Many of the clients I sit down with tell me how their basic bills continue to rise year over year. Two of the main monthly costs that keep going up and up for many families are the cable bill and the cell phone bill. Since mobile companies offer so many different types of plans with minutes, data, texting, and other additional options, it’s important that you review your family cell phone bill each year to see how you can keep costs to a minimum. Here are five ways you can potentially cut down on your cell phone bill.
- Who Is Your Top Ten?- Most of the mobile phone companies will offer some type free minute program around your top ten friends and family you call the most. Between my phone, my wife’s phone, and the two phones my daughters have, we checked to see which numbers were called the most so we could access the most amounts of free minutes. If your family has 25% to 50% of total minutes within those ten numbers, you could be able to lower the amount of minutes you need for your master plan which could help save money to the bottom line. This helped us shave over 500 minutes a month.
- Unlimited Texting (Or Limit the Minutes) – If you have children who have a mobile phone, you’ll quickly realize that their texting to talking ratio is the complete opposite of yours. Most of the kids who are under the age of 17 will use about 80 to 90% texting and only 10% to 20% talking, whereas most parents’ of teenagers will be the opposite. If your texting amounts are getting up in the thousands, it is likely your best option to go to unlimited texting to cut your overall bill. If you do choose to go with a smaller amount of texts, then it might make sense to spend $5 a month to put the cap on each of your children so they don’t exceed the limits where is really where you get hit with extra charges.
- Only Change Your Phone When An Upgrade Is Available- For most of the mobile phone companies, you can upgrade your phone without incurring the full cost of the phone every two years. It can be easy to get caught up with the latest and greatest technology and want to change your phone every year, but this can really add significant cost to the bottom line of your bill. One consideration with the new i-phones or other expensive android voices is to buy insurance in case your phone breaks. The new i-phones can cost you an astronomical amount of money if you crack the phone, so getting insurance (especially for your kids) may be a smart money move.
- See If Your Employer Has A Discount Program- Many large corporations have something called an employee mall. In the employee mall (or your benefits booklet), you should double check to see if your employer has negotiated a master discount program with Verizon, AT & T, Sprint, or one of the other major carriers. These discount offers can range from 10% to 25% depending on the carrier that you choose to get your mobile phone. If you have your phone plan tied into a family plan with your kids, this can save you $40 per month or more.
- Don’t Dial 411- With all of the accessibility today through data plans and access to the internet, there really should be very little reason to dial 411 anymore. For most of the cell phone companies, you’ll pay a $1.99 fee each time you dial 411. Do that a few times per month and you’ll be racking up $10 a month of extra charges just to grab a phone number.
As smart phones and tablets become more of an integrated part of our lives and the lives of our children, it’s important you do your research before making any type of impulse purchase. As the CEO of your family finances, it’s vital to manage both the fixed and variable costs in your income statement. The mobile phone bill should be reviewed several times per year generally using the usage analysis offered by your cell phone company on their website. If you don’t watch your bill closely, you’ll be dialing 911 vs. 411 if you get a monthly bill that shocks you!
Visit to www.oxygenfinancial.net to request a free consultation with the leading financial experts for people in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s in the country.
Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc – The Leaders in Gen X & Y Financial Advice
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