who bring their own phone can get it at $45 a month right now. The current promotion is double the 1 gb date to 2 gb, which is plenty if you do not live on your phone with youtube or watching movies. It’s unlimited texts and talk.

You can get a $15 a month plan if you bring your own phone. It has a tiny amount of data (250mb) enough to check stocks, short google searches, the weather, or hockey scores a few times a day. It’s unlimited texts but no call minutes – so you’ll pay 50 cents a minute.

That’s the baseline: $15 to $45 for no contract plans. Now let’s add the so-called “free” phone. In FIDO’s case, their promotion is the new iPhone 11 Pro. Pay for it up front and its $1,200. To get that you must sign an XL plan at $105 or more per month for two years. Yes, it comes with extra data, but $105 vs. $45 is $60 x 24 months or $1,440 for the phone.

Do the math on any plans with any carrier and it’ll take you less than a minute to see if your free is actually free…it isn’t – anywhere from anybody. There’s no such thing! How much you want to pay is up to you and your wallet.

Last week, I bought a new (new for me) iPhone 7. It still has six months of warranty and I paid $300. THAT lets me stay a free agent for at least three more years. I saved $800 over a new one, it’s in mint condition and saves me $60 a month not having a contract. $800 up front and $60 for the next three years is a total saving of $3,000! THAT is how you win at the cell game.

Oh, and I’ve mentioned them before: I get mine out of Winnipeg from TB Cellutions. Here’s their link on eBay Canada again:

http://stores.ebay.ca/TB-CELLUTIONS

Paying Less This Year & Saving $1,400 the Easy Way

Some Things That Will Cost Less This New Year

4K Televisions: If you haven’t seen one, you should. The resolution is two or three times better than a high definition TV. But these 4K TVs were in the thousands of dollars just a year or so ago. They’re dropping quickly – as everything in electronics does! Walmart in the U.S. now has the Avera 49″ for $249. That won’t be the Canada price, but you can use it as a guide.

Small cars and sedans: California sells in a month what Canada sells in a year. So the U.S. sets price trends and U.S. customers are still buying SUVs and big vehicles like crazy. That makes you crazy smart if you buy a small car or sedan that isn’t selling. They’ll see price reductions and rebates the entire years. And you’ll be even smarter if you buy a two or three year old!

Some groceries: Beef, veal, fruit, and eggs should see a decrease this year, according to the department of agriculture. That’s assuming normal weather and, in the case of most fruit, a stable exchange rate.

Certain Apple products: If you’re an Apple fan, the second half of the year should bring a bunch of price drops on Apple computers, iPads and phones. And what nobody seems to know is that the Apple website has a hidden section where you can get refurbished products right from the manufacturer at great prices!

Airline tickets: According to Expedia,  2017 will give you lower prices and more selection. Supposedly prices should be those of 2012, which would be great! Anecdotally I’m seeing that already with three flights I booked in the last week.

Cell plans: Rough rule of thumb is that you need to re-shop your cell plan every 18 months or you’re probably overpaying! The competition is heating up again, in the U.S. any contracts are gone, and Wind is trying to increase their business a lot since Shaw bought the company!

52 Week Saving Challenge

Can you save three dollars this (third) week of January? OK, can you save four bucks next week?

The 52 week saving challenge was put out by the budgetnista blog. The challenge is to save a dollar in the first week, and add a dollar for each week after that. You’ll have almost $1,400 saved at the end of the year – one dollar at a time. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of money, and it starts with a buck.

Yes, it’ll be harder in week 40, because you’ll be saving around $200 or so come October. But is having a $1,400 savings account worth it? Only you can decide.