Cell phones can be very expensive these days. I remember the day I got my first cell phone, it was one of those free flip phone deals with no texting, or data plan. Now a days it’s hard to find your basic phone for free, in fact when I recently switched just a few weeks ago I couldn’t even find a basic free phone anymore simple because everything is merging towards the smart phones. So in this article I’m going show you 10 ways on how to save money on your cell phone bills.
1. Get A Basic Phone
Just like I mentioned in the beginning of this article, basic cell phones are getting harder to find, but they are still out there. In fact a lot of times you may have to go to the providers website to find these phones because most stores don’t have them. The reason for this is because most stores are not running promotions on the basic phones and it may cost you to by them whereas in years past they were free.
2. Group With Someone Else’s Plan
Another thing I’ve seen people do is get a family plan with others to help split the cost. For example, a few close family members of mine got plan with their parents. By doing this they were able to split the bill in half and the cost for them to have to basic cells was only $35 a month.
3. Join A Company Plan
Recently, I was able to add my phone to the company plan at my place of work. Now I know this isn’t possible for everyone but if your job is willing to pick up the tab for your cell phone go for it. However, their is a down side to this option. Some companies will only allow you to get a certain brand of cell phone. For example, the company that my brother works for only allows them to have a Blackberry, otherwise the company won’t pick up the tab.
4. Go With A Low Minute Plan
Next, go with a low minute plan if possible. Today you get free nights and weekends, mobile to mobile, and now you can even call up to 10 of your closest friends and not use any of your minutes. This ask the question, why have a big minute plan. When I add them up their are about 4 or 5 regular people that I call and if I call at the right times I won’t use any minutes. In fact, between my wife and I, we don’t even use 300 minutes in a month so it makes sense to cut the minutes if possible.
5. Switch To A Track Phone
If you don’t like the idea of being under a contract and want to save some real money get a track phone. These phones can be very inexpensive way to go. For example, my mother carries one just for emergencies and it only cost here a total of $120 a year. In fact if you like a phone with all the features they also have smart phones that can do unlimited talk, text, web for $45 a month. That’s cheap compared to the contract phones however the downside is that you will have to pay full price for the phone.
6. Cut Off The Insurance
Some people will disagree with me when I say this but cell phone insurance is a waste of money. Cell phone insurance will typically only pay you a certain dollar amount if you make a claim. Instead what I do is keep my old phone for situations like this. For example, a few years back my wife ran my phone through the washer and ruined it. To fix the situation I simply got my old phone out of storage and inserted the chip from the broken phone to my old one and presto everything was back to normal.
7. Cut Texting And Data
The next way to save money on your cell phone bill is to cut out the texting and data plans. Now depending on your profession you may need these things but if you’re someone who has them just for the shear joy of having them you may be able to dump them and save a ton. Typical data plans as of this article run around $30 for 2 gigs of data. By cutting this and going with a basic phone you could save yourself $360 a year.
8. Negotiate Junk Fees
One thing cell phone companies have been terrible at is tacking on the junk fees. In fact, cell phone providers such as Verizon, and AT&T have been known to make you pay extra for services that are normally free such as 911 assistance. To remove these fees contact your local cell provider and tell them you don’t want to pay for these fees as they are not required. Now this may take some effort to see it through but it can be done.
9. Tax Deductions
If you own a business, whether it be a small web business or a corporation, you may be able to tax deduct a portion or even all of cell bill. While working in financial services I would randomly go through my cell bill and determine the average percentage of minutes I would use for my business in a given month and that portion would be deducted through my taxes.
10. Get Rid Of Your Cell Phone
Finally, if you want to save the most money on your cell phone bill get rid of it altogether. That’s right you heard me, get rid of it. When I think back to the reason I first bought my cell phone it was because I was going to insurance school at the time and wanted it just case my car broke down. Now a days I find it great to have a business owner, however I could live with out it just as easily and if I had to I would. Could you get rid of your cell phone if you had to?
So now that you’ve heard my tips is their any thoughts, questions, or comments you would like to add? Do you have another tip to share with everyone on how to save money on your cell phone bill? Share your comments below
This article was recently featured in The Carnival of Personal Finance by Young Adult Finances.