How did we ever live without cell phones, texting and mobile web? Back in the day, if you were late for a meeting, the other person was left waiting and wondering. On vacation, most people were incommunicado.
Even until fairly recently, most of us couldn’t look up things on the internet away from home or office. In far less than a lifetime, mobile phones have become essential. Unfortunately, that also means an essential and costly expense in your budget each month – and you may be spending more than you need to. Here are six great ways to save money on your mobile service.
1. Are you getting the most for your money?
Check out MyRatePlan. First, have your current wireless bill in front of you. Then, enter the number of texts messages you send/receive monthly, the number of minutes you need, and other features you may want such as data plans. You’ll see a chart so you can quickly compare your savings with different plans and carriers. Or try Bill Shrink.
Again, enter your info and you will get recommendations right away, along with seeing exactly how much you’ll save over your current plan.
2. Analyze this! Maybe you’d like to have someone else do a more thorough job of figuring out what kind of cell phone plan you need. For a small fee, a company called Validas will analyze your actual wireless bill and show you savings based on your usage. You may be able to switch to a cheaper plan with your current carrier, or in some cases it might pay you to switch to a different company when your contract expires.
Validas says 80 percent of wireless customers pay too much because they’re on the wrong plan. In many cases people are paying a premium for unlimited usage plans when they don’t need them. It costs $5 for a Validas report, but most people will easily save more than that each month by changing their plan. Check out MyValidas.com to have them analyze your bill.
3. Go prepaid. This used to be an option only for light users, but now, you can get prepaid plans with unlimited minutes for under $50 a month. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are two examples of carriers that specialize in prepaid phones, but you also can get prepaid phones from the major companies such as Verizon. You’ll save money because with prepaid service, you can’t go over your budget. And you really think carefully about how much you’re spending when you have to pay those bills upfront.
4. Save on texting. If you don’t want to spend extra cash on message plans, you could trying messaging from your computer. Sites such as TxtDrop. If you have an iPhone
allow you to send text messages complete free this way. The downside is, you have to be at a computer to use the service.
5. Speak up. Saving on your cell phone bill could be as easy as just calling up your provider. Ask about their current promotions. Have them analyze your usage and recommend a cheaper plan. Find out if they have loyalty programs that bonus you for being a long-term customer.
6. Get rewarded. If you’re a government employee, a student, or work for certain companies, you can get discounts of up to 20% on your monthly wireless bills. Most of the major carriers can check your eligibility by verifying your work or school email address.
Here are the links to check if you can get discounts:
T-Mobile: New customers can call (866) 464-8662 or visit a local store, and existing customers can call (877) 453-8824.
Even if you don’t qualify for those discounts, there could be other savings for you. Organizations such as AARP or AAA offer discounts and deals on mobile services, so check with the organizations you belong to.
Here are some tips I would like to add to save money on your cell phone bill.
1. Prepaid + Internet Phone Service. Going with a combination of a prepaid phone along with a free or cheap Internet phone service at home is one of the best ways to save on your cell phone bill.
2. Disable texting and other features online. Try checking out your phone carriers website to see what features you can disable.
3. Give the cheapest plan a try. Many people don’t come close to using all the minutes on their plan and could switch to a cheaper plan. Check out your plan and they minutes you currently use.
Photo Credit via Flickr