It’s good to talk but it’s also very easy to run up a big phone bill. If your costs are running too high, then here are some simple tips that will help reduce them:
1. Use your land-line rather than your mobile. Mobile calls are more expensive yet I’ve noticed a trend (particularly with twenty-somethings) to make all their calls via their mobiles.
2. Make use of ‘friends and family’ deals, where you get reduced call charges on the numbers you phone most frequently.
3. Use e-mail instead of phoning. This can be a particularly relevant option where you require info from a person or company that’s based half-way around the world. It’s good also where you have a message that you need to send to a group of people. One e-mail rather than 10 separate phone calls is a big saving.
4. Switch to a phone and broadband Internet all in one deal. I’ve done this and I pay a fixed amount which covers all my phone and Internet costs. My fiancee and I can now make as many calls as we like, safe in the knowledge that we won’t get a nasty surprise when the phone bill arrives.
5. Pay by direct debit rather than cheque. Some companies offer discounts where customers choose to pay by automated direct debit.
6. Think about what you’re going to say before making the call. Instead of having a rambling conversation, know what you want to say and say it in a more concise manner. Okay, this may not be suited where you are phoning your friend for a general natter, but there are lots of times when it makes sense. e.g. If you’re phoning your gas company to query your gas bill, you’d much prefer to spend just 5 minutes rather than 20!
7. If you’ve got teenage kids, either ration the calls they are allowed to make, or take the cost (or part of the cost) from them. Might seem a bit hard-hearted but teaching your kids the value of money is an important part of their education.
8. Reduce Internet usage and/or only browse the Internet in the evenings. This advice is for pay-as-you-go Internet users. Call charges are usually lower in the evenings and at weekends.
All these tips should help you to reduce your phone bill. I’d suggest, also, that you review your itemised bill as it comes through and see what parts of it make up the bulk of your costs? You may also wish to set yourself targets for each month or quarter, and then monitor how you do against those targets. With a little bit of effort and self will, you can probably make quite significant savings and the extra money can go into a pension fund, or a savings account, or perhaps to pay for some little luxuries.