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Reduce Your Cell Phone Bill Print E-mail
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House - Utilities
Written by David Brown, Guest   
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 04:03

Getting money is like digging with a needle. Spending it is like water soaking into sand.

The concemobile_phonept of saving is integral to financial well being. Fortunately, most people are aware of the benefits of spending wisely these days. However, many people do not realize that some apparently insignificant expenses can affect their finances quite badly. Cell phone bill is one such expense which can silently grow out of control and sink your ship in an embarrassing manner. Nonetheless, you can't do away with your cell phone, can you? All you can do is to keep the bill at a manageable level. So read the following tips to reduce your cell phone bill:

Family & Friends in Network

For many people, a disproportionate percentage of their call time is linked to just a few individuals. So, if most of your friends and relatives or people who you call most are with a certain service provider then it would be smart for you to choose that provider. By doing this you can take advantage of the in-network plans of the provider. These plans are economical and would bring down the number of cross-network calls which can cost you quite a few bucks.

Prepaid Plans

If you have a tendency to overuse your cell phone then prepaid plans can be a perfect choice for you. Here you pay for a certain amount of minutes. These plans are becoming increasingly popular and almost all major cell phone companies now offer prepaid options. They force you to cut down excessive calls which benefit you at the end of the month. If it is not possible for you to reduce the number of calls then you might also consider unlimited plans. It is true that unlimited plans are expensive but it will make sure that there is no unexpected and unpleasant surprise waiting for you at the end of the month.

Say No to Add Ons

It is really tempting to upgrade your phone and furnish it with different add-ons. Though some add-ons can be quite useful, most of them are just for fun and you can very well live without them. Ask yourself “Are ringtones really that important? Is it justified to pay $2 for a 15 second song in the form of a ring tone?” The answer will probably be no. You can certainly put that money to better use. If you decide to use an add-on, say a software package, then make sure that you understand the cost involved with it. Most of them add to your bill even after the initial purchase.
A big fat charge on your cell phone bill because you went over your minutes can be a scary thing. If this is a habitual problem then you can use free tools like firefox plugins or “Overmyminutes” to track your minutes or get alerts when you are about to go over your minutes.

Use VOIP at Home

These days we have a lot of inexpensive ways of communication. For instance you can use skype while you are at your PC. Calls to other users within skype service are free. The features include video conferencing, file transfer and instant messaging. The best part is that skype comes for free. Similar options include Gtalk, yahoo messenger etc.

You can't live without cell phones but it's not easy to bear their expenses if you are not cautious enough. So keep in mind the above points to enjoy the advantages that cell phones offer without worrying about the bill.

David Brown is a content writer with Oak view law group. He writes on a variety of finance related topics with a strong focus on frugal living.

 

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Rob817 |2011-02-28 11:20:53
Hey David, I found your advice very helpful, thank you. @Alina, Thanks for sharing about Straight Talk. I myself have been looking to take the prepaid route, and have been leaning toward Straight Talk because I hear good things and $45 for an unlimited plan seems to be in my budget. I just wonder, does it work in Canada? I travel there for work quite often, and need a plan that works there as well. Thanks for any insight you can give.
Alina  - Another Good Prepaid Option |2011-01-28 13:57:21
Hey David, these are some great tips, thank you for sharing! Another excellent prepaid deal is Straight Talk. I only pay $45 a month, and get unlimited minutes, texts, data, and 411. The coverage is great too. And like you said, no negative surprises at the end of the month!
Joe |2010-06-30 12:51:37
Prepaid is the way to go. I over used my phone all the time and switched to prepaid to regulate my phone usage. I got a tracfone. Unlike NET10’s flat per-minute/per-text rates, TracFone’s per-minute rates depend on how much airtime is purchased. I purchased for $20 airtime card that gave me 60 mins of air time and 3 months of service. Plus, there was no contract and no monthly fees!
haverwench |2010-06-23 09:16:40
One thing the author doesn't explicitly mention, though he touches on it with the VOIP idea: if you use your cell phone enough to justify the cost of an unlimited plan, then maybe you don't really need a landline at home. Cancel that and save $30 or so per month, and you may come out ahead even with an expensive cell plan.

On the other hand, if you almost never use your cell phone at all--if it really is just for emergencies--then you're better off with a prepaid plan with the lowest possible minimum. Mine requires me to "top up" every 3 months no matter how many minutes I have left, so I pay about $6 a month total.
hydrostatic |2010-06-23 09:01:03
Even though it's a ripoff, I still use texting to keep in touch with friends who have older phones (read: phones without the internet / better ways to emulate texting without a paid plan.) With yesterday's public release of Google Voice (http://www.google.com/voice), smartphone users with web/app access can get a free number to use for texting. There are many Google-able ways to get this to work with your device. For example, I route my Google Voice SMS messages to my Gmail inbox, and have set up emails to be pushed to my phone - instant notification and reply-ability for new texts. Savings: $20/month.
frugal  - prepaid plans |2010-06-23 04:49:04
The best prepaid deals are on www.net10laughoff.com and the video is very funny as well as informative! Apart from Net10's 10c per minute for national calling there are all sorts of special offers as well!
Lulu  - Prepaid Indeed |2011-01-28 13:53:48
Hey Frugal- I am a Net10 user too, and agree that it's a great way to cut back your monthly cell phone bill. I don't know how much you use your phone, but I use it quite a bit, so I have Net10's prepaid unlimited plan. It's only $50 a month for unlimited everything! No way you could get deals like that with a contract.
 

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