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Tween/Frugie Phone **Correction** Plus Other Doings

October 21st, 2014 at 12:14 pm

**Ooooh, I had really bad misinformation on my last post of this topic. (Which I corrected). Bad information in a good way!

So let's try this again.

Idea for a frugie phone (or good for a tween):

--Verizon prepaids (Moto G) sell frequently for $50 at Fry's. Probably other deals around, but this is the best deal on the west coast.

--If you have Ting or think will eventually use Ting, the Boost Moto G sells for $60-ish at times, Best Buy. The thing about the Boost Moto G is that it is compatible with Ting. (Or if you have a Red Card, just buy at Target and ask for a price match, for an extra 5% off).

We have one of each. The Boost Moto G is still in the box and was bought because my dh has a phone fetish (apparently). BUT, it will be a great first phone for our kids. (Or is a cheap backup phone for us).

The Verizon prepaid is being used by my older son. Has come in really handy for his age range. **This phone has no cell service.** He signed up for a google voice number and can make and receive calls and texts on wifi. So basically, it's a one time purchase and all usage is completely free. As dh said, "There is more wifi than pay phones in this day and age". So it makes sense, for now. He will want cell or data service when he is older, but I don't even know if that will be particularly necessary for a few more years.

Dh thought that BM could not receive phone calls directly on the Verizon phone. So this is the correction. He's had the phone a few weeks and we just figure out that he CAN receive phone calls directly. Doh! (To be fair, it seems like you can't set this up until after you've had your google voice # for a while. Dh felt less crazy after he got himself a google voice # and had the same problem on his phone).

Bonus Idea: If you know someone with Comcast, you can also sign up for Xfinity wifi. We might test this out since dh's parents have Comcast. IT would be interesting to see how much wifi coverage that would give BM.

**We are also able to whittle down our own cell bill a little more, due to recent developments.

Firstly, it was just announced that we will get Wifi at my office. Woohoo! (That's like 90% of our entire data usage, since no one else on my plan is working right now). I presume that will be set up for tax season - maybe in a few months.

All in all, it might save us a whopping $5 a month? Because the data is so cheap to begin with? But I will take it.

Secondly, we installed the hangouts dialer and we can make phone calls through wifi. So that will put a big dent in our minutes. Not as useful for incoming calls and I don't want incoming calls to go to data when I am not near wifi. So we are just using for outgoing calls, but it helps.

Dh went ahead and got a google voice # (which allows for more functionality) and so I picked one up yesterday too.

If our home phone # is 916-xxx-1234, then we each got matching cell numbers. I got the very last "1234" number.

The problem with the google hangouts dialer was that it was just shown as a blocked number when we called other people. Of note, our parents refused to pick up the phone. For their home phones they can now just glance at the caller ID and I think it's pretty clear that it is us, even if they don't want to memorize the entirety of our new phone numbers. The area code and the last 4 digits will always be the same from whichever phone we call.

Anyway, this might also save us a couple of bucks, but we are thinking ahead to when dh might be out of the house more or when we add the kids to our plan. The less we use now the less of a jump it will be to add back more minutes and data, later.

----------------------------------------------------

Other Doings:

**Dh and I went to Napa last weekend for our belated anniversary getaway. We were pretty lazy and did not do much, but enjoyed the quiet time.

I think it was our third trip there and we finally found some good food. Phew! Call us picky, but we just never particularly enjoyed anywhere else we tried. The dinner we did end up enjoying was about $85 (no alcohol, that is all FOOD). MIL slipped us $100 as we left, so dinner was on her. (& the meal was good enough I certainly did not mind spending the money. Yum!!) Otherwise, we just went to the grocery store and ate in for the rest of the time.

**While we were gone, my 11yo informed his Grandma that he is too old to Trick or Treat. This is the first I have heard of this! I guess this a 6th grade boy thing? (I am more than fine with it. Maybe just a couple of more years of the old trick or treating? Little brother is having a hard time with this news).

We all got our monkey PJ/costumes so we hadn't planned to buy any costumes beyond that.

**Today I called AmEx because they decided to start classifying all of my charges as "cash advances". ??? I figured it might sort itself out, but after a week or so I called to be sure. While I was calling anyway I finally asked them to change the due date on my credit card. This means no more driving dh crazy with my endless, "Don't buy that on that card" and "use that card this week". He always keeps it all straight, but I am sure it is annoying. I also fixed the Target card a few weeks back and so both of these are on a more monthly cycle. No more charges on the 3rd or 4th showing up on last month's bill. I should have fixed this *ages* ago but just kind of hate these things and sitting on hold. I am pleased to say I did not sit on hold at all. IT wasn't so bad.

Now we just have to tame our new Citi card. The credit limit is ridiculously low and the card closes on the 15th of the month. UGH! I tried to change the due date online but was denied. So I will let it cycle through a couple of months and then have dh call to fix everything. (It's in his name). I paid some of it off way early because I didn't want to max it out. Yeesh. A $5k credit limit would sound nice at this point.

Meanwhile, the SW Chase card I just applied for gave me like a $22,000 credit limit. ??? I have no idea how they decide these things. Citi thinks we are worthy of a whole $3k of limit. But Citi has always been kind of weird.

**As to the SW Chase, I received it yesterday and threw a couple of month's of health insurance on it. Now I wait for my $500 reward.

**Our promotional rate expired with our internet company but they renewed it with a contract. That is always the catch on these discounts that few seem to mention. We are pretty loyal to our internet company though (little guys) and so we will just take the contract. (Not that they can't get bought out tomorrow - that always happens!) But, anyway, last year we had to call and beg a few times. I am glad they just gave us the deal this time. Phew! I will continue to throw that $15 savings to our investments.

Dh and I had discussed dropping the landline (bundled with internet) if it gave us any leverage. We did not expect that it would. Probably the internet alone costs more. For now the landline stays free with our internet, so we keep it.

This is absolutely the only contract we have right now, besides our mortgage. For that, I still hate having a contract. But I guess mostly it's important not to be up to your eyeballs in contracts. Even in case of job loss I'd probably keep this internet. So I won't lose sleep over it...

**Dh received $35 for a phone survey. This money will go towards that Moto G phone purchase.

2 Responses to “Tween/Frugie Phone **Correction** Plus Other Doings”

  1. tabs Says:

    It seems like Wifi-phones (rather than using the usual cellular towers) are starting to gain traction, which is nice. I got my parents the Moto G as well, and my dad anyway loves it. They can do anything they want with it at home, but they also have conventional phone and text coverage when they are out.

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    We have WiFi at the bus station that I can use, although it doesn't always work very well.

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