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Republic Wireless: Old Phone, New Phone, and a Tempting Competitor

A sample from the new phone's camera (click for larger)

A sample from the new phone’s camera (click for larger)

Just a few hours ago, I unwrapped my new Moto X phone from Republic wireless. It’s the dazzlingly fancy new device that many current and potential Republic customers have been waiting for, so I figured this event warrants an early review.

If you read my original post about this wireless company from May 2013, you know that I’m already a fan. Back then, they were offering a basic smartphone with a $19/month unlimited-everything service plan.

The response was mixed: quite a few of us signed up, and I received mostly positive reviews from those who reported back. Republic’s sole phone at the time – the Motorola Defy XT – was definitely a step back in time, but somehow I managed to lead a happy and productive life with it for over 5 months. Call quality was usually fine, and email and text messages were pretty good too. I didn’t love that gadget, but I also didn’t hate it like Jim Collins did.

I took it to Canada for the summer and was pleased to note that calling and texts remained free for me even during that time. Took it to Ecuador and was able to keep in touch over Wi-fi as well as using it as a hiking navigator by caching a satellite map of the Otovalo area in Google Maps. Used it as a speedometer, altimeter, and E-book listener, and tuned it to Pandora’s Medeski Martin and Wood station one summer night and plugged it into an amplifier, where it rocked a party (pulling music out of thin air with the unlimited 3G data connection) without complaint. The user interface was definitely choppy and slow to the touch, and it didn’t take good pictures. The upside is that I spent far less time looking at my phone. “It’s the phone that gives you your life back!”, is the humorous marketing slogan a friend came up with.

But temptation called, and I was given the chance to evaluate the opposite end of the spectrum: A Samsung Galaxy S4 superphone (retail price about $600) running on a Ting Wireless plan – a direct competitor of Republic wireless. I accepted this challenge to make sure I wasn’t just becoming a complacent Republic spokesman, while not knowing what else was out there.

galaxy s4Going from the little Defy to the gigantic Galaxy was like stepping centuries into the future. Holy Shit, is that ever a nice phone. Every feature is incomparably better than the equivalent on any other device I’ve ever seen. The screen is astonishingly big, bright and clear. The camera takes images that look like you cut them out of Real Life and pasted them to your retinae. The sound and video recording, call quality, and smooth, fluid motion were other-worldly. I became addicted to telephone use again, and my wife and son were not pleased.

The neat thing about Ting is that they have a unique pricing model: you can bring your own Sprint-network phone (some people pick them up on eBay), or buy one directly from them. Then you use talk, text, and data as you see fit and they automatically adjust your plan based on a bucket system with six sizes: Small through XXL. You can add additional phones at $6 per month each and share the same pools.

ting-plans

I ran mine at full-bore for a month and came up halfway through the “Medium” bucket with a bill of $33. So theoretically Mrs. MM could add a line and share the bucket, and our joint family bill would be $39 per month. A big bonus for travelers is that this plan includes Wi-fi tethering, which is hard to come by without ridiculous fees.

All this Ting stuff is important, because Republic has now released a phone that beats the iPhone 5 and rivals the Galaxy S4 in most important usefulness measurements, while running on an ultra-competitive rate plan system.

The New Republic Plans:rw_plans

  • For five bucks a month ($5!?), you can use this phone in WiFi-only mode. Everything still works whenever you get wifi reception, you just can’t make calls from the middle of nowhere.
  • 10 Bucks gets you the same WiFi access, plus unlimited talk and text nationwide. This is probably the most useful ultra-frugal plan I’ve ever seen.
  • The $25 plan duplicates what the $19 plan offered before: unlimited everything, including 3G data. They had to raise the price slightly because they know that when your phone is awesome instead of crappy, you will naturally tend to use it more.
  • The $40 plan adds up to 5GB of 4G data. This would be the road warrior fancypants plan. Since any internet access at all on a telephone is still thrilling to me, and my town doesn’t even have 4G towers, I would personally find this to be overkill. But for those using phones for work, it is still a mighty low price for what they are offering.
  • All of this is based primarily on the Sprint network, but Republic phones will automatically roam (free of charge) to Verizon towers for both voice and data if you ever find yourself outside of Sprint’s coverage

And as if that wasn’t enough flexibility, you can also jump between any of these plans freely, up to twice each month. And by “jump”, I mean swipe down on your screen and select a new option, not make an arduous call to a telephone service representative. So you might stay on the frugal plan most of the time, and boost it to 4G mode for business or road trips.

