Use this week’s tip on cell phone plans to beat service contracts!
This week’s money saving tip comes from BillShrink CEO Peter Pham.
Eighty percent of Americans overpay on their wireless plans. On average, BillShrink finds that people overspend about $300 on a standard two-year contract. However, we’ve found that a number of people overspend by a lot more – for example, residents in the states of California, Florida, Nevada and New York overpay in the range of $480-$600 during their contract lifetimes. The biggest reason – people don’t really know how many voice minutes, texts and data they actually use. If more people “right-sized” their plans to meet their actual needs, or if more friends/colleagues/neighbors/family members signed up for family plans, they could save hundreds of dollars a year.
Speaking of which, the trend toward getting “family plans” continues to grow as people pool together their minutes, text and data needs among family members, roommates, co-workers, friends and neighbors. At BillShrink, we’ve seen a 2x increase in the number of queries about best family plans over the last six months.
Peter’s Cell Phone Savings Tips:
Set aside 15 minutes to comb through your cell phone bill, or use BillShrink to do all the homework for you for free.
Family plan: If you aren’t on a family plan, seriously consider combining plans with your wife, kids, parents and even trusted friends/neighbors (just remember they will have access to who you are calling so make sure these are trusted pals). You’ll find the biggest immediate savings by switching to a family plan.
Your network: Also take a look at who you call the most. Since 65% of an individual’s calls are typically to the same five numbers, take a look to see if your friends, family and co-workers are with one carrier. If so, consider switching to take advantage of in-network friends and family plans like Verizon’s Friends & Family or AT&T’s A-List.
Skip the new phone: We covet the newest gadget, but all the carriers offer free phones with a 2-year plan and today’s devices are feature packed so consider a free phone to avoid additional hardware costs.
Eliminate services you don’t use. Do you really need a $3 per month emergency roadside assistance plan that you never even requested? A quick call to your carrier can get this and other unnecessary charges removed.
Directory Assistance. You’re not still calling 411 are you? Carriers can charge $1.25 or more for every 411 call. Try using a service like 1-800-GOOG-411 or (800) FREE-411 for free directory assistance.
(Original article source CBS News)
See BillShrink for cell phone plans, to take advantage of the savings Peter has highlighted. Do you have a helpful hint for reducing cell phone costs? Share yours below.