This week, the editors of Christian Money.com take on the task of helping you to lower your cell phone bill.
1. Track Your Minutes
Do you know how many minutes you have used of your monthly allowance? Most cell phone companies allow you to go online and review your usage. Knowing how many minutes you have used and have left in your plan will help you in budgeting for the remainder of the month. An even easier way to track your minutes is www.OverMyMinutes.com This is a free service that will send you a text message when you are about to go over your minutes.
2. Manage Your Texting
In addition to managing your minutes, you should closely monitor your text messaging as well. Most companies will charge you about .10 cents per text message, but if you find you are texting frequently you should consider a package. Your cell phone provider will likely have multiple text messaging packages, along with the option of unlimited text messaging for a flat monthly fee.
3. Drop The Insurance
Cell phone insurance costing $4 to $5 per month can add up quickly. Based on the current price of cell phones, you would be able to buy a new phone every 12 to 18 months. Why buy the insurance? The other problem is that it seems that cell phone technology is improving at such a fast rate, that your older phone will have virtually no value anyway in a year to 18 months.
4. Use Free Directory Assistance
At $1.50 per call, directory assistance can really add up on your cell phone bill. There are now two major free directory assistance services. Some are better than others and their helpfulness may also depend on where you live. Free directory services may also require that you listen to an ad before you are connected. These services will also try and steer you toward their sponsored listings. So, if you are looking for Joe’s Pizza, you may end up also getting listings for Joe’s Pizza competitors as well.
Another option is to call home and have a family member look up a number for you on the Internet. Calling your spouse at home and having them do a Google search for a phone number may be worth the $1.50 savings to you. Just 10 calls to directory assistance per month adds up to $15.00 or $180 per year!
5. Check Your Bill
Take the time to sit down and review your bill each month. You are not just looking for mistakes, but you really want to get a detailed understanding of your usage as well. There may be mistakes, but you may also find that you are making more calls at peak times than you thought, or that a family member on your account is going over their minutes, etc… A great service provided by Validas allows cell phone users to upload their bill and a receive an analysis that will uncover errors and also provides suggestions on ways to lower your bill.
6. Drop Roadside Protection
Why pay up to $5 per month for roadside protection when you can get if for less or even free? You can join a roadside protection plan for less than what your cell phone company will charge you. Additionally, some credit cards are beginning to offer this service for free to card holders. You may also be able to obtain this coverage through your auto insurance provider at a much lower price.
7. Consider a Pre-Paid Cell Phone
One of the great benefits of pre-paid phones is that you can not go over your minutes. You can also be free of those pesky 18 month contracts. Once a very expensive proposition, pre-paid cell phones provide very competitive pay as you go alternatives to traditional cell phones. Here is a great article to read on pre-paid cell phones Why I Love My Pre-Paid Cell Phone
Agree or disagree, have something to add? Click on comments below.
Helping you make the most of God’s money!