February is the month of love. Unfortunately, our relationships with our mobile devices may not be so warm and fuzzy. (Remember that time you got a $500 bill from your carrier? Hey, we’re not judging. We’ve been there, too.) Cell phones are both a joy and a bane for most of us. If you are still looking at ways to pare down your expenses for the new year, here are a few ideas regarding mobile devices and carriers.
- If you own a cell phone, get rid of your landline. If your landline only rings when you are sitting down to dinner, you may be wasting your money – in some cases, up to $50 a month. That’s a savings of $600 a year! There are some drawbacks to consider: 911 emergency services may have a difficult time determining your exact location with a cell phone, monitored alarm systems require a landline to operate, and bad weather can impede your cell phone’s reception. There are some great long distance options which offer free service – like Skype or Google Voice – if you decide you’d rather have the money in your pocket.
- Be prepared when you travel internationally with your cell phone. Roaming fees can be atrocious! Don’t let your carrier rob you of your fun money when you travel: plan ahead. It is as simple as calling and enquiring about a pre-paid long distance or roaming package before you leave the country. Paying up front could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Be careful though: data and text roaming are not usually included in the packages.
Be aware of when your contract expires. Both Rogers and Bell charge up to $400 for an early cancellation, plus additional charges if you have a data plan. Always read the fine print. And, if you are unsure when your contract is done, ask. Then, start doing your research on other mobile carriers. That way, when your cancellation date arrives, you are able to smoothly transition to another carrier.