Part of reducing debt starts with reducing monthly bills we may be paying too much for. According to a JD Power report, the average monthly cell phone bill is $73. Cell phone bills can get pretty expensive so hopefully you can use some of the tips below to help you reduce your bill.
Cell phone companies recently have been offering to pay to have customers switch to their services. They will pay to get you out of your current contract and some will even give you money for your old phones. I know Verizon and AT&T are both doing this. Sprint has a promotion going right now that their prices are 50% less than other carriers. These promotions are all subject to change so talk with your local store if you are interested in any of these promotions.
I want to bring up one company in particular and give my review. Greg and I switched to Straight Talk a couple years ago and used them for about 2 years. We were able to save some money.
Straight talk is a phone plan you can get through Walmart believe it or not. One potentially big downside with them is you have to purchase the phones upfront and they do not have the most up to date phones.
If you are not worried about that, then you basically pay for the phone outright and the monthly payment is $45 for unlimited talk, text and data. You an pay monthly or save a little more by paying the entire year. One major downside in my opinion, when you have questions, you have to call their customer service and there is no physical location in which to handle problems
We used Straight Talk for almost 2 years and I got fed up with not having service representatives to talk to and the data plan at the time was slow. When reviewing the website, it appears they may have updated the data service. I do not think this is a bad plan to use if you are looking for a way to save money on your phone, it is just not my preference.
If you are looking for other great ways to save on your monthly expenses, check out this free download of 100 ways to save on monthly expenses.
There are also just some general tips and tricks I want to mention to save money on your cell phone bill:
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Greg is a master negotiator and I swear he will negotiate the cost of a gallon of milk and probably get it for free. If he can find a way to get a better deal or cheaper price, he will do it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and see if there is any way you can get a better deal.
- Take time to look at all carriers who have good service in your area. As far as Straight Talk goes, they actually use Verizon and AT&T cell phone towers. You just need to ask what the coverage will be in your area when exploring this option. When we used them, we really did not have any problems with cell phone reception because we had Verizon cell towers.
- Explore the shared plans. We currently share a plan with 4 other people, so there are 6 of us altogether on the plan. Therefore, we share the cost of the data package which can definitely save you some green. We have the highest data package that Verizon offers so Greg and I pay about $105 per month for 2 iPhone 6s phones.We are diligent to not go over the amount of data that we are allowed in the package. My sister-in-law (thank you Tina) keeps us on our toes with this and lets us know if we are getting close to going over. I personally feel this is a good option if you have family and friends you trust. Plus you will save some $$$.Greg and I would have paid about $30-40 more per month having a plan on our own. The data packages can be so expensive. Just research your carrier and figure out if it would be cheaper to go in with others on a cell phone plan. Now, we do not have kids old enough to have phones so this will change in the future, but for the time being it works for us.
- Take advantage of promotions. Get the most you can out of the deals. When we were looking to switch our cell phone carrier, we looked at potentially using Sam’s Club to switch over everything as they have a Verizon mobile store in our Sam’s. I went in and asked what promotions they had available and it was actually less than what the Verizon store was offering. I would recommend going directly to the the carrier store as they will more than likely give you a better deal.
- Downgrade your phone. I had to put this in here. I personally love having my iPhone. When we were with Straight Talk, we both used the Samsung Galaxy 3 phones and they really were not too bad, just different than an iPhone. When I was getting fed up with the slow internet and the updates were not happening on the phones the way they should have been, I told Greg that if I could find a way to spend about the same amount on our cell phone plan, I would like to go back to Verizon. I then did my research on the current promotions and found they were giving money for phones. We got the max amount of money for our old phones and are spending just a little more each month to have a better data plan and people we can actually talk to if something goes wrong. Worth it in my opinion.
- Check for employee discounts. Some employers actually work with wireless phone companies in some voodoo magical way to get you money off your phone bill. Yep, just because you work for a certain employer means you may get a discount off your bill. Ask your cell carrier.
- Tax time discounts. If you have a business and you use your phone for your business, you can write a certain portion off on your taxes every year. I know nothing about taxes so I am not sure of what percentage can be written off, but anything used for your business is a tax write off.
Bills can be so expensive, so why not try to figure out ways to cut down on monthly expenses. It is easy to spend a lot on cell phone plans especially so if you are looking to save, do a little research on phone plans and carriers in your area to see how you can get the best deal. For another review on how to reduce your cell phone plan, check out How Life Works. There are other good ideas in that article.
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