Part of the reason is our own fault. We were out of contract with our old dumpphones for several years, but hadn't realized that there was a 15 dollar a month per line discount if you bring your own phones, which phones out of contract are. So we should have been paying 30 bucks a month less before already. So there was that savings, and the rest of the cost savings must be due to better rates now than in the past.
We bought one old used iphone with some of my saved birthday/christmas money (thanks mom & dad!). I had been saving that money for a new laptop, but mine still is doing ok, so that got moved down the priority list for the time being, as the reason we had to upgrade, or do something, now with our phones was that my husband's finally died (at 4 years it was not a surprise, and had been coming for almost a year with a slowly dying screen). We'll use the monthly savings in our new phone bill for the next few months to save up for another used iphone, and then we will both have smart phones!
Having an extra 20 or so bucks in our pocket each month, even with setting aside money for future phones, and with having iphones, is a pretty great feeling!! Of course, there are associated costs - protective case (I have a bad habit of carrying too much stuff and thus dropping semi-important things like my phone - never the baby, but often the phone!), old-school handset (for Little M to talk more easily on it to the grandparents), and now I'm realizing that although I specifically got an old iphone 4 as nothing newer would be compatible with my old mac laptop running leopard (still!), due to it being upgraded to ios 7, it actually won't sync with my itunes. Not really a problem unless I wanted to sync my icalendar or itunes, as it still will sync photos,, but I had been excited to transfer some podcasts across from my itunes. It will be simple (I think) to set them up to be downloaded directly to my phone, but a bit of an inconvenience that I wasn't expecting. Ah the joys of having old things, right?!
--the photos in this post are from the last few days with my new phone. yay for moments captured that otherwise wouldn't be, as I'd been finding that with 2 kids, I rarely had time/hands free for the real camera, and I do so love having photos!