Choosing a family cellphone plan

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Holidays, Day Care & Education, Gadgets

We're usually way behind the times in our house, sort of Little House on the Prairie, only with a microwave and high-speed internet.

We didn't get a 2nd vehicle until we had three kids and the mapping of who needed to be where and when became overwhelming. We held off on a minivan until kid #4, when we couldn't belt one more little body in the backseat. And we're the only family left on the planet without cellphones.

It really hasn't been much of a sacrifice. The money we saved not having a cellphone bill paid for one kid's braces. When I was lost or wanted the time, I asked strangers or gas station employees. It IS still possible to function in life without a cellphone, I'm living proof!

However, we're now at the point where cell phones would help like the 2nd car did. With kids in after-school activities in high school and junior high, I think I'd be a little less gray in the hair if I knew who was where. I'm thinking we need four phones: one for me and my husband and for each of the older boys.

But here's where I get confused: what should I be looking for when researching cellphone packages? One friend says no to contracts, one says make sure it has free roaming, one says unlimited text messages are crucial for kids, one says buy the maximum amount of minutes because going over is expensive.

It's enough to make me just wash out some tin cans and invest in miles of string. Here's how clueless I am, I didn't know that someone else calling MY phone would use up MY minutes. What is the deal with that?! Now I feel guilty over calls to cellphones I have made!

So I'm asking you, the experienced cell-savvy parents out there, what should I ask or look for in a cellphone plan? What did you find worthwhile and what is unnecessary?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.