In this technologically advanced world, almost everyone has a Smartphone. While Smartphones are awesome and practically a necessity, they can get expensive with the downloads and charges that come with them. When I started looking at an alternative to Sprint for my husband and me, I found a pretty good option: Prepaid.

Prepaid phones have a bad reputation, but times have changed.  My husband and I left our insanely expensive contract for them. I'm sure you're thinking, "Yeah, but I bet your phone sucks."  Here’s the truth: I have the exact same Blackberry I had at Sprint with the exact same plan. The difference is, I'm saving almost $80 a month. My husband has a Samsung Prevail through that same company and saves over $100 a month.

When I started my search for a new phone company, I found three places that caught my eye: Boost Mobile, Bark Mobile, and Straight Talk. All of these companies are pretty similar in offers.  They have no contracts, no late fees, no activation charges, and no termination fees. The only difference is price. Bark Mobile's plans start at $25 a month. Straight Talk's plans start at $30 a month. While Boost Mobile's plans start at $50 a month.

Boost Mobile is the only one that offers a shrinkage plan, though. If you're like me, you may not know what a shrinkage plan is. It is exactly what it sounds like: your bill shrinks the longer you stay with the company.  For every six months you pay your bill on time, your bill will drop $5 a month, down to $35 a month. Tell me one other company that will give you unlimited calls, data, text messaging, and nationwide calls for $35 a month!  While the other plans are cheaper initially, they will stay that same price the entire time, no shrinkage.

Another benefit to these phones is that you're not sacrificing your service coverage. For example, Boost Mobile is a branch of Sprint. So, technically I'm using Sprint’s towers to talk to people. All of the companies I mentioned are offered nationwide, and anyone can become a customer. All you have to pay for upfront is the cost of the phone and your first month's bill. However, some phones can be converted to their companies. For example, my phone was originally through Sprint, but because Boost is a branch, they gave me a code to allow my phone to transfer to Boost. I didn't have to pay for a new phone, just the first month's bill, which was only $60.

What I love most about having a prepaid phone is I am never surprised when I get my bill.  I still get insurance on my phone for $7 a month.  I can still text, download, and call whoever I want to, whenever I want to, for less money. I save tons of money every month and literally have the exact same plan and phone. If I ever decide I don't want to stay at Boost, I can literally stop paying my bill, and that's it. I never hear from them again.

While Boost was the best option for my family, there are other plans available. My husband is on the Android plan, $55 a month. My parents are on the simple plan, $50 a month. Both still shrink to $35 a month. My sister uses Straight Talk because she doesn't use her phone very often and only pays $30 a month, no shrinkage. Our neighbor only uses his phone in case of emergency and has Bark Mobile; he only pays $25 a month, no shrinkage.

This has been a guest post by August from Granite Falls, NC
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Prepay: The Smart Way to Save on Your Smartphone