How to Avoid Wireless Billing Surprises so There is Money Left Over for your Child’s RESP
I’ve been ‘around for a while’ when it comes to mobile phones. I had the original Motorola brick. – With the snazzy leather cover. (Note: it was never clipped to my belt). And I have been (mostly) loyal to one company for 15 years. So I’m reticent to try new things and ‘switch’. But I also have a panic attack whenever my cell phone bill arrives.
There are several factors that can lead to a budgeting downfall when it comes to wireless bills. Hoping that my husband – and mother – doesn’t read this, I can outline a few of my personal exploits over the past year.
Like when traveling on the Disney Fantasy and not realizing I was paying heavy roaming fees when we sailed into the Bahamas. Oops.
Like getting a $400 bill for water damage on a phone after a mild paddleboard accident.
Like being clever and putting a US text, voice and data package on my phone that cost me $100 while in the meantime owning a US cell phone with another number, which confuses people to no end and has me double-fisting as I travel.
Why do we have mobile phones? Peace of mind. Convenience. Staying connected. Social media. Tracking our kids via GPS on the ski hill. (Maybe that’s just me). Unfortunately, this year’s ‘peace of mind’ goal turned into financial stress. And I still haven’t tucked money away into the kids’ RESPs.
September and ‘Back to School’ bring about a New Year’s-like opportunity for new beginnings, and at the top of my list is dealing with my budget: fewer shoe purchases, planning more meals and less expensive phone bills.
I’ve always had a Wind rocket stick, which at $29/month is a huge bargain. I can work on my laptop in the car while waiting for school pickups or watching the kids run around the park. I also have a Wind account for my assistant. With unlimited minutes, text and data for $40/month, it was a good choice for the business. Why I didn’t make the leap myself had to do with the amount of travel I do, flexibility and consistency. Many concerns were to do with roaming and here’s what I have since found out.
AWAY roaming coverage is $0.20/min to make a call from anywhere in Canada or the US to anywhere in Canada or the US. (i.e. No long distance charges within North America), but if you are not in a larger city and ‘Wind’ is not displayed on your phone, you will pay $0.20/min. Network coverage expands all the time and at the moment is strong in: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, the GTA, Hamilton, Ottawa, Kitchener/Waterloo and Guelph.
European voice roaming is only $0.20 per minute. Hello, Paris. When I compared data prices, they were similar to what I pay now, but with Wind I wouldn’t have to add on a $15+ travel pack and estimate how much data and texting I would use. The downside? Easy access. I could possibly still rack up a huge bill thinking it was inexpensive…moi?
I’ve been going to the US often. Here’s the deal with Wind: for a $5 per month package you pay rates of $0.10/min talk, $0.50/text and $0.50/MB for data. Texts and voice calls are cheaper than my current carrier and there are still unlimited incoming texts.
I’m starting to look at Wind kind of like the new darling of the cell phone world. With no contract, it’s a great value for the urbanites out there. So it is now time to head to the bank and top up the RESP’s (and receive the $400 per child gift from the Canadian Government) that will help to send the kids to University.
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When you join WIND Mobile you can get unlimited data, text, and local talk for only $29 a month. Plus all plans include caller ID. Visit us at WINDmobile.ca
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by WIND Mobile via Glam Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of WIND Mobile.