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Below is a graph I created from the data collected in the survey about the change in monthly cell phone bills from 1989 to 2011. 1998 was the best time to receive a cell phone bill, as the average cell phone bill was only $39.43 per month. It’s interesting to note that 1999 was the first year that text messages could be sent between different operators, which I presume is the reason for the increase from 1999 to 2004. Subscribe by EmailSubscribe to Tatango's SMS Marketing Blog to receive great SMS marketing content delivered right to your inbox. I still consider myself pretty young, but even when I was a child the idea of getting a hold of someone immediately by calling them on the phone was unheard of for the most part. Over the years it seems that those bills have continued to grow with the advent of unlimited texting plans and data plans that cost an arm and a leg. Before I go any further I want to say that this post will focus on carriers and phones available in the USA.
There are two things to look at when considering how much money you are putting into your phone usage.
There are a number of ways to cut down on your monthly plan, but if you really want to save some money, you need to take some time to look at a few new options that have recently sprung up. After being acquired by Google, Motorola Mobility has really shown that they are ready to do things better.
The Moto G's big brother is also a great buy if you want to spend a little extra for an unlocked device.
Happy New Year and welcome to Encouraging Voice, the place to go to get your pick me up for the day!
Encouraging Voice exists to uplift and encourage people with stories of hope and messages of inspiration. Typically, contract-based plans lock customers into a 2-year service agreement at a fixed monthly price in exchange for subsidizing part of the cost of the cellphone. Prepaid cellphones are an alternative to pricey, 2-year contracts offered by the big wireless carriers.
Pay-as-you-go plans allow customers to buy packs of minutes online, over the phone, or at select retailers. Monthly prepaid plans offer a set number of minutes, texts, and data usage (Internet) each month.
Prepaid cellphones used to be best only for consumers who dona€™t need a lot of minutes, dona€™t want the latest high-tech phone, or only want a phone for emergencies. T-Mobile offers 30 minutes of calling for $10, with the minutes expiring 90 days after activation. One Verizon plan charges a 99 cent "daily access fee" on days the phone is used, with unlimited mobile-to-mobile calls to Verizon customers and 10 cents-per-minute calls elsewhere. Net10 used to simply offer a 10-cents-per-minute rate for any pack of minutes, but the company now offers more choices. Virgin Mobile offers a 300-minute plan with unlimited text and Web for $35 (Blackberry plans cost an extra $10). Straight Talk, for $30, offers callers 1,000 anytime minutes, 1,000 text messages, 30 megabytes of data, and unlimited 411 calls.
Boost Mobile's unlimited talk, text and data plan costs $50 a month, but with every 6 months of on-time payment callers receive a $5 discount, up to $15.
Most cellphones have a trial period during which you can return the phone and cancel the contract without penalty.
For more advice on how much data you need and how to cut data costs, visit CUBa€™s Data Guide.
If you do have a landline and a cellphone, use your wireless plan to help reduce your overall costs.
Lifeline, a federal program funded by telecom carriers to give low-income callers access to basic phone service, has been extended to wireless customers. To protect yourself, scour your bill each month for suspicious charges, such as "Premium Services," "Text Subscription," "Membership Fee," and other vaguely named services. If you think you are a victim, call the cramming company to dispute the charge (the companya€™s number should be on your bill).
Even though you might have paid very little for a brand new smartphone like the Galaxy S5, your cell phone bill can still really add up over time. What follows are a number of effective changes that you can make each month in reducing the amount you pay for cell phone service. Plus, ensuring that your phone connects automatically with the Wi-Fi system instead of using the mobile data can save you money as well. These are just a few ways that you can save a considerable amount of money with your cell phone. Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your mobile phone cost. Despite an intense and relentless lobbying effort from my son, the Honeybee and I stayed strong and denied his repeated requests for a cell phone. When my son turned 13, we decided to give him another chance — even though he still has trouble managing his money. Well, before I go any further, let me say that T Mobile’s customer service department was absolutely phenomenal. It turns out that when we signed up for our new plan T Mobile had failed to note that our account had unlimited texting. 2) On the first day Matthew got his phone, he sent an average of one text message every two minutes — for six consecutive hours! If and when you finally do decide to give your child his own phone, short of blocking all text messages, make sure that you get a plan with unlimited texting. My kids all got their first cell phones when THEY could put THEIR names and bank accounts on them. For the record, I know EXACTLY why my kid wants to keep me clueless – after all, I was a teenage boy once too.

