Monday, March 10, 2014

Optimizing a mobile plan

tl;dr If you don't mind paying 50/month for a mobile plan, you can stop reading now.

When we were living in Europe we used to think about US as a consumer heaven, where everything is extermely cheap. While this is true for some aspects like electronics and low quality fast food, it's not the case for majority of recurring monthly expenses like internet or mobile phones. So let's start optimizing that!

Tip #1. Of course there is no one size fits all approach for mobile plans, but if you want to pay as less as possible try to rely on Wi-Fi and internet messaging/calling apps like Skype/Viber or WhatsApp. Skype, for instance, provide free calls to US numbers and offers generally better rates for international calls than any budget mobile operator. 

Tip #2. If you don't talk too much or don't use gigabytes of 3G data, I would suggest to go with one of the plans offered by Lycamobile. I'm in no way affiliated with them,  but we were quite happy with Lycamobile in Europe and I was surprised to find them in the US. The plans start from 16$ including free US calls/SMS and 50mb of prepaid traffic. Their pay-as-you-go plan can offer even better savings. I highly recommend these guys. They rely on T-Mobile network so the coverage is not as good as AT&T at times, but I constantly hear different complaints from my friends on AT&T. My observation is most of the newcomers on T-Mobile, so you should be good to go. In one of the next posts I will describe the way to minimize data usage on Android phone. 

Tip #3: Get Google Voice Number as soon as you get your first mobile number. Give this number as your contact phone and you will not have to think about porting a number if you decide to change a mobile operator in the future. You also get some nice additional benefits with Google Voice.

Stay tuned. More tips to come! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog about living in the US!

Me and my family recently moved to Silicon Valley and in this blog we'll try to post some useful tips about settling down in the USA.