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5 Ways to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill

Learn 5 clever ways to cut the cost of using your cell phone, without sacrificing any of the great features you’ve come to expect.

By
Susan Johnston and Laura Adams, MBA,
January 29, 2014
Episode #343

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5 Ways to Save Money On Your Cell Phone BillFor many of us, cell phone bills are our largest monthly expense after housing and transportation. Not only are we talking a lot on our cell phones, but if we have a smartphone with a data plan, we’re texting, sending photos, checking email, playing games, surfing the web, and much more.

In this episode I’ll teach you 5 clever ways to cut the cost of your cell phone, without sacrificing any of the great features you’ve come to expect.

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If you rely on your cell phone for most of your communication, one way to cut costs is to simply get rid of your landline.

I’ve gone without a traditional phone line for longer than I can remember. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, I’m one of 28% of Americans who don’t have a landline and rely exclusively on a cell phone. That stat is from 2011, so I’m sure it’s higher now.

See also: Should I Keep My Landline Phone?

 

No matter your situation, it’s smart to cut costs where you can. Here are 5 ways to save money on your cell phone bill:

Savings Tip #1: Use Free Apps

Instead of using a cellular network every time you make a call, consider using free apps. Skype, Google Voice, and Apple’s FaceTime app are internet-based, so they don’t count against your valuable cell plan minutes.

Other apps like Apple’s iMessage, HeyWire, and Text+ allow you to send or receive text messages for free. In some cases, the other person must use the app as well. However, these internet options are a great way to make sure you never exceed your monthly limit for cell minutes or texts.

Besides apps, you could use a low-cost wireless plan like TextNow that sends all calls and texts over the internet. TextNow uses your WiFi connection when it's available or Sprint's nationwide 3G and 4G network as a backup. TextNow plans start at $18.99 per month, have no contract, and you can cancel service at any time without a penalty.

Savings Tip #2: Watch Out for In-App Fees

Have you ever used free apps or games and seen ads come up for things like ringtone subscriptions or other services that cost money? Maybe you’ve even clicked on them without realizing that you’d be charged a fee.

These “freemium” apps or games may be free for a limited amount of time only. Many times you have to pay to upgrade after a while. These charges can add up quickly.

If you have children, never hand over your cell phone or any mobile device before disabling in-game purchases altogether in the device’s settings. Also, don’t reveal your passwords to services like iTunes, where your kids could buy music or movies over and over. Otherwise you could be shocked by a big bill at the end of the month!

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