How would you like to save hundreds of dollars a year on your smart phone plan?
When my kids were younger, we were constantly on the road: Camping trips, moving, cross-country vacations. We would load up all five kids into our red, GMC Suburban and go. We were prepared whenever we left—scouring our trusty maps and atlases to find the best routes and attractions to see on the way. I noticed how the times have changed when daughter, Bethany, went on a road trip with her best friend this past week. They traveled from Los Angeles to San Francisco using only her smart phone.
Smartphones are a step up from regular cellphones because they are a little computer that fits into the palm of your hand. And the price tag shows it. A regular cell phone can cost as little as $20 a month, but a family of four can easily pay over $200 a month for just data alone.
- Shop smart: If you are looking for good deals on smart phones, http://Fatwalletwallet.com and http://Dealcatcher.com post coupons and discounts on devices and services. You might have to sift through several coupons to find the right deal, but good things come to those who look hard.
- Don’t pay for what you don’t use: Do you really need that unlimited data plan? The average data used by an average smartphone user is only 258 megabytes a month, but many are paying for up to 10 gigs or more. Review your plan to see how much data you actually use, and make adjustments. Don’t pay for something you don’t use. Use the Savings Calculator on http://Ting.com to get a good idea of what to change.
- Use data sparingly: Are you constantly checking Facebook, Twitter or email on your phone? Often, emails, notifications, and tweets can wait. Are you wasting data or your phone’s energy? Make sure on devices such as iPhones, that you close out the apps that use data to constantly fetch data to refresh notifications or emails. Also, connect to wifi when you are at home or coffee shops to cut out data usage.
- Use your apps wisely: Individual apps are generally not expensive, but upgrades for those apps can often cost extra. Make sure your kids are not downloading games or other apps with costly upgrades. Also, do your research on apps. Is there a cheaper app that does the same tasks as the more expensive one? What are people saying about the app you are buying? Is it worth the money you are paying?
- Expect accidents to happen: Paying for insurance upfront will, more often than not, be cheaper than if you have to replace your phone if it is lost, stolen, or accidentally dropped in the swimming pool. You never know what is going to happen to your phone. Earlier this month, our son, Joshua, was standing in line for West Point registration when it began pouring rain, and his phone was completely soaked. Luckily, we insured it and it was replaced for free. It will be waiting for him at the end of his basic training summer!
What are some ways YOU can save on your smart phone?
America’s Family Financial Expert (R)