The best thing a parent can do for their kids is to teach them how to control their money and become a contributing member of society. Look on the bright side Len, at least he’s probably pretty darn popular, or has at least one or two friends and isn’t a social misfit! May I suggest a prepaid cell phone, such as TracFone–with a basic cell phone, not fancy? Oh, and a prepaid cell phone will help your son learn to manage his money in a small way… especially if he is made to pay for it.
Our good friends at the CTIA have released their results from their most recent semi-annual survey, showing what the average U.S.
However, there a many many MVNOs available on other networks, so if Sprint isn't your cup of tea you can probably find something similar with a little research.
If you are using AT&T, your device will probably work with T-Mobile after getting it unlocked. Depending on the service that you switch to, you may need to buy a special device or use an unlocked device.
If you are a Nexus fan or just want a device that shows off how awesome pure Android is, the Nexus 5 is for you.
I hope that these options have potentially lifted the burden of the cell phone bill from your shoulders.
Prepaid plans dona€™t require a contract or a credit check, and dona€™t slap customers with exit or overage fees.
Customers pay the provider each month, but arena€™t locked into a contract and can exit the plan at any time. Contract plans generally offer the latest model smartphones and can be a better deal for families who want multiple lines. Thirty-three cents-per-minute is a bad rate, but at $3.33 a month, this is a good "emergency phone" option. While the 25 cent-per-minute rate isn't cheap, at about $8 a month, a low-usage caller won't find a plan for much less. One deal includes 750 minutes of talk time for $25, with the minutes expiring after 30 days. Some refurbished phones are free with the purchase of airtime, but smart phones can cost up to $200. However, with certain contract-based plans, if you go over your allotted minutes youa€™ll pay hefty overage fees of up to 49 cents per minute.
Any time you are surfing the web, checking emails, streaming music or posting on social media, your phone is using up "data." Data costs can take up a significant portion of your bill, which is why it is important to accurately gauge your usage per month and then choose a plan that most closely matches your data needs. Any cellphone, as long as it's charged and within range of a cellphone tower, can dial 911.
For example, if you consistently have a lot of wireless minutes left at the end of each month, use them to make long-distance calls from home. If your cell phone battery is dead and your home loses power, you wona€™t be able to make a call. Online contests, surveys and spam text messages are just a few of the ways scammers gain access to your bill. Finding ways to cut expenses means money in your pocket instead of going to the cell phone company.
For most people, the savings may seem relatively small at first, but over time they can really add up. Find the Data Plan that Best Suits Your Needs: Too many people choose “Unlimited” or “Premium” plans when they don’t actually use nearly the amount of data that is required. Use Data to Save Money: For example, if you download Skype to your mobile device, you can save money using it instead of your cell network. Go Pre-Paid: If you talk a lot on the phone, then having a no-contract unlimited plan may be the best way to save money over time. Bundle Your Text Messages: Considering that carriers can charge about 20 cents per text message, it may pay to have them bundled if the savings are right. Click here for free cell phones and see if you can save more money every month from now on. They did a great job talking the Honeybee down from a narrow ledge outside our second floor bedroom, convincing her that jumping from there would result in little more than a broken ankle anyway — and then quickly assuring her that all of the text charges would be removed from our bill. Well … aside from the frequent P911 warnings and occasional predictable admonitions to KPC (keep parents clueless). I keep track off who the 2 teenage girls are texting and I think they actually compete for the texting champ each month.
I hated texts… Then I realized I was paying a ridiculous 50 cents or something per text.
We have gotten so spoiled by our new technology that thinking of letting it go is the last thing on our minds. They even have plans starting as low a $5 per month although to get the service you really need, I'd suggest getting one of their more expensive plans. If you currently have a device that isn't tied to a contract unlocking it should be a simple as calling your carrier.
Some plans include free mobile-to-mobile calling, free or discounted night and weekend minutes, and picture and video messaging. To access the minutes, the caller typically enters a code into his or her phone, recharging it with a purchased amount of talk time.
Some companies, like Boost Mobile, offer monthly plans lower in price than comparable offers from large carriers, and without the 2-year agreement.
