Save Money on Phone Bills and Mobile Phone Contracts

Sign-up for a short-term contract. Sign-up for a one year contract with a cell phone company instead of two or more years since the odds of your being happy with or wanting to stay with that particular carrier for more than one year are not that high.  If you do this, you can avoid the $200+ penalty you will be required to pay for cancelling early.  If you hardly ever use your cell phone and have it mainly for emergencies, consider using a pay as you go service, such as Cingular's Go phone, which would only cost about $10 per month. 

Ways to lower monthly cell phone bill:

(1) Sign up for alerts with your carrier so that they can notify you when you are about to exceed your allotted usage and incur extra fees or install a tracker app that will keep track of your usage  and alert you when you’re about to incur additional fees

(2) Compare plans among the various carriers.  Some of them don’t charge for overage or roaming, and don’t require a long contract.

(3) If you don’t use your mobile phone that often, consider using a prepaid phone since they are much cheaper.  You can get a prepaid for as less than $10 per month from Tracfone or Consumer Cellular, both of which can save you $40 or more on your monthly bill.

(4) Don’t overpay for more gigabytes than you need each month.  Carriers encourage families to sign up for 8 gigabytes but many families use less than 2.  If you changed to a 2 gigabyte plan, you could save about $30 per month.

(5) Many people don’t even come close to using the minutes they are allotted in a cell phone plan.  Switch plans so that you are paying only for the amount of minutes you use each month.  Some carriers allow you to buy a specific number of minutes per year, which results in paying about $500 less per year.

(6) Wait until your cell phone contract is up before you get a new phone or upgrade to save hundreds of dollars off the cost of the new phone.  If you buy before your contract is up, the carrier will charge you almost double.

(7) Don’t pay for phone insurance or extended warranties since you are highly unlikely to ever use them, they have too many restrictions, and they aren’t worth the money.

(8) When buying a new cell phone, it is usually cheaper to purchase it at a warehouse store rather than from the carrier’s store.  The phones at a carrier’s retail store are often higher priced than at their online stores.

(9) Instead of paying for high-priced text messaging through a carrier, send text messages for free using the Heywire app.

(10) Consider using a free or low cost VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service as your primary phone service.  For example, Ooma, Obi, and Vonage are VoIP services that offer free or low-cost domestic calls and low-priced international calls.  The Ooma equipment, which costs over $200, can be purchased at Costco or and Obi costs less than $100.  The device must be attached to your modem or router and your Internet access must be turned on for the service to work.  Vonage uses an adapter that costs less than $100. VoIP services through your cable company are expensive.

(11) Use Skype to communicate with loved ones with voice and video calls.  With a free account, you can call your friends and family all you want using your smartphone, computer or television free of charge at Skype. The catch is that the people you call must also have a Skype account.  Calls to regular landlines and cell phones are not free.   Google+ Hangouts is another video chat service that uses Wi-Fi to make free phone calls.  If you have an Apple product, you can use Apple’s FaceTime. In order for these apps to work and be free, the people with whom you regularly communicate must also install the app. If you download these apps, you can cancel your unlimited calling and texting plans that cost $75 or more per month and sign up for a basic cell phone plan that will cost you about $30 a month.

(12) Drop the data plan on your phone if you don’t really need to surf the Internet on your mobile phone.  There are plenty of free Wi-Fi spots out there if you need to get on the Internet when you’re away from home. This will save you as much as $65 per month.

(13) Send free texts to loved ones using the WhatsApp and GroupMe apps.  This will significantly lower your phone bill if you routinely exceed your limit each month.

(14) Phone extras -- Do you really need caller I.D.?  Or an unlisted phone number?  Take off all the extra phone services, such as call waiting, the answering service and such, and you might find your monthly phone bill lightened by as little as $5 or as much as $50 every month.

(15) Lower long distance charges -- Calling friends and relatives at night and on weekends can significantly lower your long distance telephone bill.  In addition, shop around and compare long distance packages to get an even lower rate.  Of course, you can save a bundle by communicating via e-mail rather than making a telephone call.

(16) Uploading videos, watching video and music streams, making video calls, and playing games online using your mobile phone are all activities that eat up a large amount of the gigabytes you are allowed each month on your data plan. 

(17) Visit websites like for help cutting your mobile phone bill.

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