I finally made the plunge and got iphones for myself and DH! The kids have them and say they wouldn't have anything else. I have gotten by for the past several years with a cheapo "un-smart" phone and a pay as you go plan. It has literally only cost me less than $100 a year for a card to fill it up with minutes. Until last year DH had an old no frills phone that he had from when he was in business, but I was still was paying $50 a month for pretty much nothing for it - limited calls and texts and no data.
I got him a smart phone on my carrier last year, saving about $12 a month over the plan he had, plus he now had data and unlimited texting. I had hoped the $50 phone would suffice for his low cell phone needs. But the phone was a piece of junk. So, a few months later I bought him a "better" cell phone through same carrier. Phone was a bit better but service, as far as accessing our home camera security system, while away from home, was still pretty bad. Slow to load, or wouldn't load at all. While DD, sitting across from us at the restaurant, could access it no problem from her iphone.
So, with the new iphone 6 coming out and the iphone 5's being pretty cheap now, I decided to just do it! We added ourselves to DD's plan and turned it into a family plan, which will now save her about $5 a month. The phones were basically free. I paid $99 up front for each of them (with a 2 year contract) but for switching over our phone numbers from another carrier we are getting a $150 bill credit for each phone, so that will also cover the phone cost and the activation fees and sales tax.
I knew I could do the extra $80 a month, I just haven't wanted to. But, I'm also tired of trying to go somewhere with DH and him getting frustrated because he can't check in on our house and feel safer about leaving. Plus, now that I'll be making an extra $250 a month on my side job, it's really no problem to cover the extra.
The day after Black Friday DD and I went into the cell phone store and I did it. I bought two iphone 5s's, got our numbers switched over and came home and told DH here's an early Christmas present. I have had my ipad mini for almost a year and am addicted to that thing. This phone is just like a "mini ipad mini" LOL. And I must admit......I did like pulling up to the drive-up window of our favorite little burger stand on my way home from work yesterday and look at facebook while I was sitting there waiting for my order :-) My old pay as you go plan didn't have data.