Seven ways you can stay connected and save money.
If you can read this, chances are high that you own a cell phone. Whether we like it or not, many of us are dependent on our cell phones for our work, to communicate with family and friends, and even for getting around. However, your cell phone bill can be a quick and easy way to lose money – nearly 20 percent of Americans report their cell phone bill as a financial problem.
Most of us can’t just decide to get rid of our phones, but there are things we can do to make paying for them more manageable. We’ve collected a few simple ways to save you money and keep you connected.
1. Find the right plan for you. Everyone uses their phone differently, and there is a cell phone plan for many different types of usage. Chances are, your teenage kids text a lot more than you do, and you might spend more time making actual calls. Rather than spending the time examining and tallying your bill (unless you’re into that kind of thing), check out BillShrink.com or FixMyCellBill.com – these sites will analyze your bill for you, and suggest plan changes that could help you save big.
2. Use texting apps like Whatsapp to send text messages. There are several free options, and they allow you to send messages without dipping into your data plan. They can be especially helpful for sending texts internationally.
3. Redefine family. We’re not trying to be super progressive here, just trying to save you money. Most cell carriers have multi-user accounts available for much cheaper per person than individual plans, and they don’t require DNA or birth certificates to prove blood relations. Consider setting up a contract with roommates, friends or extended family and embrace the power of group spending.
5. Check for student discounts. If you’re a student or have a student on your plan, check with your carrier to
see if they offer education discounts.
6. Consider a prepaid plan. These plans can be cheaper, and keep you from being surprised by a large bill at the end of the month. If you’re a light to moderate phone user, you can often save money when you compare the costs to a traditional contract plan.
7. You’re not married to your cell company. When nearing the end of your contract, call your provider to see if they have any discounts or special upgrades. Let them know you are considering switching providers – you’d be surprised how far they might go to keep their customers.