It’s almost too cheap – I hope that the company can continue turn a profit while making service this affordable and subsidizing the phone. But from conversations with the management, it seems they are approaching things from the position of  strength – put out a really good offering which depends in part on customers not abusing it, and hope that the resulting strong demand and customer loyalty counteracts the risk.

Both of these companies represent an amazing step forward for the typical US mobile phone customer. This week a reader and I had an amusing conversation with Verizon on Twitter. Verizon was trying valiantly to keep his business, but when I looked at their rate plans, I could see it was hopeless. To review the competitive landscape in three points for a hypothetical household of two:

  • They could share an already-plentiful 500 minutes, 1000 texts, and 500MB of data on Ting for $39/month
  • Or they could each have unlimited everything on Republic for a combined total of $50/month
  • Or they could share unlimited talk and text and 1GB of data on Verizon for … $130/month!?

The battle between these new carriers and the old ones is so far from competitive that it is ridiculous.

 The Phone

meet_motox

This is the part we were all waiting to find out: Does the Motorola X live up to its promise of being one of the most advanced smartphones in production? And can it finally make calls over Wi-Fi that are reliable and clear every time? So far, I believe the answer might be yes.

We’ll start with the price: Republic is selling the phone at $299, which means they are subsidizing a good chunk of the purchase price, despite the fact that they have a no-contract service model. It’s still a lot of money, so if you’re using a Defy and it works well for you, keep up the good work. A better phone will not give you a happier life, but in my line of work, I do benefit from certain features – especially a better camera.

I rounded up the four phones that are currently residing in my house*: iPhone 4, Motorola Defy, Samsung Galaxy S4, and Motorola X. To keep the comparison brief, I took the same picture with all four phones: a low-light interior shot (with no flash) of my messy breakfast bar. This allows you to get a rough idea of phone size, camera quality and lens angle, screen size, and screen quality all in one shot.

Clockwise from top left: Defy XT, iPhone4, Galaxy S4, Motorola X

Clockwise from top left: Defy XT, iPhone4, Galaxy S4, Motorola X

Although it’s just one picture, this general theme sums up the capabilities of the four phones in all areas. The iPhone pretty much nailed the user experience back at version 4, and since then things have just been getting bigger and shinier. You can generally gauge a phone’s raw power and fanicness in all areas, simply by noting how huge it is.

For example, my experience over the past month with the Galaxy S4 has been pleasant, and it is a great device for taking pictures, sound recordings, and reading emails and even whole books. But it’s so big, I have to take it out of my pocket when squatting down to work on something for an extended period. It is also delicate: the phone developed a frequent-rebooting problem within two weeks of ownership. Later, I accidentally dropped it from chair height onto my driveway, and the entire glass sheet cracked to shards. So much for “Gorilla Glass” (note to self: better put a beefy rubber case on this new Motorola X before the next accident happens).

The Moto X has most of the advantages of the Galaxy, but with a less slippery exterior, and slightly more compact dimensions that fit better in a pocket. It feels more like a good phone, and less like a tablet. It still has a very large, incredibly bright and clear screen with pixels too fine for the eye to discern. The menus and motions and swiping and 3-D gaming graphics are fluid, like something from an amazing science fiction movie rather than something you and I actually get to own.

It runs a clean and up-to-date version of Android, which means it is easy to use and easily customizable: I’ve already updated its stock keyboard, camera, image viewer, sounds and ringtones, voice recorder app, calculator, wallpaper, notification tray, and added a one-touch flashlight widget, for example. I also prefer its wider-angle lens: in the picture above, you can see how much more of the room it captures when compared to the Galaxy. Note that in my photo, the Moto X screen appears a bit blurry and overexposed but this is just a byproduct my attempt to capture all four phones in the SLR I used to take that picture – in real life, color realism and clarity was very close to the Galaxy.

