How To Save Money On Your Cell Phone Bill

Do you think that your cell phone bill is too high? Most Americans are overpaying every single month for their cell phones. However, there are ways you can cut costs and save money. {}

Between talking, texting and surfing the web the Boone family pays about $240 a month for their cell phones. Ideally, the Boone's say they would like to pay less, but picking a plan is confusing.

"It's a puzzle within a puzzle," says Amy Boone.

If you combine all the plans that the four major US cellular carriers offer there are around 200 of them. Validas, a mobile analytics firm, checked out the numbers and found that there are thousands of combinations available for messaging, data, and device protection.

"You have to have choice for consumers," says Mobile Analyst Todd Dunphy, "That choice creates confusion, because when people want to buy simple things."

Dunphy adds all the confusion usually results in "Wireless Waste." The difference between what you pay for your mobile plan and what you actually use. In fact, Validas discovered that last year Americans overpaid by more than $52-billion on their cell phone bills.

"People are over buying in the fear that they're going to go over, but in fact what they keep doing is never using those gigabytes they're buying," says Dunphy.

The FCC now requires cell phone carriers to send "alerts" to customers if they're about to go over their plan limits. Mobile providers are making things easier. There are now 20% fewer plans than there were just two years ago, but Dunphy says more options are needed.

"They have different sets of users and people that need all kinds of different things," says Dunphy, "The one-size-fits-all is not going to work."

How do you know if you're on the right plan? Most major cell phone companies have calculators on their websites. {}You can also call your carrier to see how many minutes and data you actually use. The National Consumers League recommends reviewing three months worth of bills.

"Are you using less voice than you thought you were going to? Are you using more texts that you thought you would? See if there's a way that you can adjust your cell phone plan or maybe switch carriers to find one that better meets your needs for a cheaper cost," says John Breyault from the National Consumers League.

There are other things you can do to lower your cell phone bill. Use WI-FI when playing on line so you can save on data, make sure your insurance plan is worth it and remember that any fee is negotiable. If you're a longtime customer point that out to the salesperson.