Don’t Like Your Cell Bill, Then Buy Stock

Perhaps the issue is Canadians are too polite? Or more likely we have a market so dominated by a handful of companies that the telecoms can and do charge what they want for your cell phone.  A fairly good analysis of the issue is available in this story.  Yet the author missed one entirely major point in the story in my mind. If you can’t beat them, just buy them instead.

At least that is part of my own strategy when it comes to dealing with high telecom bills.  Rather than complain, we took a two fold approach.  First up was buying all you actually use.  For example, my wife almost exclusively texts with her phone (rarely a call and no data as she usually uses her tablet at home instead).  So we got her a prepaid phone and signed up for a basic plan with Rogers.  So for $5/month she gets enough texts to be happy and has a bit of cash on the account if you wants to make a call.  It works for her at the moment.  As our needs change we can look for something else.

I’m not saying we are perfect here, I still pay too much in my mind for cable and internet, but overall we have made some progress over the years getting a handle on what we actually use and then buying as close to that as we can.  The trick is to come back to the issue every once in a while and see if any changes could help you lower your bills.  I’m currently keeping an eye on the ‘skinny’ cable packages and playing around to see if we could use one of those to help lower our bills a bit.  The bane of my existence right now is getting CFL games on some kind of steaming package, then I could get rid of our cable bill entirely, but alas that doesn’t exist yet. Sigh.

The second part of our plan was to buys some shares in those previously mentioned telecom companies and get a nice stream of dividend income form everyone else paying too much for their cell phones.  After all a few hundred shares at a yield of 4 to 5% (which is roughly where we bought in with Rogers and BCE) and you suddenly have some income to help pay those cell phone bills with money for the very company that is sending you the bill.  I sort of enjoy the irony that Rogers pays us money to help pay our bills.

In the end, I’m happy with our current setup.  It’s not perfect, but I don’t feel so bad about paying my bills when they keep sending dividends to our trading accounts.  So how do you cope with your cell, cable or internet bill?  Any other ideas on how to save money?

8 thoughts on “Don’t Like Your Cell Bill, Then Buy Stock”

  1. Download the android app mobdro direct from their website & get an android TV box. CTV, tsn 1-5. They are all on their.
    Problem solved

  2. I’ve heard a few people suggest buying stocks in companies to whom we we are paying big bills, but I figure if there are enough people complaining about the high costs we will eventually see increased competition and a lowering of prices, especially in technology-based companies. This may not bode well for the stock values in the longer term.

  3. @jim stokes
    probability of lower prices is close to zero imo – but even if that happens why not enjoy the profits in the meantime – you can always sell the stock if you see profits softening.
    BCE for one has always been ragged on for high costs but even with government mandates of increased competition (access to network) its sems to doing just fine.

  4. When you get rid of cable I suggest getting Over the Air (OTA) TV. In Regina there’s Global, CTV, and CBC which gives a nice bit of local news. Total cost is almost nothing; for myself I still had the antenna from the 80’s in my attic so my cost was $0 (modern TV’s come equipped with the digital tuner). The streams come in at a bit higher than HD quality.

    As for Cell bill you can use wifi hotspots to get around the costs. There’s several free chat apps that circumvent the text rules, instead of texting use a chat app on your home wifi. For phone calls use Facetime or Skype, or an app of your choice. If you do that with all your commonly called numbers you could easily halve the amount of texts/calls made and downgrade a plan.

  5. 1. Netflix / online TV watching only, no actual TV or cable

    2. 1 cellphone, no data plan, only 50 minutes shared between 2 adults.

    🙂

    The stock buying is a good idea if the yield is good. People can’t live without TV.

  6. I regularly review our telephone plan (Rogers) to cut-out (or reduce) parts of our plan that we are not using (or are not using often). A few times, I have had an on-line chat with a representative for our telephone provider to discuss how to customize our plan to reflect our usage and,on two occasions, we have been able to reduce the cost of our monthly phone bill. If there are any readers out there who have not contacted their phone company to ensure that they are only paying for what they need — I highly recommend doing this.

  7. There is other strategies available, with there own limitations. It is possible to own a prepaid no contract full time free calls free SMS anywhere anytime unlimited in Canada, USA and Mexico for 14$ taxes included and 1GB of data (facebook, whastapp and twitter unlimited). I used that plan for a year now. It allows me to switch from Bell Telus and Rogers networks for the best network available where I am. No gamicks… I buy it directly from a major telecom with a canadian credit card… What is the trick? Just buy a SIM card and the plan outside of Canada! 🙂

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