What do to when you “can’t afford” a cell phone

What to do when you can’t afford a cell phone

Any time I hear of someone not being able to afford basic items – food, clothing, and yes, cell phones- I will automatically do everthing in my power to show how these items can be purchased for next to nothing.

Are cell phones really a necessity? I would say so because they provide a certain level of safety wherever you go. You don’t need a ton of talk time, but you should have this on hand for emergencies.

Here’s the cheapest way (that I’m aware of) to buy a cell phone:

First of all, if you qualify for free government cell phone programs, this is your best option.

For everyone else: This is the best kept cellphone secret:


·         Many drugstores, like CVS for example sell pre-paid cell phones for only $20. They are not fancy but they can make calls and allow you to text.

·         You can also find cheap (older) phones on Ebay and amazon)

·         Note: Make sure phones are unlocked/not tied to a specific company


T-Mobile – most flexible option I’ve seen – Least amount you can pay: $9.99 phone + $3/month


10 cents per minute means only $6 for 1 hour of talk time or $12 for 2, etc. The best part is, you only pay for what you use – just keep track of your minutes in order to stay within your price point. If you’re keeping calls brief, only using your phone for emergencies, check-ins and calls pertaining to “should I pick this up at the supermarket” – this is a good option for you.

·         Bestbuy.com and Best Buy stores have pre-paid phones as low as $9.99 (when on sale) for T-Mobile phones

·         Some T-Mobile Stores may still carry the $9.99-$19.99 pre-paid phones


Virgin Mobile – PayLo Least amount you can pay: $7.49 phone + $20/month

payLo by Virgin Mobile Logo

As low as $20/month for 400 minutes (.15 cents per text)


·         VirginMobile (PayLo) site- As low as $11.99 for a phone


·         VirginMobile(PayLo)via Best Buy as low as $7.49