Considering how frequently the vast majority of us use our cell phones and all that we can actually do with them, the price we pay for them is actually pretty insignificant. However, it’s still expensive. For a while I was paying over $400 per month for a plan with four lines. It’s a much more reasonable $200 per month now, and we even have an improved plan. However, there are some people still paying entirely too much for their cell phones, and it’s because they make it a habit to spend foolishly on their plans. You see, cell phone plans are designed to work very specifically, and some people are just not aware of how specific they are.
Let me ask you this; how often do you look at the bill? I don’t; I’m not afraid to admit it. I have it emailed to me each month and promptly ignore it except to write down the amount that will be electronically debited from my account on the bill’s due date. I’m not one for checking details, and that is why I was paying so much for so little for entirely too long. Take a few moments to track down your previous few months’ cell phone bills and go through them carefully. This is going to give you a good idea of what you are spending, where you are spending it and how you can lower your bill to work more effectively for you and your budget.
Choose the best carrier
Some people consider small carriers that charge a very small monthly fee for a cell phone to be the most cost-effective, but it’s often bigger more expensive carriers that are the best for your buck. For example, according to Consumerreports.org, Verizon is the best cell service provider in terms of reliability, service and all the things that people need the most. I can agree. When we go a few different places with people in our family, they have no service with their carriers and we have great service. It doesn’t make sense to pay less for less when you could pay a bit more and get a lot more.
Avoid the data usage killers
Some people can get away with smaller plans with less data if they simply stop with the things that use the most data. For example, streaming videos and listening to music that’s not downloaded to your iTunes account can use fare more of your data than you ever thought possible. It’s just a bit of knowledge that will prove useful for you when you are looking to save a few bucks on your mobile service.
Watch out for the small fees
There are so many small fees associated with our cell phone plans that we don’t even notice. For example, it seems that there are fees for detailed billing with some companies ($2 per month with AT&T), fees for roadside assistance (who needs to pay $3 per month for something like that when you already have it free through things like your OnStar account or whatever vehicle assistance program you use, with your AAA account or even with a number of credit cards?), and a number of other fees that are useless. Even many companies will ask you to reconsider your desire to have a warranty on a phone through your plan when the phone comes with one all on its own. Consider checking the fees and ditching the ones you do not need.
Consider prepaid plans
They’re not always the best option for everyone, but they do occasionally work. Some of these plans are amazing for those that require very little in terms of what you need and what you want from a plan. Before you decide that this is not the right course of action for you, go ahead and check out what is offered so that you can make this decision with the most education possible. For many it’s proven to be a very effective and profitable cell phone plan option, which is what counts the most. Don’t discount it until you see what the plans have to offer you in terms of service and connectivity.
Ditch your contract
Do you realize that you can save a lot of money by leaving behind the days of a contract? Many companies now offer something called an installment plan, such as the Verizon Edge, which allows you to pay a small monthly fee on things such as your exceptionally expensive new cell phone plan. None of us loves to drop $700 on a new iPhone, but we do it all the time. And it’s far less expensive to pay the small monthly fee than it is to sign a new contract for many years so that you can have this particular phone for $200. That’s still a lot of money, and you have to stick with the plan for a long time. With an installment program, you also get to do things such as upgrade phones more often.
Find a better plan
The biggest issue many cell phone users have is their data. In the past, plans were more effective if they had more or unlimited minutes, but that’s just not the case these days. In fact, it took me a long time to realize that an $80 per month plan with unlimited minutes and a lot of data was far more appropriate than my expensive plan with a lot of minutes and very little data. As it happens, with four people on my contract, we use less than 100 minutes per month. It’s all about the text and the data for us, and that’s what we realized a bit too late. Now we save significantly on our plan because it’s data heavy and low on the minutes. Text is another big one. We send, between the four of us, something like 20,000 texts per month since it’s everyone’s preferred method of contact. We focused on what we needed and are saving a bundle.
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