Is $5 FreedomPop Plan worth it?

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is 5 dollar freedompop phone plan worth it?

Are you tired of paying $70+ per month for unlimited mobile plans? I was using T-Mobile for quiet a while. It costs me $70 per month for unlimited calling, text and data. My first thought when enrolling for t-mobile unlimited plan was it would make me worry free about monthly bills and I could focus on other important things in life.

Here at MakeLivingGood, I talk about various ways to improve efficiency of every dollar we spend before other life hacks. Everything you will read here, comes from my personal experience whether good or bad. I still feel there are lots of ways in which I can save more and speed up to financial freedom sooner.

I need my financial freedom so I can work on things which are more important to me and not others. So, this blog is a place where I pen down my learnings and notes for future references. As you are here to know whether a $5 freedomPop plan is up to it’s worth or not, I can see you also care about money.

So, lets get started.

Why I needed to change phone plan?

I had been very cautious about how much I pay for phone. For me, the challenge was to find the lowest cost phone plan which allows me to make national and international calls besides some data bits.

Couple of years ago data was the most expensive item on mobile phone plans. I was always careful to switch to wifi whenever possible to keep my data charges low.

Then I convinced my employer to give a work mobile phone so I could be reachable even when not at office and at weekends. This trick worked and my manager handed over a blackberry.

I immediately cancelled my personal phone service and started saving an extra $65 a month.

This continued for 7 years before my employer decided to not offer any free phones to their employees. So, everyone lost the free phones in the office. I managed to convince my employer again to keep my phone for an extra two months so I could update all my personal contacts and services. It worked.

There’s end to everything one day

That’s when the search for new phone plans started again. I found T-mobile’s $70 per month unlimited calling, text and data plan including international roaming. It was perfect for me except the price was a bit steep.

So, I tried to find if there’s any other way in which my employer could cover the cost. Apparently, I found a clause in company’s policy, according to which they would reimburse any expenses incurred by employees for official purposes needed to complete the work.

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I consulted my HR and found if I use the phone for official meetings then they would cover the cost as long as it’s under $75. This was perfect for me since I was already holding meetings between my mobile (while commuting) or desk phone when in office. I just started using mobile phone for all the meetings going forward to keep things simple.

Now, they were reimbursing me every month up to $75 which covered $70 bill from T-mobile. After paying full phone bills first 2 months (time took to get it approved from HR), I was finally at relief.

So, if you are employed then, I recommend you to ask your employer cover the phone bills. Most of the companies do it without any problems.

How much will you save?

Although it seems to be a small cost per month but over the years, it adds up and thats when you see the impact.

For instance, if I had to pay $70 in my phone bills for 8 years instead of my employer, the cost ($70 x 12 x 8 = $6,720) would be painful.

Considering the opportunity cost lost by not investing at amount at return yielding investments would be even higher. Let’s do some calculations:

savings in phone plans using freedompop

As this simple calculation showed, you could save about $9,710 just by following my suggestion above. This is the saving I achieved over the years minus $140 paid in first two months to t-mobile. Pretty sweet na!!!

Read more: How to get rich doing nothing

So Where FreedomPop Fits?

Apparently, I had to move on and HR reimbursement policy wasn’t available anymore.

I explored all ways to avoid phone plan cost but there were not good options until I found FreedomPop. Before I tell you what freedomPop is and my experience with it, let me tell you how hard was it for me to find it in stores.

After browsing couple of hours, I finally found FreedomPop. It’s lowest cost was very enticing to me. My face expressions were as if a child being offered a chocolate cake on plate.

Google showed me FreedomPop 12 month plan (the one I liked) was available in nearby Bestbuy store but it wasn’t there after 2 hours when I reached there. Then I went to another bestbuy store and it wasn’t there as well. The third store I went to, it was available and only 2 of them on the shelf. I guess BestBuy was running out of FreedomPop like a hot cake on sale.

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So, if you are interested, my advice for you is to call the store beforehand and ask them to keep it aside for you especially if they have limited quantities.

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So what exactly is FreedomPop?

What is FreedomPop

FreedomPop is a wireless internet and mobile service provider in USA. They offer their services through leveraging other’s networks. Currently it uses Spring and AT&T as it’s network providers.

FreedomPop uses VoIP technology to serve their clients across US. Besides FreedomPop internet and mobile services, it also offers phones preloaded with their SIM cards as a ready to go product for it’s customers.

Although there are FreedomPop phones offered too, but I used my own iPhone and it worked without any issues with new SIM.

I bought below SIM which includes 12 months of unlimited talk, text, and 1GB of LTE data for less than $5 per month.

As of now it’s available for even less at $39.99 for 12 months, which means you will pay $3.33 per month (less than what I paid). As I mentioned earlier, these things go away pretty fast. Only 1 is left at my nearby store currently.

freedompop best value for money phone plans
Freedom Pop 12 month prepaid plan for less than $5 a month

How it works?

Once you get the SIM card from store, just replace your existing SIM card with it. Next download FreedomPop’s app from app store and follow the instructions.

After you install the app, create a FreedomPop login and activate your account.

It will also let you choose the phone number for your area within the app. So, you can select a phone number that you like. I found a very easy to remember number for myself.

Lastly just finish setting up your profile from the app, and thats it. The phone service will be available immediately to you.

To make a call, you will need to use FreedomPop app which tracks the data usage.

Make phone calls from FreedomPop app

Although it offers unlimited calls and text, data is limited to $1GB per month which is more than sufficient unless you plan to download large files or watch youtube videos on it.

I use free WiFi for any data intensive work. Another piece of advice is to change default settings of installed apps to use WiFi instead of cellular data to avoid automatic download of any content or app updates. This is important so don’t ignore this.

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You can track data usage within the app too as shown below:

Track data usage under FreedomPop App

As seen, I still have close to 500MB of data and 18 days before my data usage is reset to 1Gb again at the end of the month.

Why You shouldn’t buy FreedomPop

So far I discussed benefits of using FreedomPop with main goal of saving money. I had been using FreedomPop for almost a year now and it’s going fine. No major problems as such.

From time to time, I do face connectivity issues especially when underground or in a train. But it’s random and I guess other networks are same.

Another issue is that sometimes, the calls drop in the middle as these plans run over VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol). So anytime there’s low internet bandwidth or surge, your calls may drop in middle.

To compensate for this, I use whatsapp or facetime whenever I can or at home using WiFi. This saves my data usage on FreedomPop’s plan too.

I didn’t find any issues in texting yet. There are some premium plans available too but that will increase the overall cost and I don’t see much benefit as long as I am spending most of my time under WiFi ranges.

Within the FreedomPop app, there’s also an option to make premium call. I noticed that it drains the data allowance soon when this option is chosen in app settings. If you want to enjoy unlimited calls and text, then use ‘through app’ setting.

I hope you will benefit from this review on FreedomPop and my personal take on it. I haven’t found any major issues with it yet which couldn’t be fixed by alternatives. As far as issues above are concerned, I believe they are minor (at least in my case). If you need something more reliable then better not to use FreedomPop or opt for premium plan.

You might be interested in reading more about how I saved cash on every dollar spent.

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Is $5 FreedomPop Plan Worth it

is 5 dollar freedompop phone plan worth it?

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