Cell Phone Sanity

by Tamara Wilhite

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Since I work in the office, handle tech support emergencies on my personal cell phone, and work from home on "sick kid days" when my kids aren't well, having a cell phone is a necessity. However, paying for it feels like a luxury. Here are a few of tips to keep the costs within sanity:

  • When I needed new batteries, the cost of a new battery turned out to be nearly as much as a new phone. The dealer suggested I either get a new phone or pay for a new battery taken out of a recycled phone someone had sold back to them. So I went to an online dealer and bought two used phones of my older line model for a low price. The batteries are interchangeable with my phone, at a fraction of the cost.

  • Review your cell phone bill. Are you paying for more cell phone messages than you're receiving? If so, downgrade that option on your phone. Are you paying for text messaging you aren't using? If so, get rid of it.

  • Phone companies charge you to break your plan. However, changing from 9 PM nights to 7 PM nights with your current service provider is far different than changing providers. Talk to the customer service representatives and explain that you're not breaking your contract. Instead, you're upgrading. For $5 a month more, I changed from 9 PM nights to 7 PM nights, without fees for changing contracts.

  • If your spouse wants a phone for emergencies, get a cell phone without a plan. All cell phone 911 calls must be received whether you pay a carrier or not.

Cell phones don't have to be an expensive luxury if handled wisely.

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