Is your smartphone bill soaring? Or do you have a teenager who absolutely has to get a smartphone?
Then you'll want to know about the newest discount phone plans, as low as $19 a month. But are they worthwhile?
$19 Prepaid Plan:
With many people paying more than $100 a month just to have a smartphone with a data plan, a number of services are now offering cheaper, prepaid options. Best of all, there is no two-year contract to sign.
The cheapest of all is now from
Republic Wireless: just $19 month for a smartphone with unlimited talk, text and data.
Michael Handy was among the first to sign up with Republic.
"This advertisement came up for $20 a month for cell service," Handy said. "I thought I'd check it out."
How it Works
How can Republic offer such a low rate? Simple: Its phones seek out Wi-Fi whenever possible to avoid using expensive cell towers.
None of these offer the convenience of an AT&T or Verizon, but at a fraction of the cost they may be worth considering.
"I was paying $70, now I'm paying $20," Handy said. "Is $50 a month savings worth a few hassles? I'd say yes."
Before You Buy
One last thing to remember: You have to buy a phone at full price with prepaid plans, typically $100 to $300. You cannot get a subsidized phone, such as a $199 iPhone 5, with a prepaid, non-contract plan.
Expect to pay $400 to $600 for an iPhone, depending on the model.
But the bottom line: If $85 a month -- the typical smartphone plan contract -- is too high for you, there are cheaper options.
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.