If you’re curious about where it lies in the phone landscape, our mutual friend Johnny Moneyseed put together this table of stats:

moneyseed_comparo

Various phones, compared by J. Moneyseed

When it comes right down to it, the choice of smartphone depends heavily on personal taste. Because mine gets used almost entirely for blog-related stuff, my own preferences are good camera first, fast interface for reading emails second, big clear screen third, sound recording fourth, and then internet access, some other stuff, and phone calls somewhere near the bottom. But a plumber or salesman or software engineer might put things in a completely different order.

The bottom line for the purpose of this article, however, is that the Moto X is near the top of the pack in all of those areas, and when combined with Republic’s $5/10/25/40 rate plan, makes them almost unbeatable.

If you’re interested in checking out Republic Wireless, you can do so using this link or the picture below.

republic_picture

On the other hand, if the Ting plans line up better with your needs, you might want this link**.

An Update, 3 months later: I continue to use the Republic Moto X as my primary phone, and could not be happier with the phone and the company in general. Everything just works and blends in to the background of life as it should, just as it did when I got my first iPhone. Taking pictures, doing business, and making calls. The only difference is that the unlimited nature of the plan makes life simpler, and the ridiculously low price makes life less expensive.

Final Note: Republic and Ting represent only my own two favorites out of a growing range of options. Collectively, your fellow readers know far more than I do in this field and they have already started sharing their own tips in the comments section below. Let us know your own ultimate frugal mobile phone solution, or if there is anything I need to add to this post about Republic to make it more accurate and complete. 

* Four phones!? You can blame this on the blog. People send me free ones these days, and I dutifully engage my old gadget addiction so you can benefit from my cluttered house.

** Both of these companies offer affiliate links, so I have provided those in this article. So if you use ’em, they benefit this blog – and thanks!
But if you are already a member, you might want to generate your own referral codes and share them with your friends privately – this will give you additional months of free phone service. Enjoy!

  • Melissa January 29, 2014, 10:20 pm

    Thank you for the tip! I just got my phone and set it up with Ting. Works great!

    Reply
  • Tania February 22, 2014, 10:26 am

    Thank you for sharing all of this info with the rest of us! I’ve been trying to find a plan or company like Ting or Republic in MT to no avail…No coverage by Sprint and they won’t do permanent roaming (?)…is there anything out there for us that live in the boonies? I’m getting sick of $100 plus/month bills by the allmighty Verizon (they have a huge monopoly here). Any info would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    • MIke Avery February 23, 2014, 8:39 am

      Tania – the best bet is to ask friends, co-workers and others you know in your area who they use and if they are happy. Any of the carriers can be the “Best ever!” or “The ABSOLUTE WORST!” depending on where you are. Sprint’s map looks better where I live than T-Mobile’s, but T-Mobile has given me better service.

      If you don’t get good information that way, go to the major carrier’s web sites and look at their coverage. Find out who has good coverage, and then look at their rates. And the rates for carriers who piggyback on them.

      It may not be easy, but there usually is an answer that will work for most people.

      Reply
  • Labasaur March 10, 2014, 11:41 pm

    So I notice that unfortunately Republic Wireless considers Alaska as “international,” and Ting Wireless uses the Sprint Network. Does anyone here on MMM know anything about the reception for Ting in Fairbanks, AK? Or of any good similar alternatives?

