Like you said..every penny counts. If u r still interested, check out Metro again. Plans now include taxes. U can do the $50 plan and get all d features like email, im, etc. I have the $50 plan with the Samsung I220 or Code. I surf the web, facebook, gps, hotmail email, pocket express-which gives me d chance to stay away from the tv watching the news. It's got Windows 6.1 so I can download attachments with my email, slap on a mem card up to 16 GB and store stuff so that the mem on the phone is not full and slowing down the phone. The thing is like a laptop in d palm of ur hand. The phone is a bit pricey I will not lie, but no contract, flat monthly fee since taxes are included, do payments online so u can get away from d fee, if you go somewhere where there's no coverage remember u can still txt as part of the plan or make/receive calls @.19 per min. you have so many options. Metro has changed since it started. It is now in the New England market and it's still expanding. Check out the coverage maps and type in some zip codes since they are more exact and figure out what ur coverage is. Hope this helps...I apologize if too long.