Owning a mobile phone in today’s day and age has become a necessity. This applies not only to adults but to an ever growing number of youngsters around the globe.
According to a report by the Yankee Group, around 50% of children under 15 in America have a cell phone, and 40% of these children spend 12-15 minutes or more talking on their cell phones on a daily basis. The average household annual bill tops $1,000 for an individual with a monthly contract and if you don’t manage your phone bills efficiently then you are guaranteed to get a nasty shock every month.
However, there are some measures you can use to keep your monthly fees down.
1. Shop Around for the Best Deal
It may seem like hard work but if you are going to sign up for a 12 or 18 month contract every minute of hard work will pay off in the long run. Spending some time comparing plans on sites such as ‘Bill Shrink’ helps you identify the major plans based on your usage. A plan can then be constructed meaning you won’t overpay for minutes or texts you won’t ever use.
2. Use Free Call Services
Software such as Skype allows users to save money by letting them call other individuals who have a Skype account. You can download the software for free onto your laptop or even your smartphone (iPhone or Blackberry) and once you register an account and add your friends you can start talking, and the great thing is there is no charge per minute! As long as you have an internet connection you can talk for as long as you want and to whomever you want (different countries) for FREE. Just remember to make a note of those time differences for international calls.
3. Sign up for Cash-back
Next time you are thinking of purchasing a cell phone think about using a cashback service. Cashback sites list cell phone providers that pay commission, either fixed or a percentage of your purchase, when shoppers click on their links. Sites like yours truly FatWallet give you cashback when you purchase products through their website. You can then put this money towards your first cell phone bill.
4. Make the most of Smartphone Applications
If you find you are always going over the monthly minutes or texting above your limit then look for other methods of communication. There are various applications that you can download on your smartphone that let you text friends or call them for FREE. Whatsapp is an iPhone app and Blackberry Ping offer free text messages over 3G and Wi-Fi between parties that both have the app downloaded. This way you can still stay in contact with close friends and family, and save money in the process. This is one great way of ensuring you never go over your monthly limit and encounter and penalty charges.
5. Use the Same Plan as Friends and Family
It is always a good idea to check what network your friends and family are on as the vast majority of cell phone providers offer special packages to users. These offers usually include free minutes after a certain time to people in the same network or 5 numbers that you can call for FREE anytime.
All of these tips will help you reduce your cell phone costs. Even if you can save a little amount per month it all adds up over the length of your contract. Happy saving!