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Save money: How to lower your cell phone bill

If your monthly phone bill is sending you into cell shock it may be time for a mobile makeover. Learn how simple steps can mean big savings for you and your family.
Cell phones are faster, smarter and in some cases bigger.  So is the monthly bill.  If your monthly phone bill is sending you into cell shock it may be time for a mobile makeover.  All you have to do is pull out your current bill and go through it line by line.

Tanya Brainerd has to be available 24/7. Showing and selling homes is her business and her cell phone never leaves her side. At the end of every month she dreads opening her monthly bill.

"I do, I do, but it's something that I just try to block out of my mind because I have to have it," Brainerd said.

She also has two kids and her husband on the plan. On average her monthly bill rings in at $250.  "I see it and go, 'Oh Gosh, here it is again, that monthly high-dollar phone bill,'" she said.

So Brainerd agreed to let us send her staggering bill to our cell phone expert in California via the internet.  Within minutes there's good news.  "$464 a year roughly is what he thought he could save me."  That is a savings of nearly $40 bucks a month.

According to our cell phone expert Brainerd was paying for minutes she never used.  "I didn't think he could save me any money because I thought I had actually already done it," Brainerd said.

Experts say there are a number of ways you can slash your cell phone bill:
  • Don't overbuy minutes - Review the voice minutes you've used and not used.  You may save big time by switching to a plan with fewer minutes.
  • Don't waste your cell phone minutes to check voice mail - Do that from a landline.
  • Consider texting bundles - They come a la carte or in a package deal.  Review your texting habits and then decide which one will save you in the long run.
  • Don't sign up for a new long term plan just to get a new phone - Buy the phone separately.
  • And drop the insurance on your phone - That alone could save you more than a $100 a year.
The bottom line is check your bill's bottom line.  Odds are you're dialing and texting for too many dollars.

The expert we used was reviewmybill.com but he only deals with businesses.  Another idea that really works, calling your carrier and asking them how you can save.  Believe it or not, most will work with you. 
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