Is a Prepaid Cell Phone Plan Right for You?Here in the US, typical consumers are in love with their cell phones and Starbucks coffee, which means that we are willing to pay $1k a year plus for a smart phone cell service and another $5 every workday for our jolt of caffeine. In other words, for a mere $2k a year, we have become a country of Angry Bird playing caffeine junkies who can’t understand why we have gotten ourselves into such deep personal debt. This is amazing to me as other places like Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America have tried to cut their debt by buying less in general and opting to embrace prepaid cell phone plans, while only 10% of the North American population opts for prepaid plans.

I personally went to Straight Talk, a prepaid plan, that offers 1,000 minutes of talk time and 1,000 text messages for a mere $30 a month. This allowed both my wife and me to have personal phones for just $60 a month that are supported through the Verizon network and to eliminate the need for us to maintain a home phone line from AT&T.

But is a prepaid plan right for you? It all depends on what you use your cell phone for. If you need fast Internet access, email, access to Facebook and games, then a prepaid plan may not be right for you. However, Straight Talk does currently offer smart phones that use the AT&T network and in general the reviews are positive. These phones are manufactured by Nokia but do not offer touchscreen capability. The price, however, for these phones is manageable at $169 or less from Walmart, while their iPhone cousins are much more expensive. If you need more time for your account, you can opt for the unlimited plan that costs just $45 a month.

No matter which prepaid service you opt for, be sure to check and confirm that the cell phone company you choose provides satisfactory service where you live. As an example, prepaid service with AT&T is spotty where I live, but with Straight Talk we get a strong signal no matter where we are. Additionally, cell phone service, no matter who offers it in your area, may cause you frustration in the matter of dropped calls and the service provided.

Comments welcome.