Post # 1
Fiance and I have been on our own family plan with AT&T for nearly 5 years. We pay a lot, roughly $175 p/month, but that’s because we both have iPhones so the data kills us. Fiance and Future Brother-In-Law were talking about cell phone plans and they decided that if we all went on one plan, we could save some money (roughly $60 p/month for each couple). Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a great savings but I’m not thrilled that we’ll be sharing everything with them. We’ll be going onto their plan so we’ll just set up an automatic transfer every month into their bank account. The payment isn’t what I’m concerned about, it’s the possibility of going over on minutes or data and having to explain to them what happened. I’m an adult, I shouldn’t have to ask permission to add new features to my line or explain why I was charged an extra $10 one month for going over on something. I’m also not thrilled that they’ll be able to see all of my activity. It’s not that I’m hiding anything, I just don’t love the fact that someone besides myself or Fiance will get to see all of the phone calls I’ve made (FI has confirmed that they can’t see the texts – that would have been a total deal breaker for me).
Has anyone else gone on a family plan with other people outside of your immediate household? Did it work out or were the issues?
Post # 3
I have never thought about this, but it’s a really interesting idea! And if you have a good relationship with them both, I don’t see why it would be an issue at all. Why would they care what you’re spending or how much data you use? Are you equally splitting it 4 ways? Because if you’re not and you’re paying for exactly how much you and your Fiance spend, it shouldn’t matter.
Post # 4
I understand how you feel. I’m not close enough to my family members so do this though. This would also mean that in whoever’s name the account is in, you’ll have to have their info (name, address, their permission) to change anything or upgrade your phone or have help with something. I would say “no thanks.”
Post # 5
I’m a pre-historic phone owner – could you tell me what it means for data usage? You get charged every time you use the internet? I thought they just charged you a certain amount a month for 4G/internet?
Post # 6
We share a plan with my mom and stepdad. But it is in my name. We pay about 200 a month for 5 phones. 3 with data plans…not even smartphone plans..and unlimited texting. If your issue is them being able to see what you are doing then maybe you should put it in your name instead. We also have ATT and you cannot read the texts without court order. I have a 13 year old whose best friend is a drug dealer. I already looked into that one. 🙂 We have 1400 minutse and have rarely gone over, but that is because mom and stepdad rarely if ever use their minutes. You might want to up your plan even higher. See what they use on a 6 month basis vs what you use for 6 months and that will give you a better average.
Post # 7
I used to be on a plan with non family and I hated it, I couldnt get unlimited messages and other features I wanted, the moment I was able to start my own plan with my husband I was soooo happy. But I think it all depends on how close you are to the people you are sharing the plan with. I mostly use texts and data so I’m never too worried about minutes running out
Post # 8
We’re pretty close and I know they would never like up and cancel without discussing it with us but I guess I’m just having a hard time with change (I hate change!). I’m used to being in control of these things and responsible for my own bills so piggybacking on someone else’s will be new. I love the fact that we’ll be saving $60 per month (that’s $720 per year!) but I dunno, I can’t help but feel a little anxious over the whole thing.
@StormyRose: FI did a whole comparison (with pie charts and all, lol) for the last 12 months+. Between all of us we don’t even come close to hitting 550 minutes per month (we all text more than we talk) so I think we’re going to stick with that so that we get the most savings. Future Brother-In-Law & Future Sister-In-Law also have like 4000 rollover minutes so we’d be good for a while anyway. What does suck is that we’ll be losing our almost 6000 rollover minutes when we switch over to their plan. That’s a major bummer.
@Eva Peron: We pay $30 per month for each iPhones data plan. That gives us however many bytes per month (I don’t know how many it is – that’s FI’s area). We’ve yet to go over that amount but we have come close.
@pinky44: We’ll be paying for ours and they’ll be paying for theirs. Future Sister-In-Law doesn’t have a data plan so they will be paying less than us.
Post # 9
I will give you a SIMPLE solution to this impending exasperation….. DO NOT go on their plan! Keep your bills TOTALLY separate from them. If you want to save money, do it on your own terms on your own plan. Stop using that much data!
That be all. Thank you.
Post # 10
My mom and dad are on a family plan with 2 of my aunts and they have not had any issues. It started a few years ago with just one aunt and the other jumped on last year when she got sick of her high solo payment. They constantly roll over minutes. Also, AT&T lets zou add things to one plan so if you don’t have unlimited TXTs then you can add a texting plan for example to onl your phone. The issue is in upgrading the phones but the person whose name is on the plan can just order the new phones online or over the phone and distribute them. I’m sure they won’t care enough to read the line by line bill to determine what numbers you call the most. If you have a good relationship with them, you should be fine.
Post # 11
We have a family plan. We had my parents on it at one time and now we have my adult stepdaughter on it. It works ok for us because it is OUR plan. The plan is in my name so I can go online and view all the usage or make any changes.
I don’t know that I’d be as comfortable with it if I were on someone else’s plan. As someone has already pointed out, they can’t read your texts, but they can see what numbers you call and on what dates and times you call them. I don’t call anyone that I wouldn’t want anyone to know about, but that would still creep me out a bit. I’d also miss not being able to call in to make changes to the account because it’s not in my name.
Is there any way they can go on your account? If not, can you all agree to all share the password so that you all have online access to view the account? The one good thing about it not being in your name is that if it gets paid late (or not at all), it’s not going to hurt your credit. You also don’t have that awkward possibility of having them not be able to pay their share one month and you getting stuck with the bill.
Still, I’d have to save a ton of money to do this. I like that my husband and I are an autonomous family. I know it’s logical to share the plan, but I’d have all the same reservations you’re having.
Post # 12
Why don’t they go on your plan? Then you have all the power to change your features.
I do this now with me, Darling Husband, my mom and dad and my neice.
The only thing is that each month I have to sit down and figure out how much we owe. Since it changes if, my dad or mom downloads something or goes on the internet since they pay per use. Me, the Darling Husband and my neice all have iphone so charges are pretty much the same. We have unlimited texting which is great.
It still is a pain but I have a handy dandy excel spreadsheet where I input the total of the bill, any individual charges for each phone and it calculates the rest. That does make it easier to calculate totals at the end of the month.
Post # 13
I’v never done it. I understand what you’re saying and I wouldn’t do it. Even if it saves money it isn’t worth the discomfort. IMO.
Post # 14
I wouldn’t do it either. It makes me cringe just thinking about giving anyone any sort of control over my bills.
Post # 15
If you have 6000 extra minutes and they have 4000 extra minutes, then I don’t see why they decided that you’ll join them instead of vice versa in the first place…
In any event, I just joined my parents lines. I’ve had it separate for years, went on for a year or two with an ex & his sister (awkward to get out when the relationship was going downhill) and decided I’d never do that again. I don’t care about my parents seeing the numbers, they’ve got better things to do than pour over it. I know they’ll check over the bills to see if we went over and that’s it. If I go over, no explanations are needed, just extra payment. (Why do you feel you need to explain if you go over?)
Post # 16
I’m on the fence with stuff like this. I wouldn’t want to be obligated to family (especially my FI’s family, haha, crazy town), but it’s nice to help out in one big communal ‘everyone together now!’ type of deal. Is the money you are saving worth it, or is it more to help out the family?