"All the other kids have one," has never been a reason for us making choices for our kids but DC is 12, starting middle school and wants some more freedom in the city like walking to a city center after school. I'm SO luewarm on the whole phone thing but I think the benefits have started to outweigh the negatives and I want to get DC a phone for her birthday next week. Plus, it is true that all the kids have one. We're ready....reluctantly. ;-)
Would you help me weigh some of our options, please?
Here is our situation/options:
* DC has an Iphone 3 that she was given for her birthday last year. It doesn't have service and she rarely uses it. Part of me would like to get her that texting app for her Iphone because she can communicate with me and her friends that way, she wouldn't need to keep track of minutes and she wants to Instagram, which I will let her do if we go this option. Plus, it's free and on a device she already has so it wouldn't feel like this big, new world.
* I also like the idea of buying DC a small amount of minutes for her Iphone but don't really understand how that would work or how much that would cost. It seems expensive unless there's something I'm missing. Is there some sort of monthly plan one can buy for an old Iphone (I think it was ATT back in the day).
* We have a family member with a Tmobile account where we can add a non-smart phone for $5/month. For that option we would need to find or buy DC a cheap phone to use with that account. For that option she would have limited numbers of texting and phone minutes. Part of me likes the idea of her having to keep track of her usage and the idea that if lost, her phone is inexpensive to replace. It is also less of a target for theft.
* We could also do some totally new plan with one of the other phone companies. There seem to be some affordable plans out there.
* Or we could consider doing a family plan ourselves and add DC. DH is on a no-contract plan with T-Mobile and I am on contract family plan with my siblings at ATT (I may be able to get out of that). Together he and I spend about $100 together for our phones?