14 Ways to Lower Your Cell Phone Bill
One of the best ways to save money is to cut your cell phone bill. An average family of four could see their cell phone bill run as high as $200 a month, including data and texting packages. The cost has gotten out of hand. Here are some of the tips and tricks to lowering your cell phone bill.
1. Stay under your minutes: Nothing is more angering than finding huge charges from going over your minutes. If this happens regularly, you should consider changing cell phone plans or finding ways to cut your talk time. A great tool to help monitor your usage is OverMyMinutes, a free tool that sends you a text message or email when you are about to reach or go over your limit.
2. Use a prepaid cell service: Prepaid cell phones are becoming more and more popular as prices continue to drop. As the name suggests, you pay for a certain amount of minutes with no contract to sign. Most of the major cell phone carriers now offer prepaid cell phone options. You can also find great deals on prepaid phones from TracFone Prepaid Wireless Airtime and Cricket. Cricket is especially good for those who want unlimited services for one low price. The only drawback is roaming. If you do not travel outside your calling area very much, then this is the service for you.
3. Reconsider insurance: Forking out several hundred dollars for a new phone if you break you current one is no fun, but do you really need to insure a $200 to $500 item? At a cost of around $7 per phone a month, insurance fees can quickly add up. Insurance should be for those things we can’t afford to replace such as home, auto, health, and life.
4. Employee discounts: Some companies such as AT&T Wireless offer discounts to their employees. In addition, some state and city employees also qualify for discounts. So check with your employer or your cell phone carrier to see what discounts are available to you.
5. Ringtones are another waste of money. Children especially tend to change ringtones often, at an added cost to you. Save yourself some money and use a default ring tone that came with your phone. If you’re set on having a custom ringtone, most phones have the capability of recording sound. Simply play your favorite music and record it with your phone, then save the recording as your ringtone.
6. Unlimited plans: An unlimited plan (whether for phone or texting) relieves you of the burden of worrying about your minutes, but many people don’t take full advantage of these costly programs. Check your cell phone usage to see if you can get by with a less expensive plan.
7. Texting: Today, kids have cell phones with texting, not to mention email and Facebook. The key to saving money is to either control how much they text or go with an unlimited plan. The unlimited plan will obviously cost more, but it may be a much better deal than paying high fees for going over the texting limit.
8. Avoid calling Directory Assistance. At around $2.00 per call, it can be really expensive and it’s unnecessary. Instead, try 800-FREE-411, 800-411-METRO or 800-GOOG-411, all of which give you listings for free.
9. Use Firefox plug-ins to track time: Each of the major cell phone carriers have Firefox plug-ins to help you track your minutes. It’s an easy way to keep from going over your limit.
10. Combine plans: As you add a new line the price goes down, so save a bundle by combining your cell phone plans.
11. Never cancel a cell phone contract again: When you cancel a cell phone contract, you can get hit with some outrageous fees. Fortunately, there are a couple of websites that can save you a bundle if you need out of a contract. Basically, these sites help bring together folks who want out of a contract with those looking for a cell phone contract. If you need to get out of a cell phone contract or are looking for a good deal and want to help out somebody in a bind, check out Cellswapper or Celltradeusa.
12. Shop online: Almost all cell phone carriers offer discounts when you shop for cell phones and plans online.
13. Re-negotiate: When an existing contract expires, always renegotiate for a better deal. The prices of cell phone contracts tend to go down over time for the same service. So make sure you take advantage of current deals when your contract is up.
14. Examine your cell phone bill: For just $5, you can upload your cell phone bill at Validas and find out if you could be saving money. The service lets you see how much you’ll save before you buy the full report. According to the website, the average annual savings per phone is $415.
Applying this information to your daily cell phone usage can save you a bundle. Happy comparison shopping!