Category Archives: Cellular

Minutia Updates

…in case you’re wondering:

– Cell phone recharged last month, I still have 332 minutes left.

– I use Skype as much as possible, and paid up $30 for free US calling for 2007.

– Akismet has intercepted 330+ spam, a 100% track record.

More substantial posts to come, I took a bit of a break for holy week’s aftermath!

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Cell Phone Prepaid Update

Just checked my remaining minutes: as of today I have 190 minutes left. Prepaid – the way to go if you follow the rules.

$10 a Month Cell Phone Bill (Part 2)

Cell PhoneCheesesteak Challenge week returns tomorrow, but first: the conclusion of this $10/month cell phone plan. Can it be done?!?

Result so far:

On November 16 I prepaid $50 bucks and got 500 minutes of cell use. As of January 23 I still have 215 minutes remaining! At this rate I’ll get another 2+ months out of this gig… a $13 monthly cell phone bill or less. I guess I should add the .60 it costs per half hour Skype call. Or you could use Gizmo for half as much. [UPDATE] I saw an ad on ebay for SKYPE offering a YEAR’s worth of calling to US or Canada for $15 per… YEAR!

Things that help me:

1. I enabled the “minute beep” on my phone. This is a tiresome beep audible only to me for each minute I am on the cell. It is annoying. It makes talking less enjoyable. And it clues me in on a call that is getting too long.

2. Incoming Calls: I screen them at work. I have leeway in my work culture to use my phone at my discretion even for long distance. A perk that not everyone gets. So I can call the person back on the workphone instead of taking it by default on the cell, saving precious minutes.

3. If I’m not at work but am at a hotspot, I call them back on Skype or Gizmo. My attache case is a mobile office, complete with extra power cord, extra mic headset, and extra Optical Trackball. It gives me the delightful illusion of really being on top of everything. It also screams, “I am a geek, stay away!” to every female in the Panera Bread, an undesirable side effect.

4. If I’m not at work or Hotspot, I screen the call. If I take it I keep the call brief, with the help of the aforementioned odious “minute beep”.

5. I mentally “ration” my minutes at 10 minutes per day. If used, this gives me almost 2 months of cell usage (translating to about $30/month). Most of the time I do not use the ration, which stretches out the cell usage much further.

6. I’m single, with no kids, and a handful of friends and extended family that doesn’t usually call me much. This factor may be the most significant of all! But if you adopt any of these practices, you will save a fair bit of money. And the more money you save, the better steward you will become.

Questions for you: 

1. Which of these practices are you already using?
2. What ideas and improvements do you do that I haven’t thought of?

$10 a Month Cell Phone Bill (Part 1

As promised, I’m sharing my pearls of frugality regarding how to maintain a:

$10 / month cell phone bill

Gosh, how did I do it?

For the past 2 months I’ve spent about $10 on cell phone calls. Prior to this I had a $50/month bill for a few years (+ tax that I’m getting refunded), and downsized to a $40 plan, then finally made a big mistake by signing in for Vonage because I didn’t know about Skype or Gizmo. That was a waste since it was LESS effective than either VOIP software which is FREE! But even Vonage was better than paying $50/month, although I had to keep rebooting my computer to get Vonage to work.

My Cell Phone proposal works best provided you:

1. Don’t need to actually talk much on your cell phone and/or
2. Can train yourself to prioritize and ration your cell use as if it were an “emergency” phone
3. Have a computer (laptop is better) and a wifi connection

Basically, I have gone PREPAID… I use TMobile and their rates are as low as ~.10/minute. I fill ‘er up at $50 a pop every other month usually, that’s already about $30/month, which is decent (no lousy $7/month tax either).

What really kicked this into high gear was when I resolved in November to be more proactive in using Skype or Gizmo for my “conversational” calls – the ones I reserve for catching up with distant friends. I fudged this the other day when my wifi connection at Panera was cutting out and talked to Niki for 25 minutes on my cell. But that was it.

Tune in tomorrow for more information on this personal breakthrough!

Tell an intercessor about…

Cheesesteak Challenge

Stay Tuned… Coming to CBB Next Week

The Cheesesteak Challenge

With this CBB blog poised to host its 1000th visitor next week, I have some special posts on deck:

1. Cell Phone on $10/month

2. The Cheesesteak Challenge

3. And Even More to Come!

So keep your eyes peeled for some great material that just might benefit you. See you Monday!