Are you ready to leave the family's cell phone plan? Maybe the family plan doesn't have enough data, or you want more privacy. Whatever the reason, there are several things you should do before leaving. These five steps will help you prepare to leave the family plan and gain the independence that comes with your own service.
1. Determine the cost of leaving your family cell phone plan
One of the benefits of a family (or multi-person) plan is the discounted cost of having more than one line. You might also still be making contracted payments for the device itself. Phone providers often offer steep discounts on new phones if customers agree to stay with the carrier for a certain amount of time — usually about two years. If you are still under this contract, you will need to pay an early termination fee to break it. This fee is often the remaining cost of the phone plus an additional charge from your carrier.
2. Determine the cost of an individual phone plan
Spend some time researching different carriers and what they cost. If you don't use your phone often, a pay-as-you-go plan might be the most cost-effective option. If you're constantly texting and calling people, unlimited minutes and data might be the better bet. You may also have to pay to keep your number if you switch carriers.
Most phone plans are broken down into different tiers based on the number of minutes, texts, and data you receive. Determine which tier is in your budget. If you need to purchase a new phone, an installment option may be available, but this will increase the monthly bill.
3. Think about what you want out of a mobile plan
Before you purchase a plan, think about what you want. Aside from reliable coverage, data needs are often a driving factor to switch. If you left your family plan because you needed more data, look for one that provides either unlimited data or has high enough options that you won't run up against overage fees.
4. Search for potential plan discounts
Different providers offer different discounts, which can help you save money on your monthly bill. A few possible ways to save include savings for automatic payments and employer-based discounts. If your budget is tight, a discount can mean the difference between a proper phone plan or a prepaid phone that you must refill each month.
5. Once you switch, confirm the cancellation of your line on your family plan.
Once you invest in a plan, make sure your number and the associated phone line is removed from your family plan. This usually happens automatically but double-check to make sure. If you paid your part of the phone bill on your family plan, the last thing you want is an unexpected expense because your old carrier continued to charge for a line that is no longer there.
Your own phone line can mean more data, financial freedom, and increased privacy. As you research how to get off your parent's cell phone plan, follow these steps before making the switch.