Parenting Blog

Growing Older With Fewer Monthly Bills

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OWTK is a brand ambassador for TracFone’s #TracFoneFamily campaign. All opinions expressed below are honest and unbiased, as always.

These kinds of conversations simply don’t happen. Frankly, there have been disturbingly few conversations between my brother and I over the past several years, but the ones we have had were miles removed from this subject.

I cannot recall now, some 7 months later, if the topic of our parents’ financial well-being happened on the way west, toward Cleveland, and before or after our Trivia Crack binge, or before a marathon of stand-up sets on Sirius XM’s comedy channels as we headed back from Syracuse.

48 hours earlier, his favorite college basketball team (Notre Dame) and mine (Michigan State) punched their tickets to Elite 8 matchups to be played in cities a reasonable drive from our homes in SE Pennsylvania and south Jersey, and from each other. During a night out to celebrate his 50th birthday belatedly for reasons I won’t get into here, I convinced him to hit the road with me to see both games, and hopefully, both our schools cut down nets on their way to the Final Four.

It was every bit as morbid a discussion as you might imagine, but when your mom and dad are in their mid-to-late 70s, these are the kinds of talks sons and daughters need to have together, whether those siblings have remained the bestest of drinking buds, congenially see each other only on holidays, at weddings and funerals, send only the stray infrequent text across the bow or are as distant as the moon. As is often the case, necessity trumps discomfort. As my brother and I drove around in a rented car, we couldn’t help but wonder, how are our parents doing financially since mom stopped working 7 years ago and dad a few years after that? There are constant trips to a myriad of doctors; surely those come with a certain weight of medical bills for our parents to contend with, quietly, so as not to burden their sons. It was weird that this topic arose, I guess, but one can only eat so much beef jerky and play only so many rounds of smartphone app trivia whilst spending 15+ hours in a car together over a 2 day span. Weird stuff comes up in those conditions.

My brother and I know very well that, historically, our parents have barely needed to carry with them their cellphones. This is because those cellphones were never, ever, ever, ever, ever turned on. Ever. This, as we pointed out repeatedly to them, defeats the very purpose of having a cellphone, especially while gallivanting around with our children and driving into and out of the city. Not being available when we might need to provide or receive an update was always a bit too 1970s for my brother and I. Fortunately, they dropped one of their pair of perpetually powered down flip phones, but still are paying (probably) far too much for the other one that remains tethered to their wireless carrier’s plan — a plan that (probably) makes no sense for them and how they don’t use their cellphone.

TracFone for Older People to Cut their Monthly Bills

This is one of the key reasons I said yes to working with TracFone earlier this year. I wanted to put a functional, modern phone in my mom’s hand, one that doesn’t come with a monthly expense but one that would stay on because she’d be doing other things with it; listening to music, making restaurant reservations on OpenTable, and responding to texts from her youngest granddaughter. Happily, her TracFone Samsung Android™ smartphone is about to take that old, cannot-even-send-a-text cellphone and its bloated bill away, as their wireless contract finally unwinds later this year. And TracFone can do the same for other older folks in a similar position as my parents, those who find themselves trying to downsize the amount of stuff and recurring bills in the face of income loss and/or dwindling savings. I mean, why pay high monthly sums for something you barely use and that can do so little? No one should be suffering those kinds of monthly expenses, let alone those on fixed incomes.

I was just chatting with my mom yesterday as her original 90 days of service are nearly up and she wanted to know how to re-up, because she likes being in touch with her grandkids and the rest of the world in this ‘new’ way! Easy peasy, mom. Either head to TracFone’s website, buy a new 90 days Triple Everything TracFone card at Kmart, Target or wherever you and dad shop, or do it straight from your phone (and yes, I am always available to help with the first and last of those options, of course).

With Unlimited Carryover®, the minutes, texts and data she and my dad didn’t use over the past three months (which is most of ‘em, because they generally only use the phone in their home on their own wireless network) will carryover as long as their service is active and in use within a six month period. So they can just buy the $19.99 card, have another 90 days of service and retain (while adding some minutes, texts and data to their tally as well) their previous minutes. Simple. Brilliant. And with no recurring expense in their monthly budget.


My parents are growing older with fewer monthly bills thanks to TracFone (and their doting youngest son). If your parents are paying too much each month for ancient flip phones, help your mom and dad make the switch to a rad no contract Android™ TracFone today. You don’t even need to drive to Cleveland or Syracuse with a sibling to do it — just head to TracFone to learn more.

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