There are both high-tech and low-tech ways to reduce your phone bills and save money. For your home phone, the cheapest way is to buy yourself a timer. Watching those seconds tick away (or the sand running out) as you speak, is a great incentive to make the conversation brief.
If it’s your cellphone (mobile) that’s costing you money, then you need to look closely at your bill to understand how to save. If your plan has a “cap” and you keep exceeding it, ask yourself why. Are you over-using features that aren’t included in the cap, like SMS or voicemail? Could you switch to a plan that covers the services you want, and doesn’t cover stuff you don’t want? Choosing the right plan is a very individual thing and can’t be covered in one article: it does take research.
It’s also important to understand how the cost of calls on your home phone compare to the cost of cell/mobile calls. Cellphones are so much a part of our lives, that it’s very easy to use it to make calls even when we are standing right next to our home phone, which may be cheaper.
Make sure you have a list of friends’ numbers handy to the home phone, so you don’t have to go checking your cell to find their numbers (because then, it’s quicker just to make the call).
If you feel that your phone spending is getting out of control but you can’t work out the reason, try keeping a call diary for a few days. Note down the date and time of the call, who you called and, most importantly, WHY you called. “Why” is the one bit of information that you can’t get from your phone bill or call records, and it is the most valuable. Once you have three or four days’ information, sit down and see if you can see a pattern in the types of calls that you make.
– If you are making a lot of calls that don’t have any specific purpose, then perhaps there is an opportunity to cut down, or at least make these calls at off-peak times when they are cheaper.
– If you are constantly calling one or two individuals to make arrangements or check information, then perhaps you could find ways to communicate more effectively (and less often).
– You may be able to identify calls where you could have conveyed the information just as well in a text message.
– If you are making a lot of calls that are work-related, keep the diary for a week or so, then you have evidence to go to your employer and ask for a phone allowance.
The basic message is – in order to reduce your phone spending, you first need to understand it. Take some time to analyse what you do, and you will be on your way to saving money.