I love my cell phone (a $300 Samsung Galaxy S2 bought at Walmart) and I love my cell phone plan ($30 a month on TMobile, also from Walmart, which gives me 100 talk minutes and unlimited text and data). However, since I have been working a lot lately (online and via phone) I have been having a hard time figuring out how to work and call into meetings and generally use my phone for talking when I only get 100 minutes per month. For long conversations I have been using hubby's phone since he gets 1500 talk minutes a month and doesn't talk very much at all but I think I have talked so much that I left him about 100 minutes of talk time for the next two weeks. Eeekkk
Then last night my friend emailed and asked me to call in for a meeting with one of her boards--for a FOUR HOUR meeting. I knew something had to be done. I first checked out the other plans I could get, like unlimited talk, text, and internet, but these plans start at $50 a month and give me a lot less high speed internet (5 gig on my current plan, 100 mb on the more expensive plans for some reason). Then I Googled around to see what other people do in this situation and found Skype. I've never used Skype before but I checked it out, downloaded the app to my cell phone, bought their $2.99 a month unlimited calling to anywhere in the US plan and I was set for the meeting!
I called in this morning and found that instead of the participants calling in, the hosts of the meeting needed to call us to add us to the meeting group. That would have been good except the basic Skype plan is only for calling out, not calling in. I told them I would get back to them in a minute, hung up, got back online to Skype and bought a phone number. For $5 a month you get a Skype phone number so in addition to you being able to call people, people can call you as well. I hopped back on the Skype app on my phone (my phone was using my wi fi network because I was at home) and gave them my new number and four and a half hours later we had wrapped up our meeting and Skype performed flawlessly!
The bottom line: instead of paying $50 a month for an "unlimited" cell plan (which is actually limited), I am now using my $30 a month plan plus an $8 phone number and calling plan from Skype that I can use with my wi fi or data network so I end up with a better plan for $12 less than what most people would pay.