Saving money has become more important than ever, due to rising costs of fuel, groceries, and just about everything. Cell phones are no different, and in fact, cell phone bills are surprisingly expensive some months. Not to fret – there are several things you can do to save money on your cell phone bill.
To save money on your cell phone bill, you must first understand what you are paying for and whether it is vital to maintaining your cell phone service. First, examine your bill in detail, and get a representative from the cellular company to explain your bill and its charges to you if you do not understand. It gets easier to save money on your cell phone bill once you understand the charges you’re incurring each month.
Next, decide if you need to keep all the special features such as text messaging, picture messaging, and so forth. Are you already at the lowest allotment of minutes per month, or are you constantly going over? Keep these things in mind as you plot and plan on how to lower your cell phone bill.
Here are some targeted tips for saving money on your cellular phone bill:
1. Monitor your cell phone usage. Those minutes add up. Leave briefer messages when leaving a voicemail for someone. Urge him or her to call you back at their convenience and offer the rest of the details of your message at that point in time. To be on the safe side, your voicemail messages should be on the shorter side of one minute. Not one ten, not one twenty-three, but one minute even or better yet, even less. Those voicemail minutes tally quickly, and once you surpass your monthly allotment, the wireless company will slam you with some painful overage charges.
Consider this: if you normally pay an average of $50 per month without any overage charges, for a year of cellular service you are shelling out $600. Add in 45 cents or so for every minute you use outside of your calling plan and you could be in some serious trouble. Just 10 minutes over is around an extra five dollars once you figure in the tax rate. Be smart about your calls and limit the time you spend on the phone.
2. If you have a hard time saying goodbye, lie. Now don’t take this the wrong way… if your cousin calls you and really needs to talk, by all means give him as much time as you both can afford. If you really need to get off the phone, but for some unknown reason are unable to alert your telephone companion to that fact without feeling guilty over it, make a point to go feed or walk your dog, check your laundry or start cooking dinner. Any sane person will understand when you say, “Wow, I haven’t eaten all day. I had better go find a snack before I waste away.” Trust me, we can all relate.
3. Do not use the cell phone because you are bored. This especially includes driving. Many people do it to make the most efficient use of their time, but levels of concentration are sure to be partially diminished when one is fiddling with the radio or gabbing away on a cell phone. I have driven behind various men and women, wondering why, for Pete’s sake, are they driving so slowly, erratically and all over the road, or stopping for no apparent reason. As my car gets closer to theirs, I then see them waving their hands about the car while yapping away on the phone. It’s kind of like, hello lady or dude, your friend, your sister, your hairdresser – whoever – cannot see you to understand your body language and wild gestures, so save it for another time and get your darn hands back on the wheel!
For safety reasons, one should not be using the phone while driving anyway, save emergencies. In some states and townships, there are laws against it. If you are just lazing about the house and feel the need to do something, don’t pick up the cell phone unless you have free minutes during the particular time of day or night it happens to be. Watch a movie, read a book, clip coupons or relax in a hot bath, but don’t rake in any more charges than you have coming as it is.
4. If you are not expecting any urgent calls, check your voicemail during off-peak hours. Many cellular companies charge customers airtime usage for checking their voicemail messages during the designated “peak” hours of the day. If you have free nights and weekends, try to get your messages when it won’t cost you that dime.
5. Limit your calling. If you know you have a tendency to run up your bill with overage charges during peak calling times, make a point to call those friends and family members during your off-peak hours, especially on the weekend. If you both have cell phones, it should help thicken both your wallets!
6. Downsize your cellular plan. Do you really need to check your email and instant message your friends on your cell phone, or can that wait until you get back to your dorm, apartment or home office? Just think – half a decade ago, you couldn’t do all that on a phone to begin with. Anyone who had a cell phone back in the day when they first became popular had one of those dinosaur models that weighed as much as a cheese steak and probably reminded you of Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell.
Eliminating a little bit of luxury will go a long way when you bear in mind that overall costs on cellular services are elevated due to the “Total Taxes, Government Surcharges and Fees” that they don’t excitedly bring your attention to during the shopping and buying phases.
With some discipline and conscious decisions, you can easily cut your cell phone bill down to the bare bones. Save money on your monthly cell phone bill with these six easy tips. Chances are you can find a ton of better ways to spend that money!