Cell phones are not cheap. They are expensive to buy and maintain and the cost for extra perks can end up costing a mint. Cellular providers add extra charges to your bill via hotspots, mobile television, road assistance and using your GPS. These can cost you up to an extra $10 a month.
There are things you can do to keep your cell phone bill in check. First, always make sure you are checking your bill monthly. Make sure you know what your charges are. Ask questions and don’t hesitate to negotiate a lower rate. Don’t hesitate to consider taking your business to another carrier and tell your carrier you may do so. Often, your current company will offer a better deal, newer phone or some other perk rather than let you leave.
Use Wifi whenever you can. This cuts down on data usage, especially if you are streaming music or video to your smartphone. Just be careful about sending any sensitive information over public Wifi hotspots.
Watch your wireless data usage. True unlimited data is rare these days. Carriers realize they can make more by charging less for fixed packages. They know some people will go over their allotment and have to purchase additional data at a higher rate each month.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who never meet their data limits. Keep tabs on what you are paying and for what. It may make more sense to drop your plan to a lower level and pay less.
If you aren’t a techie obsessed with having the latest and greatest, you can save yourself a lot of money. Buy a used phone from a friend, on social media or from an online company like Swappa, eBay or Craigslist. You can also pick up an off-contract phone from a local retailer.
Before you shell out money for a second-hand phone make sure it is carrier unlocked. If it is still active on the original user’s account, is reported stolen or money is owed to the original account, you can have a problem. If possible, it’s best to inspect it in person before you pay for it.
You also need to be aware of your wireless provider’s policies. If they don’t provide an off-contract discount, there is no reason to buy an off-contract phone.
Avoid early upgrade plans. These may sound good upfront. Who doesn’t want a new phone every six months or yearly, but when you actually do the math they can cost you a lot more in the long run.
Look at alternative carriers or prepaid phones. While there are four major phone providers in the U.S., regional carriers like U.S. Cellular and C Spire are good places to search for deals if they provide service in your area. Prepaid carriers like Virgin Mobile, MetroPCS and Aio Wireless all piggyback on the major providers networks (generally Sprint). You can often find a good deal with them but be sure to read the fine print.
Consider using a family plan if you are paying for multiple lines. These allow you to add lines for as low as $9.99 each. The more lines you add, the more you save. Some of these are unlimited packages while others rely on a shared pool of minutes or data which can be an issue if you have a chatty family.
Use the same carrier as friends and family. Most carriers offer free in-network calling and texting to other subscribers on their network. If the majority of the people you talk with are on a certain carrier you can save money by joining them and opting for a smaller bundle of voice minutes or text messages.
Try out some of the free texting apps available. WhatsApp, Viber, GroupMe and others have become increasingly popular over the years. Similar to the BlackBerry Messenger, these services use data/Wifi to avoid traditional text messaging delivery methods. This means messages sent using these apps count against your data plan instead of a text messaging plan (or not at all if you are using Wi-Fi). If your friends and family are using the same apps you can save between $5 and $30 a month by getting rid of your text messaging plan.
Comcast and AT&T both offer discounted rates for bundles that include Internet, voice and television. It never hurts to ask for a discount if you are using their other services or if you can bundle them all into one.
And remember if you crack a screen or are having problems with your iPhone, bring it into WynWay. We replace screens and batteries, clean up liquid damage and have accessories like screen protectors, cases and cables.
At WynWay, we provide technology services to clients across the country while being locally owned and operated in Greencastle, Indiana. Feel free to stop into our office between 2:30 and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Our services include, but are not limited to:
- Mac repair
- PC repair
- Smart phone repair
- Printer setup
- Virus removal
- Personal Training
- Personal Monthly Tech Support
- Business Monthly Tech Support
Are we missing something that you need? Contact us and we can work together to find a solution.