    Reply
  • mayalibre March 12, 2014, 11:58 pm

    I think the Moto-X is the phone that’s always on and listening for voice commands, no? There have been warnings that this feature allows hackers to use the listening function too, which means you’re basically carrying around a bug that can broadcast audio from its proximity at any time, without your knowledge. Value conscious folks should also consider the worth of their privacy.

    http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/mobile-security/314426-moto-x-is-always-listening-what-could-possibly-go-wrong

    Reply
  • Chris H. March 17, 2014, 12:59 pm

    The Moto G has been announced. The 8GB model is $149 and the 16GB model is $179. This is more mustachian than the Moto X, so I am holding out for this phone. This phone is an excellent value. I will also sign up for the $10 plan, so the per year cost will be around $144 with tax (first year will be higher due to the price of the phone but I am selling my Galaxy S4 to offset the cost).

    Reply
  • John Maloney March 30, 2014, 9:05 am

    I clicked through the link to RW and discovered the Moto G for $149.00. I put myself on the waiting list. Can’t wait to try it in rural Maine near the Canadian border!

    Reply
  • Greyhav April 6, 2014, 11:43 am

    I just started with Republic Wireless, so I thought I’d update:
    The short answer: I love it. But, no moneymustache discount currently, and I couldn’t tell that it was giving any credit to this blog that I linked from.

    Longer answer: I did a lot of research, and most of it told me Republic Wireless wouldn’t be that great. Not sure why I took the risk:
    The Sprint network is the lowest rated in the Dallas Ft Worth area for call quality, dropped calls, and speed.
    I would be switching from the highest rated network in my area (Verizon).
    I would be switching from a top-of-the-line Motorola phone (RAZR MAXX, but 2 years old) to a cheaper phone (I thought).

    Well guess, what? The Moto X phone is faster for everything I do, even though I’m only using 3G instead of the 4G I was using (but I don’t do movies or videos, just lots of apps. So it must just be the new phone). The phone is a bit smaller and lighter with the same screen size.
    ….and the call quality is better.

    Fantastic….we were a 1 smartphone/1 cheap phone household, but we wanted 2 smartphones. Now we have them, and spreading out the upfront costs over 11 months, we’re paying the same. After 11 months, we’ll be paying half (and getting more).

    Reply
  • Mike Avery April 12, 2014, 7:40 am

    It’s odd, I received an email about an update to this thread, but the message from Maria Teresa Donovan isn’t posted here.

    Her thesis was she’d like to switch, she’s paying $320 a month for her and her husband to Sprint, but she can’t afford to switch. To channel my inner Scarlett O’Hara, “Whatever shall I do?”

    Succinctly, this is a time and place to use your credit card or even take out a small loan from your bank or credit union. You can go from $320 a month to $25 a head, which would save about $280 a month if there are two of you. The payback period is very, very short.

    However, the picture may not be as clear if you still have contract obligations to Sprint. I paid a lot to be shut of Sprint, and it was one of the best uses of money ever!

    If you are happy with your Sprint phone service, you might ask the carriers MMM recommends if you can activate your Sprint phones on their network. Many of them use the Sprint network, so it should be possible to port the phones over, so you might not have to replace your phones.

    Sprint service in our area is abysmal, which meant the mustachian plans were non starters for us. We switched to T-Mobile and have been very happy. Their plans are pretty reasonable. And they have no contract. You can buy phones on eBay and use them on their network. Any GSM phone should work.

    Another option – if the T-Mobile incentive plan is still available, they offered to pay off your contract with other carriers and buy your existing phones if you’d buy phones from them. They are willing to finance the new phones as a straight forward time payment plan, which is separate from your phone service. You can pay off the phone at any time with no penalty, and are expected to do so if you leave T-Mobile. If the offer is still available, it could work for you.

    Reply
    • Maria Teresa Donovan April 13, 2014, 5:12 pm

      Thanks Mike! I must have made a mistake with the amount we pay Sprint. It actually is $240 approximately each month for four lines plus the house phone. We never use the house phone, didn’t even take the device they gave us, out of the box. It is my husband and I, and we still have in our family plan, our two youngest boys who are in college now. The Sprint service is decent in my area, even thou my boys say it sucks!
      My contract with Sprint ends in September 20th, just finished talking to them and they told me my penalty for leaving Sprint is 100 per phone and 50 the house line, that would make it 350 penalty, my husband’s phone is out of contract already. Two of our phones are iphone 4s and they are compatible with Ping!
      Now I have to find a new provider for TV and internet I’m with U-Verse att, we pay around 200 a month, usually more with the rented movies… must switch immediately, we are out of contract already! I discovered this blog only recently, it appears it’s going to be a life saver…. Any suggestions anybody?
      Thank you ;)

