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Complaints about the hotspot turning itself back on have been around for a long time. I don't know that there is a solution to the problem.
Anyhow, it's correct that hotspot usage does not count against your data consumption. The bandwidth is limited with the hotspot, but you could utilize it to reduce your data consumption if you are okay with a slower connection.
You have to log into the hotspot with a user/pass, so some devices won't be able to use the connection.