Eight Ways to Cut Your Cell Phone Bill “Looking to shave some dollars from your monthly cell phone bill? Here are 8 tips for cutting costs, whether you’re switching carriers or just looking to fine-tune your service plan. ” [Consumer Reports Electronics]


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  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I know someone’s going to say to not text, use data, etc. but that just isn’t realistic for a lot of us who want to enjoy our cell phones, and want them to do more than just make phone calls. As it is, text and data are costing about $45 a month total, but it’s cheaper than not having either one and continuing to use text and data – so Consumer Reports is right about that.

    If I could go prepaid on the iPhone, and just add text and data, I think I would save $100 a month. We use data and text more than we use voice.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      If you’re (able to get) out of your contract Buy a prepaid GoPhone for $20 or better yet, a new SIM off eBay for $5. Then if you really don’t talk much if at all, just pay $20 for 1000 texts/30 days (whichever comes first) and another $20 for 100MB data. Voila! iPhone for $40/month plus ?? for voice calls.

    • SunnyLea says:

      Same here. Lots of text and data, but prolly less than 200 mins on calls. I’d rather drop the calling plan than the data package.

  2. jsl4980 says:

    I just switched from $100/month on a Verizon family plan for 2 people to 2 Straight Talk prepaid phones. We get 1000 minutes, 1000 texts, and 30mb of data on Verizon’s network for $30 each. Yeah the phones aren’t cutting edge, but saving $40 a month definitely makes up for it.

  3. Anonymously says:

    I use my cell phone very infrequently (

  4. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I don’t text much; I can’t type it in fast enough. My Net10 phone is just the basic model: no Internet, no camera. So far I don’t use it much. I get 300 minutes and two months of service for $30 at retailers like Walgreens and it averages out to about $15 a month. So far it’s working for me. I haven’t had any service issues, unless I forget to charge the thing.

    If I sell the book and begin traveling more, I think I’ll probably have to cave and get a data plan and a better phone. But Net10 has those, and there’s no worry about an ETF.

  5. dohtem says:

    Since I’m a cellphone nut, I have picked up some tips over the years. Here goes :)

    – Look to see if your provider has corporate discounts for your employer, or discounts for certain credit card holders or credit union members. Sprint offers 10% off to members of my credit union. You can join a credit union, deposit a dollar and leave the account open.

    – Don’t be afraid of the ETF. It might be cheaper to cancel your contract, sell the phone on ebay to help offset the cost of the ETF and then move to a cheaper provider. Also remember that the ETF is now prorated. It might not cost as much as you think depending on how long you have been on contract.

    – On average, T-Mobile and Sprint are cheaper than Verizon and AT&T. Shop around.

    – On AT&T, It might be cheaper to pay $9 and have your night time minutes kick in at 7 pm than to pay $20 more for the next plan with more minutes. It would vary by usage, of course.

    – Don’t buy phones in stores, purchase them online from Amazon.com and the like. They usually have better prices on the devices, free activation and free 2 day shipping. The downside is that returning the phone can be a bitch. And in some cases, you can’t make changes to the plan within the first 6 months. So know what you are getting into.

    Hope that helps.

  6. Colonel Jack O'neill says:

    The only thing I need on a cell is something to make calls with(100 min. can probably last me for about 3-4 months), and a music player.
    I don’t are about videos on there cause these screens are too small to comfortably watch a video for more them 5 minutes at a time.
    I don’t care about email, I don’t have to be checking it every minute of the day.
    I don’t care about the internet, that’s what my computer is for.
    I don’t care about texting or mms, if I want talk to someone I’ll go and call them. or they go and call me, and if I don’t answer, leave a voicemail.
    I really don’t see the point in texting or mms, if someone wants to send me a picture or a link to somewhere, they can send it to my email.

    • falafelwaffle says:

      Texting is good for communicating while

      Watching TV
      Waiting 10 minutes for class/meetings to start
      Slow periods at work (I have to wait on hold a lot at my job and my best friend usually has 10-20 minute waits between each customer he sees but we can’t actually call each other)
      Waiting in line while running errands
      While eating
      When not in the mood for verbal communications (I work at a call center all day and sometimes I want to rest my vocal cords)

      Of course, depending on lifestyle you may not run into those circumstances very often

  7. rlee says:

    My text usage is minimal — mostly the occasional flight status message — and thus far I’ve been unable to convince myself a data plan is worth the cost. With my minimal usage, a dirt-cheap pay-as-you go plan works great. Required top-up on Virgin Mobile is only $15 every 3 months, and with my usage actual top-ups are 5, rarely 6, times a year.

  8. Stephen Colon says:

    I travel a lot–and I mean a LOT!–and my cellphone truly has become my best travel companion. Out of the office but need to email me? No worries, most emails just need a quick response that I can tap out on my iPhone’s keyboard. Need me to check out a link or approve a web purchase (actually happens often for me)? Email me a link and I’ll check it as I board my flight. Want to give me a quick status update on something? Text messages are perfect for this. As far as phone calls go, I don’t even use a land line anymore; cellphone only is cheaper based on my usage. Yes, I pay a lot for my cellphone, but considering that I use every last bit of what I pay for, I have no problem forking over $110/month to AT&T (except for their coverage in So Cal, but that’s another story). I don’t see how any mobile professional can do without a cell phone and data plan. I utilize every tip in the article and still pay $110; I feel like it’s just becoming a “fact of life” that cell phones are a utility we need to pay for.

  9. LastError says:

    My cell contract ended at midnight last night! I am a free man! Woohoo!

    But not for long: my current phone is literally held together with scotch tape. I am looking forward to reupping just to get a new Android phone. Sick of sticky tape and a T key that doesn’t work.

    So far, none of the prepaid plans offer a right blend of voice and data and email and web. I need a device that works, not something that has great minutes but no email, or you can have web but it’s $2 a megabyte. Or you can have it all -but it’s $2 a day access fee to start. That’s BS. I can just get a real plan for $60 a month and not worry about “Oh crap that’s another $2!” every day get a wrong number.