We all like to be connected on the go. Indeed, I don’t even like to be tethered down in my own house. Wireless products and services help us enjoy the flexibility of being connected anytime, anywhere. The wireless connection in my home allows me to work on the couch with my laptop if I want to, and the wireless access elsewhere means I can connect anytime. Plus, wireless phone services mean that I can get help if I’m stranded, and that my husband can reach me in an emergency, no matter where I am.
All this convenience comes with a cost, though. Add up your wireless bills, and see what you’re paying. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to pay so much. Ahmed Khattak, the CEO of wireless service company GSM Nation, offers the following 5 tips to help you save more than $1,000 in the long run:
1. Buy a Contract-Free Phone
“Do not sign a two-year contract! You will lose money, freedom and convenience,” Khattack insists via email. “Wireless carriers lure consumers with a ‘discounted’ phone but make them sign overpriced and restrictive contracts that end up costing them more than $1,000 extra over the life of the contract.”
Go ahead and pay full price for the phone. You’ll pay a little more now, but you could save in the long run, since you won’t have to worry about early cancellation fees with your contract if you decide to go looking for a better deal. Don’t get locked into a contract.
2. Use a Contract-Free Unlimited Monthly Plan
My husband uses unlimited talk and text from T-Mobile for his phone. It’s one monthly rate (which is quite reasonable). It’s been helpful for us on a number of levels. “Instead of paying $100-$200 per month for your wireless plan, pay $40-$60 for an all-inclusive, unlimited plan,” suggests Khattack.
3. Take a Look at GSM’s Savings Calculator
GSM offers a Savings Calculator that can help you find out what product is best for you. Include the minutes you use, your current plan, and other information and you can see what is available to you. You really can save money by comparison shopping, and Khattack insists that GSM’s product is a good place to start.
4. Learn about Non-Apple Products
It’s true that I love Apple products. However, they can be expensive. You don’t need Apple products to have high quality on the go. Khattack points out that, “You can find world-class smart phones for under $150 and tablets for under $300.” Indeed, the Kindle Fire is a good choice for a basic tablet, and you can find great smart phones for less than the cost of an iPhone. There’s no reason to pay a premium for a brand name if something else will work just as well for you.
5. Get the Best Information
Before you take the plunge and make a wireless purchase, read the reviews. Before I buy a wireless router for my home, read the reviews, and do my best to find the best value. If you want to make the best decision for your money, you need to read about the products and services from others. “When choosing wireless products and services, consumers should visit online digital communities such as GSM Nation, Engadget and Gizmodo to see product reviews, forums and feedback from experts, other customers and objective parties,” Khattack says.
What are your best tips for saving money on wireless services?
Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.