I was going through my numbers on Mint (at a record high thanks to low spending, payday, and a strong market) and realized it's been a whole year since I switched to Project FI. Because I love sharing numbers and facts, I thought my readers might be interested to know how it's been going these last 12 months.
Monthly cost Verizon: $110
Monthly cost Project FI: $43
Monthly savings: $67
Total savings so far: $737!
Wow! Over $700 saved on my phone alone this year! Crazy awesome.
But wait. Just because my bill is supposed to be $43 doesn't mean that's what my bill was each month. It fluctuated around that mark based on how much data I used. Some months I didn't go anywhere and stuck mostly to Wi-Fi. Other months I traveled overseas and played Pokemon Go.
As you can see, most months were in the $30 range. However, I did spend September and October traveling, so my bills for October and November are correspondingly higher. Did they average out to below $43!?!
The answer is YES! I did! My monthly phone cost averaged out to $38.91 for 2016. Which means, I've saved almost $800 on my phone bill this year by switching to Project FI. Pretty darn cool if you ask me. The best part is I'll continue to save $71 a month for as long as I have this plan. Hellooooo extra burrito monies.
So…… what did my phone cost me before I switched? Behold the answer:
“But Gwen” you say, “Why was your bill $93 last year? Didn't you say it was $110?”
Actually, I did. My main reason for switching from Verizon was their ridiculous added fees. I was informed they were adding $20 to my bill in extra fees because I was on the grandfathered unlimited data plan, I was costing them too much money (yeah right), and they wanted me gone. Well, it worked. I used the $110 in my calculations because that's what I would've paid and it's a bigger number so my numbers look way better.
The best part about tracking my spending for (almost) everything is getting to go back and look at all the data I've collected.
Since April 2013, I've shelled out $3500 to have the privilege of a smart phone with data. That big gap and spike in January 2015 is from when I had my plan suspended when I was in Australia, btw. I didn't want to take any chances with overage fees after getting a $500 bill for using it in Guam for two weeks. Ouchies. (That was in 2012 before I started tracking my spending). The other high spike is from Verizon charging me one last bill and my first Project FI bill in the same month.
“Numbers and stuff are neat, Gwen, but how's the reception!?!”
Nowadays, it's pretty good! When I first started the reception wasn't great. I dealt with dropped phone calls when switching towers and poor data speeds outside big cities. Not surprising considering it was a conglomeration of Sprint and T-Mobile, the two worst carriers in the US. Then, this summer, Google struck a deal with US Cellular that solved all of my issues. With 3 providers to pick from, good service wasn't a problem unless I was in the middle of a cornfield. That doesn't happen often so I don't worry about it anymore.
My Nexus 6P has held up well over the year. I've had a case on it because I drop my phone like it doesn't cost $700 to replace. One piece of metal on the side by the volume rocker buttons has popped up, but it doesn't affect anything important. I have run into the battery issue a few times which is super irritating. The phone will tell me I have 13% power and then abruptly dies and shuts off. It also randomly restarts occasionally but again, it doesn't happen all the time so I'm not making a fuss. If it gets worse, I will get a replacement from Google or just suck it up until I deem it's time for a new one. The new Pixel works on Project FI, but it also costs a fair amount of money……. I'd have to run some numbers at that point.
The best part about the service is the overseas coverage. I was able to play Pokemon Go in London without having to sacrifice my first-born child! Not to mention being able to navigate around the city, Google restaurant options, or even just share the all important status update of me standing in front of some really cool old building. Everything costs the exact same when overseas, except for phone calls. I was charged $1.20 for calling my mom calling me to give me a rundown of the cat's first week at their house. Thanks mom….
I literally (literally literally, not figuratively literally) could not imagine traveling overseas without a functional data plan. I have no idea how people traveled before smart phones. Even if this plan only saved me $5 a month, I would still find it 10x more valuable than my old Verizon plan for that reason alone. Everything else is just icing on the cake!
Also added this year is a group plan option. The first line is $20, but every line after that is just $15! Note that this doesn't include data. I think it's pretty cool though that you can see who used what data in the bill to see how much each person has to pay. That way if Timmy uses 4 gigs, he's the one that gets to pay $80 and the rest of the group pays for their own data. At that rate, I wouldn't mind adding someone to my plan.
In closing, things are going swimmingly with my Nexus 6P on Google's Project FI plan. I will stay on this plan for as long as they offer it and save $71 (ish) per month while being a satisfied customer!
Update 3/14/17: I am now a member of their affiliate program and have updated the links correspondingly. Having affiliate links in my posts help me offset the costs of running this blog, and let me provide you with awesome new content!
What plan do you use for your phone? Why do you like it?
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