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How to Save Money on Cell Phone Plans

by Mike

The Internet has changed the way consumers research and buy services of both local and national companies. New markets have opened for online business and fostered growth in commerce and information technology. This has also given consumers the added benefit of learning cost saving tactics. You can save on pretty much anything… from CD’s, to investments, or even great deals for insurance quotes online, by comparative shopping over many websites. Cell phone providers have taken notice of the changing market, and have coupled the average consumer’s use of the Internet with advancing phone technology.

Less and less people uses landlines now, and cell phone plans can be expensive, especially if you want a smart phone or other specialized technology. Here are three money saving tips for finding the best cell phone plans.

Consolidate Your Services

If you already have a cell phone plan, check your usage of the Internet, applications, text, and minutes. This will give you a better idea where you can save and where you may need to spend more in a plan. If you have unlimited texting and data plans that you’re not using, consider cutting back on the services to more basic packages. It may be tempting to plan for to increased usage, but it’s better to need to increase the plan in the future then to pay for more than needed. Pairing down your phone plan can save you a small fortune.

Negotiate Your Contract

At the end of your plan, consider your other options before just automatically renewing. If you don’t like your current plan, tell your provider. You’ll find they’re more open to negotiating your contract if they think you may drop their services. To encourage customers to resign, they often offer attractive discounts on new phones, but don’t be distracted by this. Chances are you can get a better deal by focusing on the parts of the plan you dislike, even if that means trying another provider.

Shop Around

Don’t stay with one provider out of loyalty. This is a word of the past in today’s business. The cell phone companies are only interested in their bottom line. If you’re unhappy with your current provider, shop around for comparable rate plans. If you’re still under contract, change your plan to the lowest possible cost and search for another provider while you wait out your current plan.

Carefully evaluate your plans and usage. Figure out the minutes, texting, and data you actually need. There are many companies out there who offer comparable services, which means you don’t have to settle for high plan rates that break your monthly budget.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ravi Gupta

Mike,

Great article and especially like your point on loyalty. Companies these days do not care about their customers and they would not hesitate to treat you badly if it improved their cash flow. Customers should act in kind and do the same.
I personally buddy up with my parents on a family plan and pay $15 / month for my cell phone. Then again I have no internet but it’s all about needs vs. wants.

-Ravi Gupta
Ravi Gupta´s last [type] ..Ethics and Investing Part II

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Justin @ MoneyIsTheRoot

One thing to add, and this may be a bit specific…but I know Verizon has two different types of smartphone plans when it comes to internet/data usage, you can pay $30 for unlimited, or $15 for about half the data transfer amount…I would recommend a month with $30 to see where you stand, but I quickly found out that I only need the amount that $15 pays for… its easy savings.
Justin @ MoneyIsTheRoot´s last [type] ..Frugality…Can Your Health Afford It

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George in Toronto

I have another tip to add to the list – always inquire about group or employee plans.

Work for a national or global company? Are you a member of AARP, AAA, a union or even a frequent flyer plan? If you attended college or university, ask if there is an special alumni plan. You may be surprised what discounts or freebies you may get.
George in Toronto´s last [type] ..Your house is your home- not just an investment

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James

Shopping around is a great tip! I looked around for a few months to find the right cell phone that fit my heaving talking and texting. I finally came across straight talk. I can get unlimited talk and text for only $45 a month, oh and plus I do not have to sign one of those crazy 2 year contracts! Now the only thing I have to figure out is which one of their awesome phones is best for me.

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Doable Finance

I find that a complete package from one company can save some money. The drawback is you have to have a contract for at least 2 years.
Doable Finance´s last [type] ..Test Yourself If You Need Credit Counseling

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Karen

I think the trick is to know what type of cell phone user you are and find a suitable plan for your needs. There are so many options out there that you’re bound to find one that is ideal for you. Sounds simple but I know so many people that are overpaying …myself included. I was paying $40 for an unlimited plan which I never paid much attention. BUt $$$ has been kind of tight lately and I realize that rarely use my phone and switched to TracFone. Now I spend less than $10 a month..although I no longer have unlimited min. which I don’t really need anyways. Work for me!

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