A military mom revealed that when her husband’s phone died, they had to renew their T-Mobile contract—and she contends that it’s put her family in a deeper financial hole.
The video detailing the saga comes from creator Alex (@alex.ishere1), generating more than 160,000 views in the first five days on TikTok since it was posted Thursday.
“So this is what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck,” the TikToker begins, before explaining, “So my husband’s in the military, right? We don’t make a lot of money. So we live paycheck to paycheck and I coupon like a motherf*cker to help cut down on our grocery spending because groceries are expensive as f*ck right now.”
@alex.ishere1 #momsoftiktok #parentsoftiktok #beforeal #whytho #thestruggleisreal #paychecktopaycheck #inflation #pricegouging #fyp #foryoupage #realtalk #wahtitslike ♬ original sound – alex.is.here
She goes on to reveal that they’ve been doing okay, having enough money to pay for bills and groceries. But, as she put it, “When you’re finally doing okay, something always has to happen.”
In this case, it was her husband’s phone breaking. “We were three months away from paying off both of our phones,” she explains. “And we have a really high phone bill through T-Mobile. I’m not gonna lie, it was really f*cking expensive. Even if you’re on the military magenta plan, it’s still expensive. So we were planning on paying off our phones and then just switching over to Mint Mobile.”
Mint Mobile, partly owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, touts itself as a low-cost mobile phone option on the T-Mobile network. As a number of media outlets have covered, including Ars Technica, T-Mobile acquired Mint this past March, though its approach to pricing appears consistent even with the takeover.
Alex notes, regarding the phone that was showing troublesome signs over the past week, “We were just praying and hoping that it would hold on for another three months. And no, we didn’t have insurance on the phones because we couldn’t afford the extra cost on our phone bill each month, because again we live paycheck to paycheck.”
“He can’t go without a phone because again, he’s active duty military, and he gets called in a lot and they can’t call him if his phone is broken,” she added.
That meant maxing out a credit card they were beginning to pay down to get the broken phone paid off the rest of the way with T-Mobile and to get him a new phone.
“It’s so stressful out here,” she confessed. “I don’t understand how the other 64% of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck are surviving right now, because if anything happens, you’re f*cked.”
Some commenters felt her pain.
“Yuup,” one agreed. “Single income, min wage job, and I had to cut my cable to just internet because it was $200/month and I can’t afford it. Not quite living.”
“America is a sad place to live,” another observed.
“I have never understood why we are ‘supposed to’ live paycheck to paycheck or close to it,” someone else opined. “Like we should be able to afford so much more.”
One person shared with the T-Mobile-using TikToker, “My mint mobile is 345$ a year. It’s wonderful.”
Some, however, judged the creator for the choices she made leading to her predicament.
“I see a lot of excuses from the creator,” someone sniffed. “I’m so glad I’m not silly enough to marry poor or have kids. No common sense these days.”
Someone else, suggesting work options to bring in more income, said, “Instacart, Doordash, Uber eats, Amazon flex, all are doable around your spouse’s schedule easily.”
But another person pointed out, “That requires having a reliable car. Not everyone wants to put hundreds of miles on their car a month for those jobs.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via TikTok comment and to T-Mobile via email.