This could be a good plan for someone who doesn't use the phone every day (avoiding the access fee), or has a lot of friends and family on Verizon's network. The company's $40 monthly "Premium" plan includes 400 anytime minutes and unlimited night and weekend minutes, with a one-time $35 activation fee. This could be a good deal for callers who tend to text and surf the web more than they talk on the phone.

Still, this is a good deal for those who want the bells and whistles without a two-year contract.
Asking friends and neighbors about wireless coverage in your area is a good place to start. A CUB analysis of more than 4,000 bills showed that the average Illinois wireless customer paid for more than 6 hours of unused minutesa€”enough to drive from Chicago to Cairo, IL while talking on the phone. Keep in mind that authorities may not be able to determine your exact location if you call from a cellphone, as they do when receiving calls from a landline. Plus, in an emergency, authorities may not be able to locate your exact location when calling from a cellphone, as they do when receiving landline calls. They take advantage of complex bills to hide fradulent chargesa€”usually less than $10 a montha€”among other fees. Considering that roughly 87% of all Americans have a mobile phone and pay on average about $71 per month, the key to saving money is finding the right plan that fits your needs and adjusting your behavior when using your cell phone. Skype is particularly effective with international rates as compared to most cell phone plans. Heavy texting teenagers might be better served with an unlimited plan, but if you only text every so often then you might want to go with a smaller fee structure that allows you to save more money. Knowing that he could easily earn $40 per month by simply mowing the lawn and doing chores around the house, Matthew readily agreed — and so we got him his phone. In addition to getting new phones, it was actually nice being able to phone our son again when he was out playing in the nearby hills and it was time for him to come home for dinner.
So while sending a text every 4 minutes for 6 hours isn’t much better, that actually sounds a little bit not-as-horrific.
You better believe we got the unlimited plan (and I got a stern talking to) after the first bill came. You’ve sure got your hands full with your son, and I’m glad T-Mobile talked Honeybee down! These organizations piggy back off of traditional carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. The only downside to Republic Wireless is that you can't just use any phone on their network. With some plans minutes expire after a certain period of time if the customer doesna€™t buy more. Minutes expire every 60 days, text messages are 10 cents each, and Voice Mail service costs an additional $3 per month. Read your cellphone bill each month, and if youa€™re consistently below your allotted number of minutes, ask your carrier if you can downgrade to a plan with fewer minutes. The carrier may require a police report and a deductible before replacing your phone, and may only give you a used phone in return.
Depending on your calling habits, you may be able to drop your regular long-distance completely. For those who like to text, they can get a phone that includes a QWERTY keyboard that doesn’t have an operating system, so that is basically a free service which can reduce your costs as well. This also applies to people who don’t use their cell phones much as a pre-paid plan can save them money over time.
I’m glad t-mobile was willing to work with you, I think you can get any charge reversed just by asking! By using their mobile network towers, MVNOs are able to offer you similar service at reduced cost. Similarly, if your cellphone package comes with free voice mail, dona€™t pay the monthly fee for the same service on your landline. Plus, you can always unlock your device and switch to another plan if it suits your budget better. However, many of these pre-paid plans use a monthly fee, so look for ways to extend the time. Republic Wireless uses the Sprint network, so if you have Sprint in your area, you should have coverage. Many users find that searching for used phones online nets them a respectable phone at great prices, but if you want a brand new phone, you still have options. Give friends and family your wireless number and tell them to leave messages in that voicemail box. If youa€™re not ready to ditch the landline entirely, check with your landline company to get the lowest plan possible.
Also consider that there might be some disadvantages as well, so do your research first before making the switch.
As long as you have data service (cellular or WiFi) you can send text to any smartphone that has Whatsapp installed.
Prepaying for your cell phone used to be considered worse than having a post paid contract. For example, AT&T offers some customers the Consumera€™s Choice plan, designed by CUB to fit the needs of the average landline caller.
If most of your family and friends are using iOS device you can simply use iMessage to do text.
However, in recent years we have seen a shift of people who are realizing that they can get the same service as their old 2 year contracts for a lot less by going prepay or in some cases postpaid without a contract. For long-distance, beyond 15 miles from home, you can often find rates as low as 2 to 3 cents per minute. However, if you don't need all the bells and whistles, this may be just what you were looking for.
Again this is running on the back of Sprint, so if Sprint covers your area, you should have coverage.

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