My philosophy is simple; The key to saving money in your everyday life is to take some time out just once a month to look at the everyday things you utilise and pay for and see if there is room for improvement
Seven Tips to Reduce Your Mobile Phone Bill
My philosophy is simple; The key to saving money in your everyday life is to take some time out just once a month to look at the everyday things you utilise and pay for and see if there is room for improvement.
These days, what once was a luxury has now become a necessity… yes that money munching mobile phone. How we ever lived without them, we’ll never know. And now with iPhones and the like they provide us with more assistance than ever. But the trap with our mobile phones is, it’s very easy to let the cost spiral out of control if we don’t keep an eye on them. So here’s a few things you can take a look at this month to keep your mobile mayhem under control.
1. Review your plan:
I’ve heard it over and over again, “I wouldn’t have a clue how much my calls cost”. It doesn’t take long to make a quick call to your current provider and find out the facts. If you want to save money, you need to know how much money you’re spending! If you know how much you’re spending, you’ll make a mental note if you need to reduce the length of your calls, the amount of texts you send or the amount of information you’re downloading. You’ll also gain the leverage you need to go out and look for a better deal and save money.
Remember to keep an eye on when your contract is ending. The best time to negotiate a better deal is when you are nearing the end of your contract. After you know the facts, get online and hunt down the best deal on the market. You don’t have to move, simply ask your current provider to beat it. Be strong in expressing your ability to switch providers easily if they are not stacking up and let them know you’ll be leaving them behind if they don’t provide you with a better offer (of course, check what costs there are to get out of your existing contract if you are not nearing the end). Chances are you’ll be transferred to someone whose sole purpose is to retain your business so put your negotiating skills into super drive.
2. Make your existing mobile plan work better for you:
Use your mobile phone wisely and make sure you’re getting the most out of any freebies or low cost services. Find out from friends and family which provider they are with so you can take advantage of free talk time or keep your conversations brief if they are with a different carrier. You may be surprised to find you regularly exceed your calls limit but don’t use all of your texts, so changing the communication style you use could help you save.
3. Don’t let the texts take you away:
Text messaging has become hugely popular and continues to build momentum every day. It’s easy, quick and let’s be honest, sometimes it’s easier to send a text than talk. But just remember, a phone conversation that could take 5 minutes by phone can take a lot longer by text, chewing up both your time and your credits. Texting is easy, but it can be costly.
And if you have kids who have mobiles which you are paying for, here’s an interesting fact for you; 1 in 3 teens send an average of 3000 texts per month! Because it’s so easy to get caught up in the text phenomenon, the best solution is to find out if you can get a plan which includes unlimited texts to play it safe. Another alternative to text is instant messaging. If you have an iPhone or a similar smart phone, why not take advantage of MSN Messenger and other major messaging clients. If you have friends that you regularly talk to that are online it can be just as easy to send a quick message via IM.
4. Make free calls on the internet:
Do you have broadband and a webcam on your computer? You may consider using Skype software to phone over the internet, anywhere in the world for free! Basically Skype users can call each other at no cost and the most fun part is that you can see the person you’re talking to. Skype also offers the service of connecting to ‘normal’ phone for a small charge. You can learn more about Skype at http://www.skype.com/intl/en/home.
5. Don’t pay for information calls:
If you own an iPhone or a similar smart phone, make it work for you. Many of us are still in the habit of ringing information numbers when we need a phone number or address in a hurry. Calls to information numbers can cost you heaps so why not change this old habit and make your smart phone earn its keep. Simply go online and find the information you need within seconds, it could save you quite a few dollars by the end of the month.
6. Do you really need that app?
Smart phones such as the iPhone are great fun and offer some fantastic applications which not only keep us amused or up to date with the latest music but also help us organise our lives or learn new skills. The cost of applications is really incredibly cheap considering the content we are given in return. To think that a Nintendo game costs you around $100.00 but a new application for your iPhone costs around $2.00 is quite mind blowing!
These apps are really cheap but the question you need to ask yourself is do you really need it? Say you bought a few apps and songs each month at $2.00 each, let’s say 10 a month. That’s $20 a month which equals $240 per year! For most people that would probably cover 2 months worth of phone bills. It adds up quicker than you think doesn’t it? By all means if an app is useful to you or you get great enjoyment out of it, go for it. But if it’s just the latest fad or a friend tells you to check out an app because it’s cute, just take a minute to think about the $240 per year figure again.
7. Make money from your old mobile:
Do you have an old mobile lying around or do you simply give your phone away when you get a new one? Why not get some money to put towards or even cover next month’s bill! There are stacks of people ready and willing to buy your old phone, and now there are even businesses that will buy them quickly and easily too. Ebay is a great place to sell your phone, but if you don’t like the risk of an auction you can look at companies such as www.mazumamobile.com.au or www.money4mobiles.com.au and be offered a fixed price.
Don’t forget, every dollar you spend unnecessarily makes a difference, so take time out this month to check your mobile phone bill and make some quick changes that could make a big difference by the end of the year.