Phone bills… the bill that sucks to pay but is essential in the 21st century. The problem is that many people pay way too much for what they’re getting. According to CNBC the average person spends $99 a month on their cell phone bill. That’s nearly $1200 per person, each year on having a phone.
Phones are incredibly important, people run their entire business just off their phones, keep in touch with family and friends, store photos, access bank accounts etc. But do you need to be spending $1200 per year on your phone?
There are a few ways to cut down your phone bill significantly while you are a member of the military or a veteran. Are you happy with your iPhone 10’s camera? Is your phones battery lasting all day still? Did your phone company tell you that you are eligible for upgrade?
You need to ask why are you upgrading? Maybe stop upgrading phones that are not broken. If it’s just to have the newest flashy phone it may be time to step back and think about what the phone is costing you long term. The new iPhone 12 costs $36.67 per month for 30 months. Is that a ton of money? To you it may not be, but over your life upgrading every single year. That is an immense amount of money.
Reducing a $99 per month phone bill by about $37 brings it down to $62. Instantly bringing down the price per month by nearly 40%. Is it worth keeping a paid off phone if you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars? That’s a decision you have to make yourself. If you have a family this may be even more significant. Every family member has new phones each year, this can cost more than $1000 per year just on phone upgrades.
Over 10, 20, 30 years if that money was invested or spent on things you enjoy more, like paying off your house early or traveling, the money could have brought significantly more joy in your life. Saving an additional $40 per month for 30 years investing that money at 10% growth brings you to about $83,000. Is the phone upgrade worth that?
It’s critical to pick and choose how you spend your money. Trying to be very deliberate with spending is key to having a wealthy and less stress life. So, if you want to upgrade your phone go ahead just be aware of what it is costing you financially.
An incredibly beneficial perk of being a veteran is that you get discounts on your phone plan! I was not aware of how good some companies treat veterans by reducing their phone rate to very low cost. One example is T-Mobile, they have a plan that provides veterans with a phone plan of as low as $25 per person for unlimited data! That brings the $99 phone plan down almost 75%! That is if you have one person to more than five people the rate stays the same! You can even add your parents and siblings to your phone plan, allowing everyone to save hundreds per year. There are many other companies that offer veteran deals, so it is worth exploring all your options. The cellular service may not be as good as the more expensive plans, but it is worth thinking about how much extra you may be spending just for possibly having a little bit better service.
Saving an extra $75 dollars per month for 30 years at 10% return on your investment brings you to over $150,000. That’s an enormous amount of money if it’s invested at that return. If you joined at 18 and retire at 65 that money could be as much as $800,000 by only saving and investing $75 per month for 47 years.
If you decide to do these upgrades or more expensive phone plans, look at what you could be doing with that money instead to ensure that is the decision you want to go with. Could this be bringing you closer to your monthly investment goal? Would this allow you to pay off your car sooner? Allow you to start paying off debt you may have acquired? Keep in mind your long-term goals, if you don’t have long term goals consider making some. Having these goals help keep things in perspective on why you may wait a few extra years to upgrade your phone.
A few other companies besides T-Mobile that do veterans discounts include Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and more.