One essential expense that most consumers have in common is phone service. Whether you pay for a home phone, basic cell phone, or smartphone, there’s likely a way to reduce the monthly cost for service. There are more plans and providers available now than ever before. Here are some options you should consider to reduce this costly expense.
Reevaluate What Phone Service You’re Paying For
The first step in reducing monthly phone costs is to look into what you’re currently paying for. For your home phone, think about how much you use it. Are you paying extra for long distance? For your cell phone plan, look into how many minutes and how much data you use. Compare what services and features you’re paying for versus what you actually use. If you’re paying for extras that aren’t essential, look into cheaper plans to make room in the budget for paying off credit cards.
Ways to Save on Phone Service
- Ditch the Home Phone. Land lines are largely an unnecessary expense in the age of cell phones. Cell phones frequently come with all the same features as a home phone plus they’re with you on the go. If you have both, consider getting rid of the home phone to avoid paying double for service.
- Share Costs with Friends or Family. Paying for cell phone service on your own can cost almost $100 a month depending on the plan. Most providers offer family-style plans where you can add additional phones for less than the cost of a single line. Combining service with one or more friends is a great way to lower the individual cost significantly. Just think through your friend choices before entering into a financially deal with someone.
- Don’t Pay for Data You Don’t Use. Nowadays, we all want to be able to use our smartphones to access information everywhere we go. However, free wi-fi is available in so many places now that paying for “unlimited” data may not be necessary. At home, work, or restaurants, there’s usually a free wi-fi network to use. Consider downgrading your data plan and taking advantage of wi-fi more often to save money for debt reduction.
Finally, with more providers moving away from service contracts, you have greater ability to shop around for service. Contract-free service means you can switch providers at will, and you could consider using a service like Google’s Project Fi, which allows you to only pay for the data that you use. This new pricing model reduces the chances of paying for too much data on light months and leaves more money in your budget to eliminate debt.
Reevaluating services and subscriptions regularly is a great way to keep your budget focused, save more money and reduce debt.