      Reply
  • Caleb October 6, 2014, 9:39 am

    I bought the $399 Moto-X for Republic last month and decided to cancel after 2 weeks. The phone was fast and had many good Android features. However, Bluetooth never worked and the Wifi connection at home was spotty, often failing to connect, send or dropping class. Wifi at home is excellent and I had no problem placing calls via Skype on a laptop. Bluetooth could not find devices or connect in the car. I concluded that my ancient iPhone 4 with Verizon pay as you go (no contract) was a superior service at $45/month.

    So Republic is a great idea, but poorly executed with a Motorola smartphone. There is a bit of a loss leader concept in its marketing: subsidize a phone that customers otherwise would not buy. That’s a big barrier to success. For Republic to succeed, their software needs to implemented on, say, Samsung and Apple.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache October 7, 2014, 12:26 pm

      Caleb, it sounds like you got unlucky in the hardware lottery (i.e. a bum $299 moto X) rather than anything inherent in Motorola’s overall design. The moto X has extremely good wifi, bluetooth, and call performance for most of us that use it.

      The fact that you found all three areas lacking suggests an analog problem on your particular circuit board, since antenna technology is very sensitive to a good build in the factory.

      Reply
  • George Kao October 20, 2014, 8:20 am

    I’m about to try out Bright Spot Mobile (Target’s phone plan) — $35 for unlimited text & web (3 gigs at 4G speed) and 300 minutes of talk… more than I need.

    https://www.brightspotmobile.com/compare-prepaid-cell-phone-plans

    Will update y’all in a couple months.

    Reply
  • David February 28, 2015, 9:38 am

    I still use a dirt cheap flip phone from Virgin Mobile. I carry an iPad in my bag and can frequently get wifi at various places when I need to check something on the internet. iPad beats any phone for ease of reading.

    When my flip phone breaks Virgin Mobile only charges me $10 for a new one. Hard to beat that price.

    Reply
  • DT April 9, 2015, 11:29 pm

    Just wanted you to know that I pulled the trigger on a phone from Republic Wireless. I’ll give them a chance. I’m currently paying a little over $100 a month for my HTC One M8 at Sprint. Gonna look into cancelling that. For now, I’ll try Republic Wireless and the Moto G and see if we are a good fit. I got the $10 a month plan and the phone, with faster shipping and 16 gigs of storage, came out to a little over $200. So in three months, I’ll already be seeing savings. In just two years, that’s up to $2400 less in cellphone bills, even though I’ll probably be getting the same kind of usage I already get. In ten years…that’s a huge sum of money. Imagine how much I can save as I start applying this kind of thinking to other areas of my life, like my car!

    Thanks so much, I’m really excited to start trying these things. Should’ve started when I was 15…not 23…But I guess it’s better late than never!

    Reply
  • Skip September 5, 2015, 6:07 pm

    Hello! I am new to this blog but wanted to put in my 2 cents worth.

    I have an iPhone 5 with Verizon with unlimited talk and text, with 3GB of data… I’ve never used that much data but I use a nice chunk of it as I check my stock brokerage charts each day, etc. So I need a good cell signal. Since I work on an Army base and Verizon has the best coverage available in my area (& around the country as I like to travel), I have stayed with them, esp. since I have recently been able to lower my monthly bill from ~$100/month to about $70/month (took off insurance, etc.). And my phone has been paid off since its inception. I have been a loyal customer of Verizon since I purchased my first cell phone in 2001. But I’m not afraid to pull the plug if I can get a better deal elsewhere (that provides great, reliable coverage!).
    Does anyone have any good suggestions that will perhaps work with my current iPhone (I have other Apple products as well so integration is nice) or another device? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  • Krys September 29, 2015, 10:47 am

