One monthly expense that we all have is our Cell Phone bill. On the 26th of every month I receive a text message that tells me my new e-bill is ready. My basic monthly cell phone plan is $10, but with the add-ons, taxes, and service charges my total cell phone bill is usually $35 to $40. However, this has not always been the case. I signed up with my cell phone provider in 2003, and for almost 8 years I have used my cell phone when and where I want to, regardless of the fees and service charges .
With my new money mentality to want less in 2011 I have decided to change my spending habits and make cuts to unnecessary daily, weekly, and monthly spending. My outrageous cell phone was the first monthly bill where I made cuts and really started to watch my usage.
Here are some tips to save money on your monthly cell bill
- Delete the Speed Dials. I can’t tell you how many times I have received 2-3 minute messages from people who didn’t actually call me and who aren’t actually leaving a message. At least once a week I get a message from someone’s cell phone that automatically dialed my number.
- Sign up for Online Banking. I love having online access to my cell phone account. It allows us to easily track our usage and view accumulated charges. I have also signed up for a free service with my cell phone provider that sends me a text when I am close to my monthly long distance, text messaging, or data usage limit.
- Understand the Roaming Charges. It’s summer time and that means that we will all soon be leaving for our summer vacations. I suggest that you contact your cell phone provider prior to leaving on vacation to inquire on roaming usage and fees.
Apparently we can keep our cell phone on in another country without being charged. The phone will always be roaming but we aren’t charged roaming fees until we start text messaging, talking, or web browsing. This is good news for everyone who uses their cell phone as a camera to take pictures or videos.
- Get a Fave 5 Plan. How many of us actually have more than 5 people that we regularly talk and text with? I know that I don’t. Take a look at your last cell phone bill and view the top five numbers that you talked and texted with, was it more than 5?
I think that an all inclusive Fave 5 Plan is great because it is rare that more than 5 people will account for the majority of my talk and text usage. My cell phone provider even offers a long distance Fave 5 Plan which allows me to unlimitedly call my parents who live in another city. Whoever invented the Fave 5 Plan is a total genius and deserves a raise!
- Don’t Get a Data Plan, Get Wi-Fi. Why should we pay for something that we can get for free? The answer…We shouldn’t. Many coffee shops, shopping malls, and business districts offer a free Wi-Fi service. Most offices offer telephone and internet access to their employees. If your work doesn’t offer Wi-Fi or Internet service and you really need to send a text or an email just pop into your local Starbucks.
- Don’t Sign Up for Automatic Payments. I don’t have automatic payments for any of my monthly bills. I like to know the exact total of my bill and where the charges come from before I pay it. If I don’t understand a charge, I call customer service and ask for an explanation. It is easier to dispute a charge when the company is waiting for their payment; I find it is more difficult to get a refund from a company if the bill has already paid.
Photo by Compujeramy