If you're like most people, you have a cell phone. If you don't have one, and never intend to have one, you can stop reading right now.
Ok, glad you decided to keep reading. If you're like most New Yorkers, you likely have Verizon as your cellular carrier; or you have an iPhone via AT&T and are pissed that you are locked into a contract with them because you wish you had a Verizon iPhone now. If you're in the minority, you have Sprint, TMobile or Nextel.
An increasing number of people are switching to "prepaid carriers" such as Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, MetroPCS, Cricket and a few other companies that are emerging into the market place. Some people have heard of them and are skeptical about changing to one of those carriers due to the confusion about what they are, whether the network is as good and whether it's worth switching.
I'm not going to actually be able to give a clear definitive answer as to whether it's worth switching to one of those carriers, for each person's individual situation is different, but one thing is for sure: with their competitve rates and service being transmitted over the big name carriers, it's worth giving some of these newer brands a serious look and consideration. Sure, you have to usually purchase the phones outright from the carriers, but in effect, the cost is more than mitigated through lower rates over time. I did the math, and found that it was definitely worth getting a phone through one of those newer carriers over the "legacy" carriers.
I have always found it interesting how people are willing to pay for phone insurance. I'm not a math genius, but if you're paying $7 /month for insurance, and have a $50+ deductable, over a two year contract, you'd pay $7*24 months = $168+$50 = $218 to replace your phone via insurance. Meanwhile the same phone likely can be had used/refurbished via ebay for less. Aside for piece of mind, something to think about before paying for insurance on a phone - it very well may not be worth having insurance on your cell phone.
Are you in school? Do you use your phone for work purposes sometimes - even to call to say you're running late in getting to work? Perhaps you've overlooked deducting the cost of using your phone from your taxes? Maybe your accountant didn't advise you to consider reviewing your usage and determine whether some of the associated cell phone costs should be tax deductable. With the ever increasing cost of cell phone services and devices, perhaps it's time to check with your accountant whether any or all of the costs you incur are tax deductable? Just another way to help keep more of your pay check.