A few years ago, I was working quite a bit on the road, and I was managing a few employees. This meant that I was talking a lot on my cell phone. It wasn't uncommon for me to have a $200-300 monthly cell phone bill. Now, I barely spend $30 a year on my cell phone bill. How did I do this? Read on to find out more.
Cell phone use can be addictive. It's easy to spend hours a week on these things, without really noticing it. It's only after the fact, when you get your monthly bill, that you realize how much you have used it. Some professions demand cell phones, and it's not always possible to stop using a cell phone completely. Also, cell phones are great to have around in an emergency or when you're not at home and you want someone to reach you.
In my previous work in finance, I needed to be reachable by clients and employees, as well as my bosses from 8AM to 10PM, especially when I was traveling. In comparison, since 2006, I've spent at the most $100/year on my cell phone bill. Right now, for 2009-2010, I spent $30 and see no reason why I should spend more on it.Merlin Mann's Inbox Zero system, my inbox is always empty and people always comment on how prompt and immediate I am with my responses. There are also times when being unreachable is really nice. When I'm out for dinner with my wife, I don't want to be disturbed, so I don't have my cell phone. The same goes when I am out on the bike.
When I need to do some work, I just lug my 13.3-inch laptop with me. It gets the job done, and it isn't too heavy. It's also a lot easier to email and work on it than on a small smartphone screen. Another way of significantly cutting down on costs is by simply switching off your cell phone for some time. I find it liberating. In fact, as an experiment, I had turned off my cell phone for a few months earlier this year and the world didn't end.
Lastly, if you really want to save a whole lot on your cell phone bill, you need to switch to a Pay-As-You-Go plan. When you've spent a set amount of money, your phone stops working. It's a great indicator to tell you how quickly you will spend money talking on your phone. This is harder to do when you operate on a monthly phone plan.
[all photos by Range]