Most of us use our cell phones for so much more than just keeping in touch with our family and friends. A good phone makes it easier to multi-task and accomplish more work wherever we happen to be; that’s why it’s almost impossible to get through the day without a reliable cell phone and service.
Despite how important these devices have become, no one enjoys paying expensive monthly service charges. The following six tips can help you save big on your service throughout the year!
Make Your Cellphone Plan a Family Affair!
Many providers offer package discounts if you go through them for more than one service. Bundling your TV, Internet, and Phone services can help users save on the total overall cost.
If you don’t want to go with the same provider for multiple services, you can also save big by adding lines and sharing the service with the family plans offered by many cellphone service providers.
Keep in mind that many providers allow subscribers to add folks to a shared plan that technically aren’t related. If you feel that you can trust your friends, invite them to share your plan and split the costs so that both of you can reap the savings!
Skip Unnecessary Services
While bundling services can save you money, you’re not really saving if you are paying for services that you don’t use. Go through your monthly cellphone charges with a fine-tooth comb and make certain that you are only paying for services that you genuinely want and need.
As long as you won’t lose any discounts that come from a package deal, consider removing services that you don’t use if it will lower your monthly bill.
Stop Paying for Data that You Don’t Use
Are you paying extra for “unlimited” data? If you aren’t a high-volume user, just stop and scale down to a less expensive plan. Keep in mind that one unnecessary charge of $10 a month adds up to $120 a year!
If you do use a lot of data, look at how, and where, you are using your phone. You may still be able to cut back to a less expensive plan if you set up your phone to only access data while you are on your own Wi-Fi or using the Wi-Fi network at your workplace. If you are an audiophile and must take your music with you wherever you go, look for a provider that doesn’t count streaming music towards your data allotment.
Don’t Pay for Duplicate Coverage
With some of the newer smartphones costing upwards of a thousand dollars, you’re probably tempted to shell out extra money for an insurance policy to protect your investment in case you accidentally lose or break it. If you have an older phone, however, the cost of the coverage likely isn’t worth it.
Before adding phone insurance, it’s a good idea to first check to see if it’s already covered under another policy. Several entities offer their members and subscribers automatic insurance coverage on new personal property purchases.
Many of the larger credit card issuers, for example, offer coverage for electronics and other high-ticket items when account holders use their card to make the purchase. Terms vary, but many times your purchases are covered if you accidentally lose, or damage the item, and protect you if its stolen.
Some renter’s insurance and homeowner’s policies also offer coverage for their members personal property items. A few exclusions can apply, so make certain that you understand all the terms, limits, and exclusions of your policies before you accept or decline coverage.
Bonus Savings Tip
It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of your receipt in case you do need to make a claim. Hold on to the manufacturer’s original packaging as well, because if you need to send the phone back for warranty repair, or replacement, many repair centers charge a significant restocking fee of 20% or more of the original purchase price if you lack the packaging.
Look for Discounts
Do you belong to a school, trade union or professional association? Do you have car, home or other insurance or have an account at a bank? Do you have a job with a prominent employer? Many groups such as these provide their members with discounts on several services. These discounts are typically provided at no charge to the user and offer great deals on nearly everything, from hotels and car rentals, to discounts on flights, restaurants, and, even your cellphone service.
Check the terms of all your memberships. If you don’t belong to any groups, consider joining one that offers a discount with your preferred cell phone service provider if the savings is greater than the cost of membership.
Negotiate with Your Carrier – and Consider Switching!
Finally, compare prices and terms with several carriers. Many small and regional carriers use the same towers as the larger, more well-known providers so you typically won’t notice a difference in your coverage area or the quality of the service. Once you’ve checked the market and have an idea of how much you can save by switching, call your existing carrier to give them a chance to keep your business by lowering your existing bill.
Many times, the customer service rep on the other end of the line will be more than happy to give you a discount on your plan if you simply call and ask. If they pass, go ahead and switch if you won’t incur any early termination fees that will eat up, or surpass, the savings you earn by switching.
Do you a money-saving tip that can make it easier for others to afford their monthly cell phone service? Why not share your best ideas with readers in the comments section below?