During an economic downturn, we are all looking for ways to save money. Cell phones is one area of our budget that absorbs tons of money – cell phone plans can cost as much as $50-$100 per month! In fact, new data released by Harris Interactive reveals that 15% of Americans are canceling (or changing) their cell phone plan to save money – another 17% are thinking about doing the same. While we admire the boldness and determination required to make a tough decision, like canceling your cell phone (cell phones have become a staple gadget these days!), we’ve compiled some of the most effective ways to reduce your cell phone bill, so you don’t have to cancel it:
1. Get Rid of the Smartphone! The iPhone, Blackberry, Droid – these phones have completely changed the cell phone industry. They’re great phones, but not so great for your wallet. In addition to the high price to buy the phone, there’s a data plan, which is a monthly fee of usually $30-$40, which is required to activate the Internet and email service on the phone. Unless you need Internet and email on your phone for business or for some other necessity, get rid of your smartphone! Buying one of these fancy phones “because it’s cool” or to “impress your friends” is not a good enough excuse! You can buy a very reliable phone for under $50 at the major carriers.
2. Text Messages: It seems like we text more than we talk! But text messaging costs money – sometimes $0.10 per text. If you insist on text messaging, purchase a plan that includes several hundred texts per month – it should be around $5 per month. I canceled my text messaging plan months ago, and I’m still here!
3. Reduce Your Monthly Minutes: Most cell phone plans have free nights and weekends – meaning minutes are not used during this time – this is a great time to make most of your calls. Also, consider lowering the number of minutes allotted in your monthly plan – this will reduce your bill. Use Billshrink.com – after answering some questions about how much you use your cell phone, the website searches for the cheapest cell phone plan among the major carriers!
4. Call Within Networks: Most of the major cell phone plans do not utilize minutes if you make phone calls to other people who have the same provider as you. If you have Verizon Wireless and you call someone else who also has Verizon Wireless, no minutes will be used, allowing you to lower the amount of monthly minutes, which will save you money!
5. Make a Phone Call…To The Phone Company! Yeah, call up and ask for a better price or if there is any way to receive a discount. There’s lots of competition and cell phone providers don’t want to lose customers. Also, be sure to check your cell phone statement to make sure there are no errors.
For ways to save money on using your iPhone, click here! Know of any other ways to save money on cell phones? Post your comments below!