Cell phones can come in handy, but can also be costly. Don’t fret. Like other utilities, cell phone bills can be shrunken down with a few tweaks. Below I share 11 tips to lower your cell phone bill.
Track your talk time – If you tend to go over your minutes, it’s time to set up alerts. You can check your minutes for free on most cell phones. You can also use OverMyMinutes.com, a free service that will send you an email or text message to let you know when you’re about to run out of minutes. All you have to do is sign up.
Avoid the extras – Stop purchasing ringtones and backgrounds. These are just a waste of money especially when your cell phone already comes with these. Paying a buck for these may sound cheap, but this expense can quickly add up.
Go prepaid – A prepaid cell phone is a good option for someone who occasionally uses a cell phone. Shop around to find the best deal.
Evaluate your plan – Billshrink.com is a free online analyzer that helps you reduce the cost of household bills. Input basic information about your cell phone plan and it will suggest a cheaper plan. I haven’t used this site, but know friends who have and have found cheaper cell phone plans.
Use the phone book – Try to avoid calling 411. Many carriers charge $1.25 or more. Instead, try alternatives like using the phone book or calling 1-800-FREE411. Make sure to double check your bill when it arrives, you don’t want to get charged for calling information.
Double check your invoice – Pay close attention to your monthly bill as these can be ridden with errors. Make sure you understand everything you are being charged for. I recently fought a $2 charge in our bill for data charges from a cell phone that does not have a data plan and can’t send or receive photos.
Avoid roaming charges – Double check your service plan and familiarize your self with your local area. Roaming charges can quickly add up! Many cell phones allow you to turn roaming off so you’re not able to make or receive calls when you’re out of your area.
Drop the insurance – Unless you have a brand new phone that cost you several hundred dollars, then drop your cell phone insurance. At $3-5 per month, it can cost you $36-$60 per year. When I first bought a cell phone, I paid for insurance only to find out later on that it didn’t cover the damages my phone had suffered. Instead of paying, I could have saved the money to replace the phone.
Avoid peak hours – One way I keep my cell phone bill down is by using my cell phone during the weekend and nights to catch up with friends and family. My peak hours are reserved for work calls. Depending on what you use your cell phone for, you can do the same.
Get your texting under control – If you send and receive a lot of texts, you may want to consider switching to an unlimited texting plan. You can also use free alternatives to text.
Ask for a discount – Many companies offer students and seniors discounts. Note that the plan has to be in your name to receive the discount. I tried getting a student discount a while back but couldn’t because my phone is apart of a family plan.
Data plans – I have an unlimited data plan, but those are no longer around as many companies have dropped them. Make sure you absolutely need this type of plan before forking over your hard earned cash. If you need the plan for work, check to see if your company will pay for it. If that’s not a possibility, cut down on the video streaming, app downloading, and web surfing while on broadband.
How do you save money on your cell phone bill?