In Seven Minutes I Shaved Almost a Grand a Year off My iPhone Bill. Sweet!

Day to day life seems to never leave me with enough time to sit back and contemplate the fine details of all the financial obligations that float about.

One of those money pits is the communications bill for data and phone. It just seems connectivity gets more and more expensive. Pretty soon I’ll need a wifi connection straight to my wallet so the money can just be siphoned off directly. At least that would make my life easier.

My communications requirements have led me to need easy access to phone and internet. In the early wifi years it was just really difficult to get a handy connection. There were times when I needed one in a hurry (Yikes! the server is down) and in a pinch you could pull up to a hotel and connect. I know, it’s really frowned upon but what’s a digiguy to do in an emergency?

A few years ago I got one of those portable hotspot mifi (damn spellcheck keeps changing that to milf) devices from Verizon and it was great. It certainly made connecting easy when I wasn’t home or riding in a car going 100 MPH down some interstate in a hurry.

Actually to be honest, my fastest internet connection was as a passenger in a car doing 120 MPH down an empty highway in Scotland, but that’s another story.

Recently I was thinking about easy ways to save money on communications costs. I’m not really in the mood to switch carriers. Despite of all the bitching and complaining, I’ve actually been fairly happy with AT&T for my iPhone.

I was one of those early iPhone adopters and was lucky enough at the time to get the unlimited iPhone data plan for $30 a month. But the real question that occurred to me is am I really using that much data on the phone. After looking at my recent bills I just wasn’t. Who needs unlimited data plans when they use less than 200 MB a month in data. Not me, if it means I can save money.

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Pam used even less data than I did, only about 120 MB a month.

By ditching Pams unlimited data plan on the iPhone and moving down to the 200 MB plan it reduced her data cost from $30 a month to $15. I decided to be brave and eliminate my unlimited data plan as well. And yes, I do realize that AT&T says I can never have that back.

Even though I dropped my data plan my data package went from $30 a month to $45 for the 4GB package that let’s me use my iPhone as a personal hotspot instead of the mifi device I was using.

Now that I had the pocket hotspot through my iPhone I also no longer needed the $25 a month package on my iPad for a data connection either. I have my iPhone on me all the time and I can now easily connect the iPad to the the internet by tethering with my iPhone. And most of these changes I was able to do using the AT&T iPhone app right on my iPhone in less than 30 seconds.

All together I eliminated my $25 a month iPad plan, got rid of the $50 a month mifi device, cut Pam’s plan by $15 and increased mine by $15. This resulted in a grand savings of $75 a month or $900 a year. Sweet!


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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6 thoughts on “In Seven Minutes I Shaved Almost a Grand a Year off My iPhone Bill. Sweet!”

  1. I just switched to the Iphone myself and was wondering the same thing myself… go with the 200MB for $20/mo or go with the 2GB for $30/mo. On the surface it sounds like a great deal, you get 15x the data, for only 30% more. ….My first month with the phone I used 42 MB, it wasn’t even close and I can’t imagine how I could ever need more than the 200MB.

    • The personal hotspot feature works really well and helps be to be productive no matter where I am.

      But you are smart to check your data usage figures and adjust your plan accordingly. The nice thing about the AT&T app is you can do it on the fly if you think you will a greater need.

      • The wild thing is- If you go over, they only charge $10 for another gig- You can hit those data points watching movies- so if you travel a lot and use Netflix, it might be a consideration.


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