The wee ones are only 8 and almost 10 right now. They don’t need a mobile phone, but it sure would be convenient sometimes. If they’re going to have access to a phone, you can bet that it will be the lowest rate plan out there and it has to be an unlimited plan, because I don’t want to have to worry about overages or paying more money for something that’s really a convenience at this point rather than a necessity. Fortunately, Walmart Family Mobile fits the bill (pun intended?) perfectly! Remember when I talked about #FamilyMobileSaves with my #cbias posts a few months ago? I’m still at it!
My parents have been threatening to get the wee ones their own phones since Mister Man was five. It’s just not something that he needs, and I thought it was silly. As the wee ones are getting older, however, I can see the benefits to adding technology to their lives. We got a gaming system, they have Kindles, and now they have access to a mobile phone – that isn’t mine! – on occasion, which gives me some peace of mind.
When Mister Man is at a playdate, I can give him the phone so that he can reach me if he needs me to pick him up. The wee ones love to go on bike rides in our neighborhood, which is fairly safe and has sidewalks they ride on. As they’re getting more independent, they’re starting to want to stay out riding longer. Knowing I can hand them a phone and check in with them periodically and that they can reach me if they need to allows me to give them the freedom they need to start gaining skills in responsible independence.
And poor Little Miss. Three times a week, she gets dragged to Mister Man’s tae kwon do lessons. I generally have her read a book, but if she’s finished all her homework and asks to play a game for a little while, I want to indulge her. I love being able to hand her a phone and let her play her favorite Club Penguin games, knowing that she’s happy and that I still have my phone if anyone calls or needs to reach me.
And with the cheap wireless plan from Walmart Family Mobile, I’m paying just $48.64 per month with taxes for unlimited talk, text, and data (2.5Gb at 3G then 2G after that, which is more than plenty for us). That, I can handle. It’s the best wireless plan for us. Fortunately, it’s easy as pie to pay the bill, too. When I have access to the phone, I can pay via the phone, accessing the account. If the wee ones have the phone, I have a choice to either pay my bill online at the Walmart Family Mobile site or by heading into a Walmart store and paying it there. I appreciate the convenience – and I love that I get a text alerting me to when a payment is due or when I’ve paid so I can remember that I actually did it!
All that said, I’d still be reluctant to give the wee ones unfettered access to a smart phone. They’re kids, and I know what’s out there. Again, this is part of why I love the unlimited plan with Walmart Family Mobile. The parental controls are great. I can easily shut down access to what I don’t want the wee ones to see. The ability to make these changes is easy to access from the online account management. There are so many different options, but I’m conservative and definitely go with the child web browser limitations that is the most restrictive to keep the wee ones innocent.
That said, Walmart has also now introduced a talk and text only plan for $29.98 versus the $39.98 plan that includes unlimited web access. The wee ones don’t need access to the Internet on a phone, and I’ve been debating moving our plan to this option. It’s a new choice, and I love that Walmart Family Mobile is listening to customers and responding to their needs. It’s another $10 savings for something that the wee ones don’t technically need at this point. So far, they’ve been responsible with the phone and Internet usage, so I’m ok with leaving it on. I appreciate having that choice though.
The wee ones are children. They haven’t even reached double digits. Giving them access to a phone is an experiment for me, and so far it’s one that’s been working well without a huge out of pocket cost. That said, if it ever does become an issue, I love that this is a no contract phone so that I can pull the plug at any time if I decide that it’s not working for them or for me anymore. So yeah.. there are a lot of reasons why this is the best wireless plan out there for us.