Its that time of year when the summer heat begins to wane and kids of all ages get ready to go back to school. Whether this is your childs first or next cell phone, this guide is designed to help you choose the right model for your child whatever the age. Deciding to get your child a cell phone doesnt just stop with picking the cell phone, the plan is equally as important.
Check out the tips below to get the best cell phone and plan for your family.
1. Not ready to spend a lot of money on a new cell phone for your child? Treat yourself instead. If you think your child is ready for a cell phone, but arent quite ready to give them a brand new cell phone; if yours is in good working condition consider giving them your existing cell phone and get a new one for yourself. You can probably even get a new model at a discounted price if youre willing to extend your contract with your existing carrier.
2. Keep it in the family. In many situations, a primary reason to give a child cell phone is to stay in touch with them. Consider getting a family plan where everyone in the family shares the same plan and minutes. These plans include unlimited calling and even sometimes texting to everyone on the family plan.
3. Out-of-state kids, dont have to mean more out-of-pocket phone expenses. Depending on when you first signed up for cell phone service with your carrier it may or may not include roaming. This is a good time to review your cell phone plan to see if where your child is going to school is part of your included coverage area and vice-versa for your childs plan. If not, adjust the plan accordingly to include the appropriate coverage areas for your family so youre not hit with additional roaming fees in your monthly plan.
4. To include text messaging or not to include text messaging? Absolutely get a text messaging plan, in particular an unlimited texting messaging plan. Kids text. Its a fact thats not going to change anytime soon. To send one-off text and picture messages can add up quickly. Additionally, many cell phones have instant messenger (IM) services built-in. Each message sent over IM from a cell phone is billed as an individual message. Do you want to pay 10 cents for every LOL sent?
5. Review the parental control options offered by carriers. Although, these services often cost a few extra dollars a month they can be well worth the peace of mind they offer. Depending on the carrier they can do everything from prohibit your child from receiving/making calls (except to you or 911) or texting during school hours, alert you when your childs cell phone is out of a particular safety zone that you designate, and even provide parental controls over the kinds of sites a child can view on a cell phone.
Select the next page to see cell phone picks by age group.