Until you’re passionately proactive about right-sizing your lifestyle and budget, it’s always going to be a struggle to succeed as a freelancer and solopreneur and have more breathing room to travel.
The trick is aggressively skimping on areas that aren’t that important to you, and spending freely on the experiences that matter most to you. For example, my husband and I strategically splurge on travel and spent a month in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with our kids last summer. We also regularly travel around the world with and without our kids.
Travel is very important to us. But do you know what’s not at all important to us? Expensive cell phone plans. As long as we have good service and perks like unlimited texting and taking crystal clear photos and videos of our kids, then we’re happy.
That’s why I ditched our iPhones and their costly plans and instantly got $720 back in our budget. I also sold those overpriced smartphones on eBay and made $150 within a week. They were old models, and while mine was in reasonable condition, my husband’s was fried after it fell into a hot tub in Florida. His fetched $45.
But slightly downgrading your phone plan to save a little money isn’t enough. You need a low-cost smartphone plan that maximizes your budget and keeps more cash in your lifestyle and freelance business. That’s why we picked Republic Wireless.
I had previously investigated how much Republic Wireless saves a few years ago, but was always stuck on one thing. At that time, their plans mostly relied on a WiFi signal, and I uncovered many reviews about service interruptions when it switched and piggy-backed onto the Sprint network. I had also used Sprint in the past while living in NYC and had poor experiences.
But that was several years ago, and I was optimistic they had improved (they have). After realizing we were spending a ridiculous $129 a month on our iPhone plans, I decided to give Republic Wireless another look. They offer slick smartphones, robust plans at very low prices and now had rock solid reviews.
It’s true Republic Wireless does rely on WiFi first to keep your costs lower, but seamlessly switches to the Sprint network when you’re away from a wireless signal. So what’s the verdict? I’ve been using the new phones and plan for 3-months and haven’t had a single service interruption. I’ll never go back to high-priced service.
How Much Does Republic Wireless Save?
How much you can save with Republic Wireless depends on what type of plan you have now and how much you watch videos and use online apps.
However, to give you an idea, here’s one low-cost smartphone plan option. Republic Wireless currently offers a $20 plan for 1GB of data with unlimited talk and text. That means you could download 2,323 photos, watch 2,342 minutes of YouTube videos and drive 5,000 miles of Google maps.
That sounds like a ton, right? But I personally found that if I let my kids watch too many videos on my phone during a long wait at an appointment or on a car ride, I blew through my plan. That just means I can only use WiFi, or get a webpage when I’m on my phone that says I need to upgrade to the next plan. It doesn’t just make your phone stop working.
I personally needed their next plan up which costs $34 a month including tax.
I also loved the Republic Wireless phone I picked for my new plan. Republic Wireless doesn’t work with iPhones, and at first I considered that a con. That was until I realized I could get a fancy Moto 4 smartphone that blew my old iPhone 5 out of the water. I love the interface, slim model and crystal clear screen.
Our Moto 4’s cost $150 each and we added on relatively inexpensive cases and screen guards. So far I love the phone!
Republic Wireless Cons
The only con was needing to find app alternatives and getting my photos switched over from iPhone. That was about it. For others, they may not like the limited selection of phones Republic Wireless offers. However, you CAN use your Android phone in most cases. Here’s their list:
- Huawei Ascend 5W
- Moto G (4th Gen.)
- Moto G PLAY (4th Gen.)
- Moto G PLUS (4th Gen.)
- Moto X Pure Edition
- Moto Z
- Moto Z Play
- Nexus 5X by LG
- Nexus 6 by Motorola
- Nexus 6P by Huawei
- Pixel by Google
- Pixel XL by Google
- Samsung Galaxy J3
- Samsung Galaxy S6
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
However, you may still be able to use your own phone, even if your smartphone isn’t on the Republic Wireless list. Go into your app store, download the Republic Wireless app on your phone and follow the prompts to see if it’s compatible. Usually, you’re fine as long as your phone is operating on Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system or higher.
I also felt a little stress about how to actually cancel my AT&T phone service and switch to Republic Wireless, but it turns out it was relatively easy and I wasn’t hassled about it. Here are the steps I took, which should work with just about any smartphone provider:
10 Steps to Switch to Republic Wireless
1) Make sure you’re not under a lengthy contract with your current provider that could penalize you unexpectedly.
2) Do not deactivate your former plan or change your number until your Republic Wireless account is active. Otherwise you could lose your existing phone number altogether.
3) Check to see if your number is compatible with the Republic Wireless system on their website (it’s rare it would not be) with the Republic Wireless number transfer tool. It takes about 5-seconds.
4) Go to Republic Wireless to find a plan and smartphone (if needed) to suit your needs.
5) Once you purchase your selections, activate your account and fill in your profile or other necessary info.
6) Receive your phone in the mail in lightning fast speed and submit a number transfer request through the Republic Wireless system. It’s super easy, you do not need any technical knowledge, and it just takes a few hours to a day depending on your current provider.
7) Contact your current provider to cancel your account. Republic Wireless will give you the info to do this, and will prompt you to get a PIN from your provider.
8) You will need to get a PIN from your current smartphone plan provider to make the switch, which is usually NOT available on your bill or in your online account. You have to call them. Republic Wireless will give you the info, but for AT&T, the number is 800-331-0500 .
9) If your current plan provider gives you any grief, just tell them you already signed-up with Republic Wireless and just want to transfer the number over. Keep repeating this if they ask additional questions. My representative only asked once. While you’re on the phone, make sure to ask if your account is now canceled and ask for the amount of your final bill.
10) Add the PIN to your Republic Wireless account where prompted (this is intuitive and easy – they show you how) and you’re up and running within a few hours. Mine happened almost instantly.
I would say the entire process of setting things up, choosing a phone and plan, and calling to get my PIN, etc took roughly an hour. However, waiting for the switch took about two days, but only because I was unclear about the PIN process, and kept looking for it on my AT&T bill. My phone was ready to use the next day and my expensive AT&T phone bill was gone.
My Only Republic Wireless Regret
My only regret in not signing up for Republic Wireless was not doing it sooner. Now we save over $60 every month just by not having an unnecessarily expensive phone plan. That saves us over $720 a year. We also love our new smartphones and have fantastic coverage. Plus, we paid for my new smartphone by selling our old iPhones on eBay for a combined total of $150. Win-win! Selling off your old junk is a gold-mine for your budget and fun money.
Meanwhile, we re-cooped the cost of paying for the other $150 Moto 4 phone within 2.5 months of service by switching to Republic Wireless.
What would you do with that $60? Start a blog? Enroll in a course to help you launch a freelance career? Splurge on bi-weekly pedicures? Or just get satisfaction knowing you stuck it to the man who overcharges on smartphone plans? I think I’m part of the latter group…
(This post contains affiliate links to promote a product I completely love. Want to help contribute to Mothers Who Launch? Clear your browser cookies or use an incognito web page and use this link to sign-up for Republic Wireless. I receive a small commission for spreading the word about a product I recommend).