When it comes to deciding how you’ll stay in touch with kids once school starts, there’s no doubt that prepaid is the best way to go. That’s because you’ll get peace of mind and flexibility, without any costly service contracts and monthly fees.
Today, more parents than ever before are giving their kids cell phones. In fact, 88% of kids ages 13 to 17 now have or have access to cell phones. And, kids are getting phones at a younger age: around 60% of parents give kids their first cell phone at age 10, and some get them as early as 6 years old.
Kids need phones for different reasons at different ages, and how much they use their phone also varies by age. Safety and emergency calls often are cited as the main reasons for giving cell phones to younger kids who are beginning to spend time away from their parents or a responsible adult.
Once they reach middle school, tweens use their cell phones to socialize and coordinate rides for school and other activities. In high school, teens rely on their cell phones even more to connect with their social, academic, sports/clubs and work activities. And when kids go away for college, their calling habits change significantly.
Over the years, the cost of keeping in touch with your kids from ages 10 through college graduation really adds up. In the long run, prepaid phones and calling cards make the most sense for budget-conscious families.
Here are 5 key reasons why:
- Flexibility to adapt to maturing children or budget changes
- No multi-year agreements
- No penalties for exceeding allotted minutes
- Sets limits on phone time
- Teaches children to learn how to budget their time