    I live in the middle of no where (Yay extremely low rent! and 100 acres to play in!) and Verizon is literally the only service that works without wi-fi. Even Verizon has a few dead spots in our area (despite what their map says), but I’ve managed to keep it cheap with a giant like them. I wish Republic worked in my area :( but I think I found the best I could do. I thought you’d like this part: we were getting our bills for $136 a month for all 4 phone lines for 9 months because Verizon, despite the managers working there 10 years, had NEVER come across our situation–not wanting nor starting out with a contract and a brand new phone. Without a contract (or a history of a contract), Verizon won’t allow you to use an employee discount.. Mine is 19% and it is 22% total with paperless billing. But after you’ve used a contract (Say, when you get a free tablet with them and spend $10 a month vs a phone line which is minimum $40 a month each) you get the discount. Oops! So I get $7 off my bill, and back to $17 off in the two year contract time. I got my family on board which I think is the only way to save money with Verizon, and each phone is $15 a month out of contract and we all share 10 gb of data that we got for $62/month on a Christmas special (cheaper than the 6gb at the time and still cheaper than the regular 8gb plan), and the total bill is still $150 with taxes and everything for all 4 – $37 a person, and in another year when the contract comes off it’ll drop to $34 a person when I take that tablet off of the plan. It isn’t ideal, but for living in the middle of no where and being forced into this company for cell service, it was the best I could come up with at the time and so far I’m pretty happy with it. We have a shared checking account that auto-pays, and everyone sticks their share in.. The money is rounded up a tiny bit ($37 is rounded up from a fractional amount, the actual bill is like $148.78 or something) and that’s in case there is a tiny fluctuation in the bill for whatever reason, or eventually it’ll accumulate and turn into a bill payment itself. We bought our phones used from Amazon cash, and bought Ballistic cases (the BEST affordable case to protect phones, the youtube videos are ridiculous for those things) for them all to protect them and so far so good. My mother and father were paying $110 for two phones + minimal data before, my sister and I both paying $45 for pre-paid cell phones. It took some convincing to get them on board, but I don’t think any of them are regretting it now!

    Reply
  • Andrea O. January 14, 2016, 3:30 pm

    Someone may have already covered this, but I have not been able to read all the comments. Here is my question: Does a way exist to easily and legally get out of a cellular plan with a company that locks you into a contract? We have Sprint. I have managed to get the cheapest plan with them for my needs, but it is still too ridiculously expensive! We still have a year left in our contract, and that is 12 months too long for me! Any input would be appreciated!!

    Reply
  • JJ February 14, 2016, 5:05 pm

    Sprint MVNO ringplus.net has frequent promotions for free minutes, text and data per month. Only requires a minimal one time payment if you do not go over the monthly allotment. Instead of a ringtone you might hear an advertisement in exchange for the service.

    Reply
  • Jason February 27, 2016, 4:25 pm

    I thought the conclusion to this article could be something like “flush your phone down the toilet save money and spen more time with your kids”

    Personally when my galaxy 1 carks it i am going to buy the smallest cheapest and crummiest phone money can buy. Emergency use only.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache February 27, 2016, 5:00 pm

      A good general guideline for life, Jason! These phones are fun, but they only really add to your life when you use them to keep in closer touch with friends – not watch viral videos or keep up on celebrity gossip news via Facebook.

      Reply
      • Tyler February 28, 2016, 3:28 pm

        I tend to use mine quite often for scientific and hobby research while out and about if I have a free minute where I’m waiting around

        Reply
  • Be September 20, 2016, 7:38 am

    I have seriously considered Republic Wireless but I can’t justify replacing my current phone. It’s not the best phone but it functions. I’m with Sprint – unlimited talk, text and 2.5 GB of data for $31.88 including tax. I would only save $6.88 before tax on the $25 Republic plan but would also have to recoup the cost of the phone ($179 is their cheapest at the moment so that would take over 2 years to pay for itself and phones aren’t built to last long these days). The overage charges on Ting make me too nervous. I use the data for GPS mostly so I could look at going without data and buying a stand alone GPS but again initial investment is not worth the long term savings at this point. I’ll look at pricing again when my current phone dies.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache September 20, 2016, 4:31 pm

      Sounds like perfect strategic decision making to me. Your current phone plan sounds great. If making the switch later, check out eBay for barely-used Republic phones if you see any value in saving $100 or so. If not, enjoy the new one whenever you get it, and may that be far in the future!

