Wasting money on your wireless plan?

Here's how to spend less on your cell phone

Although cell phones are a convenient and fairly inexpensive investment, they can amount to a large expense if not managed properly. Consumers can use several methods to save on their wireless plans.

  • Figure out what you use your cell phone for most. If it’s primarily for business, you may require more minutes than if it’s for personal use.
  • Choose the best plan for you. There are national, regional, family, and prepaid plans. Even if you travel just a few times a year, it may be best to pick a national plan—roaming charges can cost between 49 cents and 79 cents per minute, and that can significantly increase your bill.
  • Have friends and family subscribe to the same service. Most carriers offer unlimited phone-to-phone calling plans, allowing customers to talk to anyone who subscribes to the same service without using valuable minutes.
  • Track your minutes. Once you have chosen a wireless plan, keep track of your minute usage and add additional minutes if necessary. Also, monitor the use of photos text messaging, and game downloads, which can be expensive features. This is important because it can cost between 40 cents and 45 cents for every extra minute you use.
  • Consider a prepaid plan. Prepaid phones allow customers to purchase minutes as they go. This type of plan is ideal for those who don’t want to be bound to a contract and for parents who may want to monitor their child’s phone usage.
  • Roll over your minutes. Though the majority of carriers do not provide this service, some plans do allow users to roll over, or transfer, unused minutes to the next billing period. Try Websites such as www.myrateplan.com and www.telebright.com to compare wireless plans and phones.
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