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It seems that these days, everyone has a cell phone contract. It also seems that everyone complains about their contracts, and rightly so. Cell service providers are notoriously shifty, changing terms unexpectedly and raising costs without any warning. Sometimes it feels like there’s no way out of this conundrum since modern life practically requires a working cell phone.

Don’t let cell service providers convince you that you have to accept their shenanigans. There is a better way: prepaid cell phones. With a prepaid phone, you’ll be left to manage your own calling and texting, paying only for the service you actually use. No longer beholden to those suffocating projects, you’ll feel a fantastic sense of liberation.

Getting out of your cell phone contract isn’t always easy, but with determination it can be done. Here are six reasons why ditching your contract and switching to a prepaid phone is worth the trouble in the long run.

Eschew Long-Term Commitments

Cell phone contracts are often lengthy and expensive. In a world with so much economic uncertainty, committing to years of hefty payments isn’t always the best option. You might be able to afford your plan now, but there’s no way to account for your financial situation in the years to come. With a prepaid plan, you have complete control over all payments. If money gets tight and you need to slash your cell phone expenses, then you have the power to buy less minutes and cut back on usage.

Lose the Stress of Credit Checks

Cell service companies often demand a credit check before they give you a plan. This can create a stressful atmosphere, causing you to worry whether every purchase you make will hinder your ability to sign your next contract. With prepaid phones, you buy the minutes up front, meaning there’s never a need for credit checks. By hopping off the contract train once and for all, you eliminate this stressor from your life.

Freedom and Flexibility

Once you sign a cell phone contract, you’re stuck with terms you’ve agreed to. This can create all sorts of problems down the line if your circumstances change. Want to switch to a cheaper plan or change companies? Too bad, you’re tied to your original agreement. With a prepaid phone, on the other hand, you’re always free to make and changes you’d like. And if you don’t like the prepaid system, you’re free to leave it and go back to the contract system at any time.

Save Money

Loading a prepaid phone with minutes, messages, and data is often a lot cheaper than maintaining a monthly plan. This is especially true if you rarely use the internet on your cell phone. Calls and messages really aren’t that expensive, and you can save money by keeping your usage to a minimum. For people who treat their cell phone as a tool rather than a toy, the prepaid model is almost always more economical.

Join the Growing Trend

You might think that prepaid phones are a thing of the past and that everyone has a contract these days, but this is actually an erroneous assumption. In recent years, more and more people have switched to prepaid models. Around a quarter of Americans use cell phones without contracts. If you make the move to a prepaid phone, you’ll be far from the only one doing so.

Use Your Phone Less

Cell phone addiction has become a major problem in the last decade. People waste hours of precious time mindlessly playing around on their phone. When you have a prepaid phone, you will be motivated to use your limited data more wisely. This will force you to cut down on your cell phone time, and you’ll likely be much more productive as a result. Indirectly, ditching your cell phone contract could bring about a major positive change in your lifestyle.