This is confusing, especially for my parents.

Back in the fall, I made a post about how in the spring, my family was due for phone upgrades. The pollen has peaked and the contract is up, meaning my family and I can get new phones at any time. I’ve pretty much settled on an 8+ 256GB, while my sister and my mom really don’t care. Even my dad, whose work pays for his phone, is in no rush to get rid of his S7 Edge. For me, however, I’ve had some issues , so something new would be a pleasant delight. (If you click the link, I mention in the top comment what else happened with the phone).

During this whole time, my mom pays Sprint $150 or so a month for my data, her data, and my sister’s data. It’s an unlimited plan and I often use LTE instead of Wi-Fi for everything. My parents also paid for the phones in the first place; my mom’s phone was only $1 for a two-year contract, and my phone and my sister’s were over $100 each for a contract. Sprint was the last carrier at the time to do this; my parents bought through Best Buy because Sprint’s website no longer offered contracts. Now, even Best Buy doesn’t offer contracts, just lease deals.

And this is where the problems start.

My dad is not happy with the fact that he has to pay full retail for phones that we have to keep for two years, then give back. Instead of paying $150 for a phone, a phone is now $750, on top of data payments. After the contract is up, the phone stays with you; my HTC from a few years ago is still sitting in a drawer. There are absolutely no resources or internet postings saying whether or not a phone on a contract with unlimited data is the same price or cheaper than a phone on a lease with unlimited data. Looking at prices, a phone that costs around $20 per month for 24 months seems to be equivalent to a phone that cost $100 for a two-year contract, while phones $10 per month and less would be the free phones for a two-year contract. So, will my mom only be paying, say, $50 per month if we go to a lease deal, balancing out the monthly lease payments?

This is where the next problem arises: I told my parents I’d pay for the phone itself, since it’s so pricey. However, if data costs are cheaper on a lease plan, does this mean the phone should be cheaper, too, on my end? If the costs balance out, then it doesn’t really seem right to pay $800+ over two years for a phone I’m just going to give back and upgrade. If phone companies really are this extra now, charging $600 more per phone than they did two years ago, I’m fine paying for the phone, but if not, my mom will have to whip out a calculator to deduct the monthly payment from my bank account. As I stated, while contract time is here, I’m the only one that really wants/needs a phone; because of these lease deals, they aren’t interested in getting new phones.

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So, may y’all please tell me how much monthly costs went down when going to a lease from a contract, specifically for a Sprint unlimited plan? Thank you!