Cell phone companies are getting away with charging high cell phone bills because we are paying them.  While you may be locked into a contract you don’t have to be locked into that rate. There are plenty of ways to lower that monthly expense.

Review your plan

If you feel like you are paying too much it may be time to review your plan and make sure you have the best plan for you.  Review your past usage. There is no need to pay for monthly minutes and gigabits that you never use.  Your service provider can provide you with this data or you can find it on your monthly statement. If you are consistently using a certain amount of minutes there may be a plan that you could change to that may lower your bill.

Once you get on a limited plan it is important to monitor your minutes and data.  There are apps available to monitor your minutes on your phone.  Most service providers make it easy for you to monitor your minutes by accessing it through your phone or by text message.  You can also set up a notification program that has your server message you if you are getting close to your minutes.

Threaten to Cancel

If you call to discuss your cell phone plan, you can usually negotiate a better rate.  When you talk to customer service, say you want to cancel and they will transfer you to their customer retention department.  This department can negotiate a new plan for you and give you deals and discounts you can’t find anywhere else.  Basically, they will do anything to keep you as a customer.

Upgrade to a Family Plan

Family plans give you a better rate for sometimes the exact same minutes.  If your family won’t join in on a cell phone plan with you, your friends might.  You could save a lot of money by adding lines as a group and splitting the bill.

Affiliate Discount

Your place of employment may have an agreement with a cell phone company to offer deals to their employees.  Ask your HR department to see if your company has such a deal.  Make sure to mention the affiliate discount when you are getting a new plan.

Ask for Student

Most companies have student discounts but don’t offer them unless you ask about them.  If you have a kid going back to school or are going back yourself, there may be a discount in store for you. Just compare the discounts to affiliate programs and family plans to make sure you are getting the best deal.

Say No to the Insurance

Most cell phone insurance plans are a waste of money.  The cell phone manufacturer typically covers the phone for the first two years.  The cell phone companies plan is like an extended warranty.  Most of the time you are ready for an upgrade in the two years anyway or eligible for a new phone within your company.  Unless you are incredibly accident-prone or you have a clumsy teenager, the damage insurance to replace the phone is usually doesn’t add up. You are better off putting that money away every month so you can buy a new phone yourself if something happens to it.

Use WiFi whenever you can

If you have a smart phone, you can save on your bill by using a free WiFi connection whenever you can. Most places have WiFi these days that you can connect to without using your data plan.  When you are home, in the office, at the gym or at the coffee shop you can tap into the free WiFi.