Although not directly related to Living Car Free, I think this topic follows many of ideals some posters of this forum have, namely minimalism/saving.
I currently own a $500 smartphone and pay $80/month for unlimited voice, text and 4G LTE data. I pay $960 each year to use a cell phone. In five years I will have spent $4800. That is a decent amount of money that could have been used for a trip, or a new bicycle. I'm getting very tired of paying so much money for a cellphone. Although I am not pinched for cash, I feel like I want more money put into more meaningful things (such as retirement or hobbies). I don't even want to spend $40/month for a cellphone because I consider it a ripoff.
I've been researching alternatives to the standard monthly $50+ cellphone plans. I'm thinking about getting a prepaid phone for emergencies only. Something I am spending less than $100 per year on, not counting the cost of the phone. There doesn't seem to be many options available in the US. The big four (ATT/Verizon/Sprint/Tmobile) all offer some form of prepaid phone plans. Many of them are expensive ($45/month) and the minutes, or prepaid card refills, have expiration dates varying from 30-365 days. I'm also considering buying an Android tablet because there are many apps that offer phone calling. I could also setup a Skype subscription where I can make/receive calls from traditional phones. My goal is to either find a prepaid phone plan where I am spending less than $100/yr and/or finding an Android tablet that can do it just as cheap or free.
How much are you paying for your mobile phone? Are you cellphone free? What are the cheapest phones and plans available? Anyone having success using a tablet for all of their phone needs?