How I Dropped my Monthly Phone Bill to $15/Month (With Talk, Text, and Data!)

As you guys are aware, I’m frugal with my money – I mean, why waste my hard earned money when I don’t have to?

Being in Canada, phone plans are notoriously expensive. I’m not even kidding you. Plans starts at $65-70 per month for 1GB of data – and I can’t recall if that’s even with unlimited talk! I bounced from Rogers, to Fido, to Virgin, and eventually settled on Freedom Mobile (previously known as Wind) because they were disrupting the wireless industry with their low, low prices (I paid $35 for 4GB of data with unlimited talk and text!).

It wasn’t until recently when I decided it’s time to leave Freedom. Yes, they were cheap at $35/month for 4GB of data but their service was horrible! Throughout the day and evening, text messages would not come through until hours later – I’d be working and thinking nobody is texting me when in reality, friends did and I receive them all at once. You can imagine how annoying it is when you’re having a conversation and all of a sudden, messages stop, and when they do come in, the time stamp shows the current time, not when it was actually sent/received, or the texts are out of order. On top of that, it occurs with my phone calls as well. I’d look at my phone and out of nowhere, see that I have a voicemail or my friends would tell me that they tried calling me but I never answered. Lastly, once the LTE drops to 4G, you mind as well not even be connected to the internet because nothing functions on Freedom’s 4G network.

And, I’m not living and working in a dungeon. I’m in a central part of Vancouver and the cell service sucks. Most recently that drove me to cancel my contracts with Freedom Mobile was the unreliable monthly fees. For the past 2-3 months, my phone bills have skyrocketed to about $100 per month and when I finally inquired about it, they told me that my phone connected to their competitors’ towers because Freedom Mobile towers aren’t as strong and smaller, hence me paying extra for data roaming (despite still being in the city). I  asked why is it happening now and never before and they didn’t have a proper response.

Unsatisfied with the surprise charges and unreliable service (seriously, if I died or left the Lower Mainland, Freedom probably won’t even connect my calls, lol), I decided to just buy out the rest of my phone at $311.

So, how did I managed to drop my phone bill to only $15/month?

Nope, I didn’t stay on the line with Freedom to negotiate. I don’t have a secret 20+ years account with a provider. Nor did I use any friends/family/employee discounts.

Instead, I simply went to Fido and purchased their tablet data plan and downloaded a great app called Fongo and switched over to their system.

Fongo

How does my phone work?

  • I don’t have a traditional talk/text/data plan. Instead, I only have data on my phone.
  • I text and call using the Fongo app, which is free with paid subscriptions.
  • Basically, my cell phone has turned into a  VoIP phone. It uses the internet to make calls and send messages.

How much am I paying?

  • My initial fees were about $360 which included buying out my phone ($310), Fido’s one-time sim-card activation fee ($25) and Fongo’s service fee to port my number over to them ($25).
  • My monthly cost is $15/month from Fido aka my new monthly phone bill.
  • I do also still text (yes, I know right?) and Fongo offers unlimited texting packages. I chose to purchase 6 months unlimited texting across Canada for $10.. which equals to about $1.67/month. I pay this up front but if you’re anal, my monthly phone bill is technically $16.67.

How much am I saving?

  • My phone had 22 months left on its contract – yes, it was a new contract and I’m still annoyed I decided to renew with Freedom. However, since I’m moving to Australia in October 2018, I was going to have to buy out my phone at the end of the day.
  • My initial cost was $360. If I decided to stay with Freedom Mobile until the end of my contract, it would have cost me ~$770 ($35 x 22 months).
  • On this “new mobile plan” I have, it only cost me $330 for 22 months. Even with the $20/year texting plan subscription from Fongo, it’s still significantly cheaper than staying with Freedom for the duration of my contract!

Is this for you?

  • Consider how much data you use. Unlike traditional phone plans where you have a dedicated amount of data for surfing the web and apps, the data only plan you get is all the data plan you get for the web, surfing, calls, texting, etc. So, if you’re a heavy user of the web on the go, this may not be the best option for you.
  • Consider how often you call. Because your calls are now being placed on data, the longer you chat, the more data you use. Obviously, when you’re connected to your wifi, all your calls are “free” and you can talk as much as you want. But, if you’re someone that loves to gossip over the phone while you’re shopping… this plan may not be for you. I’m only on the phone out and about when companies call or giving my friends/family a quick shout.

Why does this work for me?

  • I’m always connected to wifi majority of my day – when I’m at work and I’m at home.
  • I don’t use data that much when I’m on the go. My commute to work is only about 30 minutes or so and I usually tend to listen to music than browse on my phone. So 3GB is more than enough for me.
  • As I mentioned above, I normally don’t chat on the phone when I’m out. I usually enjoy making calls in the comfort of my own home.
  • Majority of my friends are already using some sort of instant messaging so I can essentially ditch the texting if I really don’t want it.
  • Since I love to travel, using Fongo allows me to actually use my Canadian number when I’m down in the US or overseas – all I need is to connect to the wifi! So, that means, goodbye missed calls and texts while I’m on vacation! I can also call home to Canada wherever I am in the world.
  • This would also be beneficial when I move to Australia and can keep my Canadian number so anyone back home can contact me.
  • Did I mention it’s only $15/month for me?

So, if you’re using your phone similar to the way I am, consider switching to an all data plan with your provider and ditch the traditional expensive phone plans! I’ve made my decision and absolutely do not regret it at all. The Fido network is amazing and Fongo’s quality of service is superb and their customer service is wonderful! I think the only regret I have is not listening to my brother earlier and switching over to Fido/Fongo.

*Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Fido or Fongo.

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