What is the one thing you never leave home without? I am willing to bet it's your cell phone. We live in a world where most don't even have a land line telephone anymore and where ten year olds are carrying their own cell. Leaving home without your cell can make you feel, well, naked.
I know how important my cell phone is to me as it is my connection to my soldier. It's not like the "old days" where you had to sit by the telephone or the computer and wait to hear the ring or the yahoo "ding". It's a quick buzz on Skype or a Facebook message that sends your cell phone a push notification, instantaneous connection.
I don't know about you but if the budget got tight, I'd be willing to give up my Target shopping trip, bi-weekly nail appointment, and (dare I say it out loud?) even cable television before I'd give up my cell phone.
As much as I am a spender, I like for my money to go further and so I save any chance I get. Recently, I did a little budget "house cleaning" and scrubbed my cell phone bill. I found that we are overspending and not taking advantage of the features we have purchased.
I encourage you to do the same. Take a close look at your plan, examining the calling, messaging, and data options you've chosen. Then scrutinize your usage pattern. Check several months of phone bills to see whether you pay for more minutes and megabytes than you use, or whether you regularly exceed your usage limits. Make sure you are in the right sized plan and adjust as necessary. Examine your cell phone to see what services you're paying for above and beyond your voice and data plans. Are you paying your carrier for mobile insurance or roadside assistance? Decide if you really need those features. In our case we were simply paying for more than we were using. I was able to adjust our plan and save.
Consumer Reports offers five great ways to save on cellular service. My favorite tip they offer - and one I highly encourage you to take advantage of - is employee discounts. They say, "Google the carrier's name and "employee discount," and navigate to the Web page that asks for your work e-mail address." Fortunately, for government employees almost every carrier offers some sort of military discount using a .mil address.
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