Save Money by Choosing a Family Cell Phone Plan

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Save Money by Choosing a Family Cell Phone Plan

Staff Writer · Nov 30, 2009

Lots of families across America are choosing to go with a collective family cell phone plan for keeping down the costs of communications. A multi-line family plan can indeed save money, but only if it is used wisely. Here are some tips for profiting from combining the cell phone plans of various family members.

Using Favorite Caller Features

Many of the family plans offered by the big cellular providers work best when family members can identify common numbers that they call most often. It’s a good idea to first make sure that the different lines can call each other for free, as this is a huge cost savings over buying individual cell phone lines. Beyond that, try to get a feel for who your family members are calling on a daily basis, and use top five or other programs to save more money.

Tracking Minutes

A very good idea for a family plan is to appoint a household “Minutes Tracker” who can provide information to all of the cell phone users on how the family is handling their various monthly minutes package. Most plans have off-hours “free minutes”, and a flat rate amount of minutes for the peak times during a month. Most companies also allow for tracking minutes. The problem is this: since per-minute fees are a main cause of ballooning cell phone bills, going over on minutes can often sink a family plan. It’s hard to monitor minutes when there are multiple people using them. Having a mutual awareness of tracking minutes near the end of a month when minutes “turn over” will help families avoid high cell phone costs.

Knowing Who Is Paying

Another common problem with family plans is late fees or other liabilities due to bills that aren’t paid on time. If you have an understanding that family members will “chip in” for a bill, somebody will also need to make sure that happens.

Keeping Track of Extras

Beyond the regular services that cell phone companies charge a lot for, there are a whole host of extras, including games, additional services, and data plans, that can boost up rates further. Always pay attention to what kids are doing on cell phones, whether they are innocently building up cost by loading games and puzzles, or accidentally logging on to cell phone “browsers” and triggering extra fees on the bill. Another thing to watch out for is predatory third party schemes that rely on getting information over the Internet to charge families extra dollars on their phone bill.

When monitoring your monthly bill, if any unfamiliar charges appear, you can usually trace them back to the Internet or phone transaction that triggered them, and usually, when contacted, the company will agree to waive their charges.

The above are some ways to save money with a frugal family plan, and avoid the high cell phone bills that plague some households. A family wireless plan can be a way to get more communications for less, according to how well it suits your particular needs as a customer.

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