I used to spend $80 dollars each month or $960 dollars per year on my cell phone bill. This is a
huge amount of money that was directly eating away from my ability to save for my down payment.
After changing my plan and daily routine, I now only spend $40 dollars each month or $480 dollars
per year, saving $480 dollars per year. This is great savings and it only took me a few minutes,
in addition to a few very simple changes to my daily routine. In saving for your home loan down
payment, I highly recommend targeting your cell phone bill as a quick and easy lever to save money.
Why The Heck Do I Need TV On My Phone?
This is an easy one. When I originally got my new phone, the nice salesperson talked me into a
$15 dollar a month package on top of my regular package to receive TV and internet on my phone.
This is ridiculous! Why in the world do I need to watch TV on a tiny cell phone screen when I am
staring at my computer screen all day at work and then my TV when I get home at night. The last
thing I need to be doing for my health and wallet is watching TV on my cell phone. If you have
been talked into this option like me, I urge you to reconsider. If you don't have this option,
don't let the salesperson talk you into it. This alone is now saving me $180 per year. That is
good money now sitting in my savings account.
Get A Cell Phone or Blackberry From Your Employer
Many companies these days want there employees to stay connected 24 hours a day. This means they
are often willing to loan their employees cell phones and Blackberries. I personally have a
Blackberry for my job which is great because I can use it for email and cell phone. When I was
recently on vacation, my personal cell phone wanted to charge me the dreaded roaming fee. My
Blackberry, however, got great reception and acted as the perfect back up to save me the large
costs for roaming fees. Even if your employer does not provide you with a cell phone, I highly
recommend using your desk phone at work for personal calls. This allows you to avoid using your
cell phone during peak calling times. However, this article would not be complete without
warning you of the risks of following this advice. Understand your
employer's policy on personal usage of their cell phones and desk phones. The last thing you want
to do is make a bad name for yourself at your job just to save a few hundred dollars a year.
If you are like me, your job is your primary source of income and the essential backbone of
saving for a down payment and qualifying for a mortgage loan. My top priority is to always look
good at my job.
Save Money By Regularly Checking For New Plans
The great thing about cell phone companies is there are a lot of them and they are all competing
for your business. This means rates are constantly falling and there is almost always a better
plan you can sign up for. I don't recommend changing cell phone companies because this is how
you can get yourself into real trouble due to the 1 and 2 year contracts that you must sign.
There are break up fees to ending your contract and these are almost always going to be higher
than any savings from changing carriers. However, what I do recommend is constantly staying up
to date with the new plans your current provider offers. Your mobile phone carrier wants you to
stay a customer. I use Sprint and they are always happy to
let me sign up for their new cheaper plan as long as I sign another two year contract. I'm
happy to sign the contract because I view the cell phone as an ongoing expense that will be
a part of my life forever. What I strive to do is minimize my monthly payments by making sure
I am always in the best plan my carrier provides. Sprint makes it really easy to check their
plans directly from their online interface in addition to calling up one of their representatives.
Avoid Ringtones Scams, They Will Cost You Dearly
If you watch a lot of late night television or cable television like myself, there is a high
probability you have seen commercials on TV for ringtones. At all costs, stay away from
ringtones programs, especially the ones advertised on TV. With the majority of ringtones
programs, they have fine print that opts you into a
monthly recurring fee program that can quickly cost you hundreds of dollars each year. There
is a reason they can afford to advertise ringtones on TV. The cost is much higher than people
think and they fool innocent consumers into plans that cost them dearly.
Avoid Peak Time Minutes, Target Nights and Weekends
Cell phone plans are competitive these days. Just a few years ago, my unlimited night time minutes
would start at 9:00 pm. Now, they begin at 7:00 pm. 7:00 pm is not too late at all and I have
decided to purchase one of the cheapest plans from Sprint that provides minimal peak time minutes
and then just wait to use my phone until
7:00 pm at night unless it's a super high priority and I can conclude my call quickly. If I need
to make a call during peak minute time, I either use my desk phone at work or my work provided
411 & Text Messaging Are Way Too Expensive
Cell phone companies will charge you dearly if you use 411 or text messaging without a text
messaging plan. Avoid these when possible. If you need 411 assistance, why not call a friend?
If you cannot live without text messaging, sign up for a text messaging plan because otherwise
you will be way overcharged for using this services outside of a plan. Ideally, I recommend
giving up text messaging. It will save you valuable time during your day which you can use to
make more money for your down payment. For some additional interesting tips on avoiding 411,
I recommend checking out
Savvy Tips on cell phone savings.
Choose The Same Carrier As Your Husband, Wife, & Friends
This one can get tricky if you are locked into a contract. It is difficult to break cell phone
contracts without paying for it and I recommend not breaking contracts. If your contract is up,
however, why not choose the same carrier as your husband, wife, and/or friends? Most cell phone
companies these days are providing unlimited anytime minutes between users on the same network.
This will equate to huge savings and will allow you to get away with purchasing one of the
cheapest plans available on your provider, if not the cheapest.
Get Rid of Your Home Phone For Large Savings
Here is my tip for power savers. Now that cell phones are so cheap and widespread and you are
armed with the above money saving tips, why keep a home phone? Assuming a $20 dollar per month
home phone bill, you could be saving $240 per year toward your down payment if you simply cancel
your home phone line. I use my cell phone for all calls, most of which are done after 7:00 pm
on my unlimited minutes, and this is amounting to some serious savings. Only catch here is if you
are using your home phone for internet access. The way I have found around this is to subscribe
to high speed internet from my cable provider. I cannot live without cable television so I have
chosen to pay extra on my cable bill for internet but am able to pocket some great savings by
completely avoiding a land line bill. Remember, one of the best ways to save money is to totally
avoid certain expenses. Home phones are not necessary anymore and you can completely avoid this
expense for great savings.
As additional resources, you can find 9 Ways to Save Money on Your
Cell Phone Bill at Yahoo Tech and
Top Five Ways to Cut Cell Phone
Costs at AOL Money.