How much does it cost for a family of four across the major cell phone plan providers? Choosing the right carrier plan is one of the most important — and daunting — decisions you’ll make as a phone owner, especially when you’re picking a shared plan for your whole family.

While every family is different, for the sake of this article’s calculations, we’ll settle on a family of four comprised on two adults and two kids. I’m also calculating the plan price alone. If you’re buying any new phones, you’ll need to factor in handset costs — these vary.

Use this carrier breakdown as a starting point and adjust to fit your family’s needs.

Major carriers

Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint: These are the country’s largest carriers. They offer a range of shared data buckets with unlimited talk and text messaging, without contractual obligations.



  • Total monthly bill (12GB): $160
  • Overage penalty: $15 per GB
  • Access fee is more expensive when phone is subsidized with a two-year contract
  • No data rollover — use it or lose it


  • Total monthly bill (15GB): $160
  • Overage penalty: $15 per GB
  • Unused data “rolls over” to the next billing cycle


  • Total monthly bill (24GB): $140
  • Data Stash program provides 10GB of extra “free” data at start
  • Unused data can be rolled over to use in next 12 months
  • Unlimited access to select music and video streaming services


  • Total monthly bill (12GB) : $140
  • No overage fees; data throttled to 2G speeds after allotment used up
  • No data rollover — use it or lose it

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Don’t overspend on your family’s phone plan. Small changes could save you big in the long run and get you on the path toward financial security for your family! #familybankgame