1. Employer Discount
If you share the same carrier as your employer, you may be eligible for a discount. The amount of discount you receive depends on the company you work for, but typically big corporations and universities get higher employee discounts than small businesses. However, even small business employees can get up to 10 percent of their monthly plans, so check with your HR department for more information. You could be saving anywhere from $30 to $100 a month!
2. Cost Share With Employer
Carrying around a work phone and a personal phone can be cumbersome. Consider cost-sharing a work phone with your employer so you can use it for personal calls, texts and emails. Businesses typically get better rates on their plans than individual users, so you'll likely be splitting the cost of an even cheaper plan with the same or better features. This deal could yield you a huge savings of up to $150 a month.
3. Consider No-Contract
No-contract plans are growing in popularity as consumers grow wary of mobile agreements and unexpected fees. In fact, T-Mobile just switched to 100 percent no-contract offerings last March and boosted its revenue as a result. Most popular carriers offer no-contract options starting at only $30 per month, and some even offer daily rates for bare-bones users.
4. Upgrade With Care
While mobile carriers make money off plans, devices represent a significant cost to the consumer. This is especially true for users who upgrade their phones frequently in response to aggressive sales tactics and promotional campaigns. Abstain from upgrading all the time or opt for used or refurbished versions of coveted devices. If you must upgrade, go through a trade-in program offered by the carrier or even retailers like Target and Walmart to offset the cost of a new device.
5. Follow the Deals (and forget the Duds)
Mobile carriers have promotions all the time, so don't let claims like "biggest sale of season" or "last-chance to save" mislead you. The best deals include a free device with plan renewal, so keep your eyes peeled for free or super-cheap device promotions before upgrading.
6. Cut the Extras
The more basic your plan, the less money you'll pay. While giving up texting may seem like the end of the world for your teenager, you can avoid that $5 or $10 monthly charge in favor of free apps like TextFree for iPhone or HeyWire for Android. You should also monitor your data usage and downgrade your plan if you don't use more than 2GB per month.
Additional information is available at myrateplan.com and wsj.com/PhonePlan.
Learn more budget-friendly tips from Andrea at andreaworoch.com and follow her on Twitter @andreaworoch.