Disclosure: I am participating in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Sprint. I received a Sprint device to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
I’m going to be honest: My family and I tend to use our phone a lot. As a person who does most of my work online, it is my link to work even when I’m not able to get to my computer, but it is also a big source of amusement for me, since I’m a gamer. The thing is, all the stuff we like to do â€”Â from watching YouTube videos to browsing Facebook, reading news or gaming â€”Â requires data. Lots of it. And when you’re sharing data with other people? It tends to get low by the end of the month.
Virgin Mobile has new plans designed to tackle exactly that. They sent my family and I three smartphones and assorted peripherals so we could test one of their new plans and tackle ways to maximize our data sharing.
Virgin Mobile offers a couple of different “Data Done Right” plans: one a single line, and options for multiple lines, and the plans are available only at Walmart. We tested the 3-phone plan that offers 10GB of data, along with unlimited calls and texts. Some more information about the plans:
Each of the phones came with the Virgin Mobile app loaded on it, which made managing three phones and our data usage really easy from any of the devices. We were able to set up how many gigs of data were allotted to each phone. Plus, if you’re sharing with kids, the app also lets you decide which phones have an “admin” role with the ability to make account changes.
The multi-line plan also allowed us to use each phone as a mobile hotspot, so we could share data with other Wifi-only devices if we wanted.
But here’s the thing: 10GB of data, shared between three people, can get used up pretty fast â€”Â especially when we’re listening to music on the road or â€”Â I admit it â€”Â playing my favorite game, Covet Fashion, which is a real data hog. In other words, we needed to get in the habit of being more careful of how much data we each used for the month.
Included in the goodies from Virgin Mobile was a chore chart to help us use divvy up our data. We started by giving my daughter 2 gigs of data for my daughter, 3 gigs for me, and 5 gigs for my husband. This may seem unbalanced, but he works away from home, so he’s more likely to use data while he’s away from our Wifi bubble. My daughter is at school for much of the day and really only uses data when we’re out and about. I work from home, so I don’t need as much either.
Still, it was cool to be able to give concrete incentives for doing good deeds at home. So when my daughter washed her clothes and made up her bed, without being asked, she had a chance to earn more data.
The great thing about this system is that it helps us to visualize just how much data we each have allotted to us, and having the apps on our phones allowed us to see if we were keeping within our allotted data amounts. The good news? None of us overused! One of us â€”Â I won’t name any names â€”Â came really close listening to streaming music, but Virgin Mobile has a solution for that too. For an extra $5/month per service, you can choose unlimited social media usage or unlimited streaming music via Pandora, Spotify and a number of other music services, so that it won’t count against your regular data usage. Considering we cut it close because of streaming music, the latter could’ve been really helpful, and really affordable. And the former would be great for posting selfies like these with my bestie on Facebook and Instagram.
Overall, we’re really impressed with the Data Done Right plans. Knowing exactly how much we’ll be spending each month for 3 phones is a huge sanity (and money) saver, especially with no contract to worry about, and as long as we’re mindful, it’s not that difficult to stay within the data limits. Besides â€”Â if my daughter (or my husband, for that matter) got out of hand, I could just pull the ultimate mom card and cut off their data. Thankfully, I never had to use that power, but it’s nice to have it in my back pocket, should the need arise.
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