What can you not live without? When times are tough and you need to stretch that dollar, you will find yourself asking that question as frequently as you would, for example, update your Facebook page. There are many things in this world that you might not need to survive. Things like your monthly subscription to magazines, triple servings of grande lattes everyday, and dining out at hip, new restaurants. But there is one thing you-and every other living soul on this planet-can simply not live without: a phone.
Your cell phone is your lifeline to the rest of the world. Without it, you may as well be living in a commune, cut off from the rest of civilization. And while there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting an alternative lifestyle, devoid of the technological advances and being more in touch with Mother Nature, a cell phone helps you to be more accessible and more productive no matter your location. Unfortunately, cell phone service can cut into your budget greatly.
Sometimes, you rely on your cell phone so much that it eats into your monthly expenses like a bear preparing for winter. You might find that you are paying more on your phone bill these days especially since you might also be on some data plan, to get Internet access. To avoid paying costly phone bills as if you were using a RingCentral business phone service, try using these simple steps.
When you are still choosing a cell phone service:
- Weigh your needs against the offered plan
Not all plans are created equal and so some may be designed for the constant user while others are designed for the occasional user. There are plans with caps on messaging and other plans come with Internet service. Choose the plan that corresponds to your precise communication needs. When you are only using your phone for minimal texting, it would not make sense to choose a plan that offers several dollars more for unlimited texting.
- Ditch the plan, go prepaid
If you are not a heavy cell phone user, why sign up for a plan that may tie you into a two- to three-year contract and a pricey monthly bill? You could try to find a new cell phone service that offers low cost plans that do not obligate you to a contract. Alternately, you could also just opt to go prepaid.
When you use an existing cell phone service:
- Be clever about when you use your cell phone
Some cell phone services provide special discounts on certain times of the day. Some services even offer free messaging or calls during the evening. So if you are looking to have that long talk with someone, schedule it at a time when you know it is going to be for free.
- Check the charges on your bill
Yes, it is cool to be able to call your family in Chicago, on your cell phone, when you are in, for example, Uzbekistan. But it is not cool to realize that those calls might set you back several hundreds of dollars (or more). Roaming charges can put a dent in your wallet so ask your cell phone service their rates or travel packages, before you activate roaming service.
Unless your job completely depends on uninterrupted access to the Web, you might not need the Internet service offered in some plans. So instead of paying for pricey data plans, take a trip to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot and update your Facebook status, watch the latest Youtube videos, or check your email for as long as you need - without worrying about data caps and extra charges.