Is your monthly cellphone or smartphone bill a three-digit drain on your wallet? If you’re not already aware, the true cost to use your phone might surprise you. To help lessen your mobile device’s impact on your monthly budget we’re offering up top tips and handy tools to help you save.
Break down your bill
Learning how to read your monthly mobile phone statement can provide a better understanding of your usage habits and help realize possible savings. Look for potential waste or additional access charges to see where changes could be made. After reviewing, talk to your provider about switching to a more cost effective plan. Plus, it is also a good practice to review your statement each month to avoid incorrect or potentially fraudulent charges.
Explore your options
After learning what services best suit your needs, try shopping around. There are currently four major wireless providers: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Check the various offers from each provider to find the plan that is best for you. As with any other long-term or expensive purchase, take your time to do the math because it might translate into hundreds if not thousands of dollars in savings!
Ask your current provider about any available discounts. Carriers provide corporate, government, teacher and depending on the school, college student discounts. A popular option for families is to secure better deals through shared voice and/or data plans.
Pre-paid phones from TracFone, MetroPCS, and StraightTalk offer low rates without a binding contract. Each company even provides some of the latest must-have devices for the tech savvy. This option is also helpful for budget conscious consumers because there are no surprises or extra charges at the end of the month.
Free app advantages
Eliminate text messaging charges altogether by downloading a free texting app. Some options are Text ME! for the iPhone and Go SMS Pro for Android devices. Why pay for a service when there is an app for that?
If you use your phone more for gaming and social media sharing than talking, a free chat app like Viber could serve as a substitute for your voice plan – and save by avoiding voice or talk time than you might otherwise use.
And if your smartphone is capable of running on Wi-Fi, take advantage of free hotspots at your local library, coffee shop, café or bookstore in an effort to limit your data usage.
As with most purchase decisions, an educated consumer is a smarter consumer. Begin by checking your monthly statements to learn more about your usage habits and try to eliminate unnecessary features. And don’t forget to explore other options before committing to find the service plan that is best for you.