How-Tuesday: How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill
Mobile devices: can't live without 'em... and would rather not live with the prices that come with them. Has your cell phone bill started taking over your life? Okay, that' s a bit dramatic. Is it at least making it difficult to afford your other, equally important, bills? Here are some ways you can cut back on the cost of your phone bill.
Adjust Your Plan to Fit Your Needs
So the provider you're with now had an awesome deal five years ago on the latest iPhone - but now you realize you're overpaying for a plan that doesn't suit you anymore. (For example: You're always texting, but never calling, and paying big bucks for calls.) Compare providers and plans with WhistleOut - a website that analyzes your phone's data usage and lets you know what plan will help save you the most money. You can also shop and compare different carriers plan and package offers on their websites or stop into their storefronts and have a conversation that'll get you on a more fitting option.
Investigate Hidden Fees + Charges
That daily horoscope text you receive every morning, or a few quick dials to 411 might be costing you. Services like these often charge sneaky fees - so take note of them and consider how important (or not) they really are. Then, unsubscribe, delete, and find free, alternative options.
Use Your Discount
Did you know? Many companies and employers offer a discount on certain cell phone providers. Ask your supervisor or HR departnment if this is an option for you. Another way of getting a discount? Ask your service provider if you can get one based on the fact that you've been a valued customer for several years during your next upgrade. (Note: Don't immediately sign up for a new plan at a different provider just because they're advertising a 'great' deal at the time. This isn't necessarily a 'discount' in the end.)
Join a Group Plan
If you're frequently in contact with your family, or close-knit housemates (pick people you trust), it might be much cheaper for you to jump onto their plan or vice versa. Plans like these typically offer free or cheap in-network calls and texts and lower group rates.
Track Your Minutes
Struggle to keep track of how much time you've spent on the phone each month? Sign up for free e-mails or text messages from overmyminutes.com - this service lets you know when you are close to reaching your limit - so you'll be aware and avoid paying extra fees and charges or being shut off for several days at the end of the month.
Talk + Text for Free
There are several apps that provide free talking and texting options. Tell your most-talked-to friends and family to get them, too. These are especially great for people you want to communicate with Internationally. Some of the more popular options are Skype Mobile and Textfree, Snapchat and WhatsApp.
Don't Call Toll-Free Numbers or 411
Despite what you may have thought all these years: Toll-free and 411 calls are not (usually) free on your mobile phone. In fact, sometimes, they can cost more than regular calls! Save toll-free calls for a landline phone and utilize the online access you're already paying for on your mobile to look up whatever information you were planning to call 411 for.
If you're really having trouble keeping track of your usage and just can't help going over the amount you've signed up for - then prepaid mobile options might be your best bet. You can set your phone budget and feel more obligated to stick to it - knowing that if you don't, you'll be cut off.
Have any helpful tips and tricks for saving money on your cell phone costs? Share them with us in the Comments section below!