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I have some tragic, tragic news to share with you today. Girl Ninja is cheating on me. With two guys AND two girls! I would be wallowing in self pity if it weren’t for one minor detail….I condoned this infidelity. Does this make me some kind of pimp?

For the last nine months of our marriage Girl Ninja has been on a Verizon cell phone plan with her family, while I’ve been on an AT&T iPhone plan with my family. If you didn’t already know, family plans are limited to a maximum of five lines. Since Girl Ninja’s family rolls six deep and there are five in the ninja clan, we couldn’t simply hop on to one another’s plan.

Looking back to our 2011 Ninja Budget, you will see I made the assumption Girl Ninja and I would spend $180 per month on our cell phone bill, knowing that ultimately Girl Ninja’s circa 1982 Motorola brick phone would eventually crap out and be replaced with something more expensive.

Sure, $180/month doesn’t sound too bad, but when you run the numbers out over the typical two year contract requirement, we are looking at a $4,320 commitment. Do you know how many California Burritos I could buy with that money?!

Two of my close friends work for Wells Fargo. This qualifies them for some pretty decent discounts on Verizon cell phone plans. Last week, they pulled the trigger and started an iPhone family plan together (with their wives too) which left them with one open slot. They asked if Girl Ninja or I would be interested in joining their foursome.

At first the thought of mixing three families on one cell phone plan seemed like a big headache, but after many conversations decided their 26% monthly discount was too darn good to pass up (I could have only gotten us a 15% discount) so Girl Ninja joined their plan. All in, we’ll be paying $60/month for her line. My parents said I could stay on their plan as long as I pay $50/month.

Needless to say, our cell phone situation is complicated. We are not only on different cell phone plans, but on completely different carriers. I’m still mooching off my parents. And we now have to remember to write two checks each month instead of one. Complicated? Yes. But well worth a $70 monthly (or $1,680 total) savings. Girl Ninja gets an iPhone and I get to save money. Win, win? I think so!

Do any of you have any funky cell phone situations going on? Are Girl Ninja and I the only married people lame enough to not be on a plan together? What are some crazy things you’ve done just to save a buck?



  1. We are with AT&T and have my husband and I, then my Mother & Step dad. We all have iPhones so the monthly bill is approximately $190-200 a month. The confusing part is my Mom & Step dad just got back together after a separation so we made them gives us $120 upfront, in case they separate again. This way we don’t have to pay the entire early termination fee to cancel his line. Nice thing was, that by adding them both, they now cover 1/2 the phone bill (prior, my mom only paid the $10 for her line and $25 for data plan). This actually ended up saving us $40-50 a month.

  2. Hubby and I got rid of our old Virgin pay-as-you-go phones (about $60/month) and upgraded to 2 BlackBerrys for a $100/month plan that includes unlimited texting, unlimited weekly daytime/nightime minutes, and 100 free weekend minutes (we text more than talk). Best part is Hubby negotated getting a $200 credit from our carrier when we signed up with them (Rogers), so our first bill won’t even come until late June… sweeeet!!

  3. I recently got off a family plan with my parents and am floating my own bill ($85 a month) and my wife is still on her mom’s family plan (we pay her mom $40 a month for her line). It’s a swell idea and the savings is OK, but if you’re not listed as the account holder, it sure is a pain to administer (make changes or get pertinent information) the account. We have another year left on the family plan, but after that we are gonna make our own family together…. strictly in a cell-phone sense. 😉

  4. I remember the days of giving my parents 30 bucks a month for my cell phone bill. Now I pay about $80 a month, even with a nice corporate discount. Stupid phones.

  5. We round here love the staying on the family plan. While we could switch to a plan together, what fun would that be? Besides both of our respective families foot the bill, so that is a big expense out the window 🙂

  6. We stayed on family plans for about a year until my husband got kicked off of his. Now we pay just over $100/month for two smartphones (android) on ATT&T with a 25% discount or so on the main line.

  7. Hubby and I have Droids (I think the LG Optimus V) on Virgin Mobile. I get 1200 minutes, unlimited text and data for only $40/month. Hubby doesn’t talk as much 😉 and gets 300 minutes with unlimited text and data for $25/month. We love the phones – because they’re droids they have tons more apps than the last phones we had, and because it’s Virgin Mobile, we don’t have a contract. We had to pay for the phones, but we shopped around and found them for under $200. The unlimited data is sweet.

  8. I was on a cell phone plan with my sister for a few years. It mostly worked ok, with the exception of me getting burned a few times by unexpected hiked rates when I traveled. Then I started dating my now husband, who is a stand-up comedian. Since he’s on the road half the time and we were on different carriers, my bill shot out of control! Once we got married, we finally got on the SAME plan, with unlimited minutes. Our plan is $200 a month total, but we have unlimited everything, internet and no crazy rates for both of us ping-ponging all over the country (him for work, me for play). I’d rather pay that amount then have to be like “Oh hi honey…we can only talk for 3 minutes right now. Starting the timer.”

  9. Mike and I have iPhones and we pay $120 each month for data plans and 1400 minutes of talktime. And we both have unlimited data at $30 a month. I don’t understand why you would pay $180 a month for cellphones with a corporate discount. I think for the $110 you pay for both your lines you could easily set up your own family plan!

  10. My brother, mom and I are still on my dad’s plan. He lives outside the US and doesn’t even use the company we are on. It’s a funny story to explain every time we go in to upgrade or get a new phone.

  11. My boyfriend is still on his mom’s family plan, and I’m probably going to get on a family plan with my brother. The boyf doesn’t pay his mom for his portion (she absolutely REFUSES to accept money for it, it’s the last tie she has to paying for stuff!), so he’s not exactly convinced he should join a plan with me to start paying!! haha

  12. My wife & I are on a Verizon family plan, thankfully our 3 kids are too young for cell phones. Is it just me, or is the cost of communication freak’n nuts? We pay $130 per month! Why do we all agree to this madness. There must be a better way.

  13. The cheapest iPhone plan you can get with your discount runs $64/mo with taxes and everything. That includes 200 texts…I have a post on my site about it.

    My wife and I spend about $105 with everything for our two phones on ATT (mine is an iPhone and hers is a Samsung something-a-rather).

  14. I managed to wrangle my entire family to join my mobile network provider so that I can call them for ‘free’. Best thing is that I got a $50 credit each month for keeping them on this network.. ;p Since the plans were very competitive, so they made a good deal out of this arrangement as well…

  15. One thing most people overlook is their credit. Especially during these difficult times remember that the better your credit the less you pay for things like insurance. Also, having poor credit can keep you from getting hired. So spend some time working on your credit and it’ll pay off in the long run.

  16. I wish they had California Burritos in Texas 🙁

    Santana’s or Taco Fiesta?

    Oh, just me & my wife on our plan. Maybe we should jump on one of our parents’ plans. Hmm…

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