Yes, I most definitely did save $480 on my cell phone bill (and I’ll save even more going forward too!).
How you ask? By telling my wireless carrier to go jump in a lake when it comes to texting. I told them that I wanted all texting / messaging services both incoming and outgoing blocked for all numbers on my family plan. But Brad, “how do we text you?” I use a service called Google Voice for texting. I signed up with Google, got my free number from them, downloaded the Google Voice for Android application and boom! I get texting for free.
So, for those wondering where the math comes in that lets me save $480:
Not spending $20 / month for unlimited texting on my family plan multiplied by 24 months (note there are 24 months in 2 years – the standard length of the cell phone contract to get my phone at a discount), and wallah! $480 over the course of two years in savings.
You may ask, “There is a catch, right?” – sure, a small one. Google assigns you a new phone number, one you get to pick. All text messages must come to and be sent from this phone number. So now you have two cell phone numbers. Big. Deal.
This “one number to rule them all” given by Google comes with loads of other pluses that outweigh the con of having an additional number:
- I get free texting
- I get all my voice mails transcribed for me
- All voice mails go into my “inbox” which I can manage just like I can my email on my computer by visiting voice.google.com
- I can archive ALL my voice mail messages and search them via Google’s awesome search goodness, and never do I have to delete them
- I can direct my Google Voice number to ring any other phone(s) I want, so that one additional number they give can be my home office line, my cell line, my home line, etc. It’s like having my own mini PBX at my disposal.
- With the addition of something called an OBI Device I connect into my home network, I can get my Google Voice number to ring a regular home cordless phone (without paying my local telco $15 a month minimum for local phone service…so really – I’m saving an additional $180 / year there too!)