Cell phone plans with unlimited talk and data are going the way of the flip phone. Anymore, these plans come at a high cost or with a lengthy contract. People wanting to save on their cell phone bills are opting for more and more for prepaid plans or monthly plans with a set number of minutes. In this fast paced, hyper connected world, it can be easy to see those minutes trickle away faster than we anticipate. These three suggestions will help the frugal cell phone consumer save their minutes, and thus their money, through simple changes in behavior.
First: text instead. You can most often convey all of the information in a few sentences via text rather than a call which would take 5-10 minutes minimum. Better yet, use a WiFi messaging app. This may seem like an overly obvious suggestion, but if you set a precedent with people that you prefer this method of communication, then they will be more apt to shoot you a text, and keep you off of your phone. For lack of a better word, you are “training” the people in your life to text you rather than giving you a call if they need to share information.
Second: use a land line phone. Again, it may seem overly obvious that using a land line will not take up your cell phone minutes, but the key is to put into people’s minds that your land line number is the number that you use. Like Pavlov in action, you are ensuring that the next time their dialing finger reaches toward their phone, it is your home or office land line number that gets punched in.
Third: let it go to voice mail. Yes, it may seem cold to knowingly and willingly not answer the phone, even when it may be someone close to you. By all means, use your judgement; don’t miss emergent information for the sake of saving a few pennies. If you’re pretty sure that the call is business that can be left in a voice mail message, handled through text, or can wait until you get a chance to call that person back from a land line, then it’s kind of a no brainer. And again, you are setting that important precedent that it is easier to reach you through other channels.
In today’s world, effective communication is essential. However, this may come at a high cost in a time when the frugal minded consumer needs to be prudent with their cell phone minutes. By using the three tips outlined above, you can remain connected and foster relationships without draining precious cell phone minutes.