Long-Distance Calling Cost Calculator
This calculator can provide a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with any long distance calls you make. First input the length in minutes of a particular long distance call from your phone bill and the total cost of that call. Press ENTER, and you’ll see the accumulated costs of your long distance calls (if you enter more than one into the calculator), as well as the average cost per minute of these calls.
The next time you make a long distance call, simply open this calculator page in your web browser and press START CALL TIMER. With the information you provided from your phone bill, you’ll be able to track the cost of any long distance call in real-time. This way, you won’t be shocked the next time you open your phone bill.
7 Ways to Save Money on Phone Expenses
Have you seen increases in your monthly phone expenses? Or are you overwhelmed with trying to keep up with multiple phone services? Are you wasting money on options that you don't use? Would you like to save money on your phone expenses? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, the following suggestions can help you find ways to cut back and save money on your phone expenses.
Get Rid of Your Landline
The cost of having both a landline and a cell phone is quite expensive. However, is there a reason for you to have both? At one time, cell coverage was spotty, which made it hard for people to get a good enough signal consistently in their home. But today signals are much stronger. It is becoming more and more common for people to forgo their landlines in their homes and use only their cell phone. So save yourself the additional cost of having two phones, and cut the one that only is useful when you are home.
Buy Your Phone Upfront
Some carriers offer a "free" or discounted Apple iPhone with a 2-year contract. However the phone is not actually free, but rather the cost is rolled into your monthly bill. If the phone adds $30 in monthly costs it will add $720 in cost over the life of a 2-year contract.
Change Your Plan
When was the last time you reviewed your phone plan with a sales agent? If it has been a while, you should take a few minutes and look into adjusting your plan. Cell phone providers are constantly competing for your business, and they are doggedly trying to outdo their competitors. This is why they have more than likely created a better plan with more minutes, more data, more texting, and all for less money than you have paid. But, if you are already a customer, they are not going to seek you out to lower your bill; you need to go to them.
Choose a Family Plan
A family plan is where several phones within a single family are linked together and share minutes, data, and texting allowances. If you are part of a family where you can combine your accounts into one single plan, you will save money. However, you will need to take into account how much each of you currently uses in time, data, and texting so that you are sure to get a family plan with enough usage for all included.
Use Cheaper Carriers
While AT&T and Verizon are known to have great coverage, there are a wide variety of other cellular services offering good coverage and lower prices. T-Mobile often has lower prices and Sprint ran a popular ad campaign offering to cut Verizon and AT&T bills in half. The WSJ offers an online savings calculator for mobile phone plans, but it only covers the 4 biggest US carriers.
There are a variety of MVNO resellers which typically offer lower prices than you can get directly from Sprint or T-Mobile. Virgin Mobile USA, Ting, Republic Wireless, Cricket Wireless, metroPCS, and Google Project Fi are all discount options worth looking into. Some of them offer no contract services, discounts for multiple lines, discounts for automatic payments and other money saving features like rolling over unused data and minutes.
Consider a Prepaid Phone
Is your cell phone something that you only occasionally use? Is your cell phone more a just-in-case phone and not a necessity? If so, consider canceling your plan with your current provider, and buy a prepaid phone. A prepaid phone allows for you to buy the amount of minutes you want, and then refill those minutes as you need. Instead of paying a monthly fee for minutes that you never use, save your money and only buy what you need.
Those who only need cell phones for emergency use might save money going with a low-cost TracFone. Some of these lower end Google Android-powered feature phones are available in Wal-Mart and on websites like Amazon.com for as little as $5 or $10, and the minutes can be quite cheap as well. A 400-minute 1-year card for TracFone costs $99.99 and their site typically offers bonus minutes promo codes which can double your minutes for the same price.
Manage Your Minutes
It is so easy to not look over your bill when it arrives and just pay the balance that is owed, but are you throwing away money by not paying attention? Do you know if you are over or under using your minutes? If you want to save money on your phone expenses, you must pay attention to your minute usage. When you go over your allowance, phone companies charge exorbitant rates for your overage. But when you consistently under-use, you are just giving your carrier free money. Either way, pay attention to your usage and adjust your plan accordingly.
Is Texting an Option?
Texting has become a huge part of today's society. Some say that it is how most communicate. However, not everyone has a need to text nor do they want to text. If you are one of those people who doesn't need to text, check out your plan and the fees that you are currently paying. Depending on your cell phone plan, you may benefit from eliminating the texting fees that you pay each month. At the very least, once you are clear on what you pay to text, you can decide if it is worth it to drop this cost.
Monitor Your Data Usage
With WiFi in the majority of homes and free WiFi in many public spaces, it is extremely easy to monitor your data usage. However, you have to understand when you are using data first. You can download and watch videos on YouTube as frequent as you want when you are linked to a WiFi service because your data is coming from local Internet. But, when you are not linked to WiFi, every time you connect to the Internet, you are using up your data plan. So save money by doing most of your web surfing when linked to WiFi and avoid overage charges.
Which of these ideas appeal to you most to save money on your phone expenses?