5 Easy Ways to Reduce the Cost of a Cell Phone

by The Smarter Wallet on October 23, 2011

These days it seems as though everyone can’t live without a smartphone, but they could definitely live without the high bills that accompany them. Cell phone plans are notoriously high, and for many, they can seem as high as a car payment. However, owning a smartphone does not have to break the bank each month. There are several ways that you can save on your cell while still getting the great service you need:

Set a Budget

For smartphone owners, apps can quickly become an expensive expenditure. One app may only cost a couple of bucks, but downloading several each month can quickly tack $20 or more on to each cell phone bill. To keep your spending down, set a monthly allotment for apps and then stick with it.

Consider Your Gs

A 4G network is great –- if you are an extreme gamer or business professional. But for the rest of us, a 3G network will fit our needs just fine, and will be easier on our budgets. If you don’t need to have all those Gs (and you don’t, unless you are simultaneously live streaming videos while chatting on Facebook) go ahead and downgrade to 3G and save yourself a few bucks monthly.

Go Prepaid

If you have kids in your family or just find yourself frequently going over your plan’s allotted minutes, texts, or data, consider going prepaid. A prepaid cell phone comes with no expensive contract, and the overall price of the phone can be monitored much better.

Pre-Owned or Refurbished

The initial cost of a cell phone can be high, especially for smartphones. Instead of buying a new smart phone, consider purchasing a pre-owned or refurbished phone. These types of phones much meet certain criteria in order to be sold so you will be able to receive the same quality phones –- just at a reduced cost.

Family Plan It

One issue that will quickly waste minutes and run up your cell phone bill is talking to those outside your plan. If you find yourself doing this on a regular basis, sign up for a family plan. Service providers rarely require that those included in your plan actually be family members, allowing you to make free calls to friends without going over your minutes.

You may need your cell phone, but you don’t need to pay a high bill. Simply be smart about your cell phone use and you will be able to save yourself a few extra dollars each month.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 alanc230 December 14, 2011 at 6:25 am

I’ve had heated discussions with people who insist that refurbished phones are much lower in quality, and not the way to go. Any thoughts?

2 Selena December 15, 2011 at 11:46 am

I love using Virgin Mobile’s plan. It’s $30 a month with 1500 minutes and I think it’s like 2000 text. I never hit that limit. :)

3 Ella February 28, 2012 at 11:01 am

I have a plan that costs US$ 67 and includes monthly 600 text messages, 1200 mins of calls and 1200MB of internet use and still I managed to hit the limit twice! I am working on disciplining myself and keeping my phone use within the limits. As for the pre-owned thing I am not so much into it, you can buy very cheap new mobiles if you don’t go for the top of the range ones so why buy pre-owned?

4 Gelena May 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I don’t know about you, but cell phones are so expensive. I always seem to end up paying a lot more than the $50.00 that I signed up for. Thanks a lot for sharing this information.

5 Ruth July 24, 2012 at 12:35 am

Having the phone with the latest design and advanced features seems to be trendy to many. I agree, that when it comes to phone expenses, we need to be practical. There are a lot of apps and extra phone memory that end up not being used. I was planning to go prepaid as well and thank you for helping me decide.

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