So there I am discussing cell phone plans again. And I mean again because this is a topic that comes up A LOT! People are always posting in the Choose FI Canada or Canadian Mustachians FB groups and asking what the best prices and plans are, and of course which provider has the deal of the minute. It’s also a topic that gets talked about around the lunch table at work. Well, usually after they’re done making fun of my iPhone 5, what a dinosaur. Anyway, I realized that it’s common for people to be paying $100+ per MONTH!! for their little digital addictions. People are also quite often using shared data plans and covering their kids’ plans. We could be looking at potentially $400 a month for a family of 4. I heard exactly this recently and did a little mental math, HOLY SHIT that’s almost $50,000 over 10 years!! Which compounded over 10 years at 6% annually is an astounding $67,063.88. Wow, I remember back in the day when we couldn’t even afford to get call waiting on our home phone for a couple bucks a month. Future you is definitely going to thank you if you can save and invest some of that cash instead. More on that later.
I did a little research on the big 3 telco’s in Canada. Telus, Bell, and Rogers. I went with the assumption that we’re all smart and frugal enough to pick up a used phone or use one you already have. Or at least choose the ‘free’ option from the telco. Basically, with nation-wide calling and the minimum data (1,000,000,000 bytes… wow that’s 711 floppy disks, you remember 3.5inch floppies right?) you’re going to be on the hook for approximately $85 before taxes. Add on some extra data, maybe a fancier phone and the option to call aunt Matilda in Florida whenever you like and it’ll easily be $100+. What’s an aspiring FI Garager to do?
Luckily we have some other options out there too. So, instead of being lazy and walking into that flashy, high overhead, pressure sales store in the mall, do some of your own research. Here’s a site that I came across that is a good start, planhub.ca. They have a nice search where you can enter in your requirements and then see who has the best offer. You can choose your province too, so it filters out unwanted carriers. Using British Columbia, I found that Fido (Rogers), Freedom mobile (Shaw), Koodo* & Public Mobile** (Telus) and Virgin Mobile (Bell) offer some great rates. Interestingly enough all these ‘discount’ brands are owned and run on the networks of the big telco’s. So don’t worry about not being able to upload your Candy Crush score from the houseboat.
Now because we’re all on this Financial Independence journey together we’re going to be mindful of our spending and optimize our costs, right. Right. At this
Another quick word of advice, make it a habit to call your cell phone provider once or twice a year and see if there are any promotional rates to keep you as a customer. I’ve been happily using Koodo* for a couple of years, and I’m happy with their service. But damn, $35 is just too much when I can get the same plan at Public Mobile** for $28. That’s enough for a couple of beers for the podcast! So, after a quick phone call to Koodo* to cancel my plan, they offered me a
Having figured out the best plan, now you’re going to take your dog down to Mutt’s Cantina and spend all that cash you saved. WRONG, you’re going to invest that money. Although I do love the business idea of Mutt’s, I
*As a Koodo customer, they offer a little referral bonus, so help keep the Air Compressor
** Public Mobile also has a referral plan. The person who refers gets $1 per month off their bill for as long as the person they refer continues as a Public Mobile customer. The person who is referred also receives a one time $10 credit. The Accountant and the Economist both have referral codes, we would appreciate it if you consider using either 54KKY4 or VPW283 if you plan to switch to Public Mobile.
Another great perk of Public Mobile is that you can reduce your bill to $0 by referring friends, being brand loyal, or participating in their Community.