I Pay Just $12 per Month for My Cell Phone

12 dollar smartphone plan

If you’re like me, then you hate paying through the nose for services like phone and internet. About a year ago, I left Sprint and I now pay just $12/month. Let me show you my cheap smartphone plan.

Goodbye Big Carrier, Hello Ting

Mobile phone plans cost so much they seem like a scam. The big plans from major carriers require you to guess how much you’ll use your phone every month and gamble that you won’t incur overages.

This type of plan sucks. But if you happen to use your phone like I do, you can save so much money you’ll never have to worry about your bill again.

Want a cheap smartphone plan? Check out Ting now…

Introducing Ting

Ting logoTing is an MVNO, providing access to the Sprint and T-Mobile networks. This means you get the same coverage and most of the features of the big carriers, but you don’t have to deal with their overpriced plans and pushy salesmen.

Being a stay-at-home dad, I’m on WiFi all the time. In fact, even when I worked in Philly, I was on WiFi at work. Some people use a lot of mobile data, but I really don’t. And since signing on to public WiFi networks at stores and restaurants, I use even less.

If you don’t use an astronomical amount of mobile data, you will love Ting! Actually, they recently lowered their data pricing so it’s even possible to save money with big data usage.

There are three big reasons to consider Ting:

1. Pay ONLY for What You Use

That’s right. You don’t have to pick a plan and hope. Ting has no plans and no contracts. They have usage brackets. Every month, the minutes, messages, and data you used fits into their respective bracket. And you pay that amount.

If you use a lot, you pay more. If you use a little, you pay less. Simple.

And here’s my favorite part… Each line costs $6 and that’s the only requirement to keep the number. You can literally leave the country for a month, forget your phone at home and owe just $6 to Ting.

cheap smartphone plan with Ting rate chart

Ting has a simple rate chart and a savings calculator so you can see exactly what to expect using your current phone bill.

When my wife and I were considering Ting, we played around with the rate chart to see what we would pay in different scenarios. With extreme usage we would have paid about the same as we were with Sprint. But that’s only on the months where we were extreme. Honestly, we figured we’d save money 10-11 months each year and we’d save big! So it was well worth it to make the switch.

2. Cheap Phones or Bring Your Own

Every carrier advertises their fantastic devices and great prices, but they’re not so great. Some carriers (cough, Sprint!) even charge you monthly to bring an outside device. So even if you found a good deal somewhere else, you’re going to pay too much.

artistic photo of Samsung Galaxy smartphone

Not Ting. I’m long overdue for a new phone, but paying nothing to bring my Galaxy Note 2 with me when I switched made for a smooth transition.

A cheap smartphone plan is nothing without a cheap smartphone.

Their shop offers a decent selection of new and used phones at or better than the price you’ll find them for sale elsewhere. But if you bring your current phone with you, you pay nothing. Either way, you win.

If you want a specific device and you can’t find it, just ask! Ting offers a shopping assistant for helping you find the right device at the right price.

3. Refer a Friend & You BOTH Save Money

This is probably the coolest thing about Ting. They don’t spend all their marketing budget on flashy ads. They spend it on their customers!

If you refer someone to Ting, you each get $25 added to your account. That could mean one or more free months of cell service. How cool is that?

So here I am, sharing my personal opinions on Ting, hoping to save you money on your mobile phone plan, and make us both some extra cash. Click any of the Ting links in this post when going to sign up and you’ll get $25 credited to your account. I will too – and that’s great because I plan on using Ting for a long time.

So how do I pay just $12 per month for my phone?

My wife was going to join me, but was offered a free line with her family. So I’m alone on Ting, but we worked it out that with her more substantial usage, our joint plan would cost us $36 per month. That’s still crazy cheap.

A truly cheap smartphone plan.

So it’s one device ($6), less than 100 minutes ($3), and less than 100 MB of data ($3). I don’t make many personal calls and I use Google Voice on my PC for business calls. I use WiFi for everything, so I rarely use mobile data. And the biggest shocker for most of you: I turned off texting on my device.

SMS was invented in 1982 and I just can’t believe how many people still put up with its limitations. I use instant messaging, email, and social media to communicate just fine. However, if I had text messages turned on, I’d still be in the first bracket every month – just $3 more.

What’s your money-saving Ting story?

So this is my formula for a dirt cheap smartphone plan. Go check out the rates on Ting.com and see how much you could save by switching.

This post was already too long, but I have a bunch of other things I love about Ting and some mild criticisms too. Ask me anything in the comments below and I’ll share my full experience this past year with Ting.

Share how much you saved with Ting or any other budget-friendly carrier down in the comments too!