I love telling people that my wife Jules and I have never paid a cell phone bill for our kids-it brings strange looks sometimes. First, let me say, I believe that it’s okay for kids to have a phone. My boys each got one when they were 12. There are TONS of situations when a kid having a phone is a good thing- just ask your kids!
Here’s the thing-I DON’T think they need an iPhone6s with a full data plan that YOU pay for. They need to be able to contact you if something happens…like a bike flat, or when they get home from the bus…not chase Pokemon through the neighbors flowerbeds.
Our kids got dumb phones…phones to call and text with. They also got the monthly $10 bill to be on our plan…and the $2 insurance cost-because they’re boys…my boys…boys break stuff. They knew they had to save money for their phone bill each month. They learned budgeting, responsibility, the work-reward relationship and they got a phone! Now, my boys have smartphones with data plans and they pay for them themselves, even when they break them.
“But my provider doesn’t do dumb phones anymore!” Pay as you go phones that you can reload are a great option, they definitely have dumb phones. Then each month when your kids pay their bill to you, you can load the phone up with time. One last thing…They didn’t know it but for each of our kids, we’ve kept their phone bill payments and put them in their college account that they get when they graduate. Another lesson learned.