I am glued to my phone. I admit I am a Facebook junkie and being that I work online, having access to a smartphone really helps me do my job. So, in the winter, when I couldn’t pay my bill due some medical issues and not being able to cover it (I’m on a no contract plan), I thought I would never survive. I thought I would really be set back with work and I thought there was no way I could get through my day. Then, after a couple weeks, I figured out I didn’t actually hate not having a service. I discovered there were some serious benefits to not having service and also how I can use my iPhone for free!
The Benefits of Not Having a Cell Service
I can leave the house without being called or texted or messaged all the time– I thought I would hate not being able to be reached, but it’s actually a relief.
I engage in conversations with my loved ones more– When I am out and about, I spend far more time talking to those with me.
I don’t have to pay a cell phone bill– Of course, this is the one of the most obvious, but it adds up!
Are you convinced yet? If you are convinced or just curious, next, I’ll tell you how I make it work for me.
How I Use my iPhone for Free
Hotspots and WiFi are EVERYWHERE- I was really amazed how easy it is to get WiFi while out and about. My husband’s work has it, just about every grocery store has it, the mall has it, many city parks have it, hotels have it and of course just about any restaurant has it. They are often strong enough signals that you can get them without even going in the establishment, too. I very rarely can’t get into an open WiFi somewhere. In fact, my internet provider has so many hotspots around town that I can usually login anywhere. I am already paying for it at home, so why pay for it on my phone, too? Of course, there is always libraries and coffee shops. Just be aware that these are often low security WiFi systems so don’t do anything like banking while on them.
You don’t need the internet or service to use GPS- I found out that GPS doesn’t necessarily need the internet to work. You just need WiFi to download the turn by turn directions and then you can head out. My favorite to use is Waze. I just put in the address I want to get to and give it a minute to download the directions. Then I hit “let’s go” and get on the road. It will give you directions just fine without it being hooked up to a data plan and surprisingly it tracks you via GPS. If I am going out of town, rather than risk it messing up, I just simply take a screenshot of the directions on Google maps (the written ones).
There are many apps that allow for a paid offline service- I can’t jog without my music and I don’t have a lot of music in my iTunes account. I instead pay for Spotify premium and Pandora One. Both have offline access versions that let you listen to your favorite playlists and stations even if you have no service.
There are even free calling and texting apps- TextFree is the app I use most often for this service and it does require you to be in a WiFi area to do it, but my husband and I (who also doesn’t have cell service!) communicate with free calls and texts with it. The only issue is there is sometimes a delay in sound in the calls so its best for very quick ones and the texting sometimes also takes more than with a regular plan.
Combine your home phone with your smart phone and there’s no need for service- I have Vonage for my home phone and with that comes an app. I get free voice to text emails with messages left for me on voicemail and the app lets me know if I miss a call and from whom. Vonage is actually a really great service and I get it for less than $20 a month. Click here to check out Vonage. There are many plans that include national and international calling as well as business solutions. Plus, if you are into freebies, until 9/30/17, they are offering a $50 reward thats good at 40 retailers including Amazon if you sign up!
I should also note that you must have an unlocked and activated sim card in your phone for this to work. So ideally, this is something you do on a plan like I had that was month to month and no-contract.
So, basically, for some very slight inconveniences, I use my iPhone in pretty much the same manner as I did when I paid for it. And since I was paying $60/mo and haven’t paid it since January, that means I have saved $360 already.