      Reply
  • Raegan April 3, 2017, 3:24 pm

    Okay, so I enjoyed reading this post about wireless and I came here looking for a new cell phone plan. On Saturday, my internet stopped working and I called straight talk (my carrier). I asked what was up and the customer service agent informed me that I had reached my data limit of 5G. I researched this statement later and discovered that he was mistaken, but Straight talk does reduce your speed past those first 5G. My internet was chunky but somewhat functional later that day.
    However, I have a totally different view on data than most of the responses here, so I thought I would share. I don’t have wi fi at home and I use data from my cell provider. This was a point of optimization for us. We (my husband and I) moved in August and the only option for us now is cable at $45 a month, previously we had DSL at $30 per month, which was reasonable. Of course, the cable company will bundle it for $60 with cable, which I don’t want. We went from a netflix plan to a dvd.com plan for about the same price. We rent movies from redbox occasionally. Although, most often we just borrow them from that library. So this will seem pretty extreme to some people, but this is exactly the spot for such radical ideas, we have been without internet service at our house since September.
    We both have wi fi at work. The library is about a mile away and has free wi fi. If we miss their hours, I have a key to my work and we can use the wi fi there. For the most part though, we just use our cellular provider for internet. I typically use about 5 G and he uses 2.5 G. I have to commute (company car) to another site for work and I like to listen to a podcast en route.
    My cellular contract renews today, so I didn’t go over by much, but I have to work at that. It did get me shopping around though and I found something even better. I was paying $45 per line for Straight Talk. I found total wireless has an 8G plan that can be split between two lines for $60 per month ($57 if you auto pay). I can bring the phone I’m using now. If I need a bit more data, I can get 3G for $10, and any leftover will be applied to (a) subsequent month(s).

    Reply
  • TheFrugalWon August 11, 2017, 2:24 pm

    Hello, it’s been several years since the last post but so much has changed in the cell phone industry that i figured i’d post… I was on the Verizon because of a corporate discount ($150/2 lines/3GB per line) but then found that Cricket Wireless (runs on the ATT network) offered $70/2 lines/4GB per line and best of all no overage charges. they just slow down the speed. I found this to be better than trying to figure out the overage costs on verizon.

    I was able to get a sim card from Cricket and reuse the Verizon phones (google nexus 6 and iphone 6s) so my monthly rate just went down by 50%.

    A colleague told me about mintsim… haven’t used it yet but their rates sound great! 5GB @ $20 per line? I could reduce my phone rates by another 50% (almost). They are a new company (started in 2016) so i’m giving them some time to make sure that they will last…

    So far so good with Cricket.

    Reply
  • WalterG November 6, 2017, 1:21 pm

    I’ve been using Republic for 14 months thanks to MMM’s advice. Couldn’t be happier. Lower phone bills. Good enough phone that just works.

    Reply
  • David May 29, 2018, 1:35 pm

    Unlimited wireless calling & data is fancy overkill. I already have unlimited local calling on my analog landline, and unlimited data on my inexpensive home DSL (DSLextreme). The cellphone is for emergency outbound use only, & I don’t give out my cell number. With H2Owireless, $10 buys 90 days or 200 minutes (whichever comes first.) Unused minutes roll over upon renewal. Texts are a nickel each.

    My landline’s long-distance calls are only 1.5 cents per minute, and functionality was continuous during the 14-day power outage after Hurricane Ike.

    Reply

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Take a look around. If you think you are hardcore enough to handle Maximum Mustache, feel free to start at the first article and read your way up to the present using the links at the bottom of each article.

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Love, Mr. Money Mustache

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