Cell phone bills can get expensive. According to J.D. Power and Associates, the average American family spends $139 or more a month on cell phones – that's $1,668 per year! But you don't have to overpay on your cell phone bill. There are several ways that you can reduce your bill and put those extra bucks back in your pocket.

 

 

 

1. Compare your plan

Websites like BillShrink and SaveLoveGive will analyze your bill, charges and usage. After you provide them with your account information, the sites will compare your current plan to other cheaper plans or suggest ways that you can save money with your current plan. For example, BillShrink recommended that I switch to T-Mobile, which would give me a similar plan as my current provider, but save me about $50 a month!

2. Check for discounts

Even though you might not even be aware of it, lots of companies get employee discounts on cell phone plans and services. And I'm not just talking about corporate employees – students, government workers and even teachers can qualify. Check out the discount pages for Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. Just enter your organizational email address and see what your potential savings are. If your company qualifies, this could save you about $200 a year on your cell phone bill.

3. Trim unused services and sneaky charges

Little charges (like horoscope texts, 411, visual voicemail, mobile insurance, GPS service and roadside assistance) can really add up. Look closely at your next cell phone bill and ask your carrier to remove any services you are unfamiliar with or do not use. On average, you could save more than $5 a month on your bill by trimming away excess services.

4. Use Wi-Fi

Use free Wi-Fi connections as much as possible, whether you are at Starbucks, work or at home. This way you won't accidentally go over your data – which can come with heavy overage charges.

5. Use your powers of negotiation

Don't be afraid to talk to your cell phone carrier before you pay any upgrade or activation fees. Sometimes, simply by asking, carriers will waive fees. You can even ask for a better deal if you are unhappy with the cost of your service. Service providers don't typically want to lose you to their competitors, so you will probably get it.

6. Ditch your smartphone

Sure, smartphones are awesome – I mean, you can update your Facebook status from almost anywhere! But the extra $50 I pay every month for my data plan (plus the $200 my smartphone originally cost) isn’t so awesome. If you just can't bear to give up on Kim Kardashian's latest Tweets while on your carpool ride to work, consider using a Wi-Fi device like an iPod Touch which offers access to apps, email and the web without hefty contracts or data charges.

7. Say "no" to your voice plan

Instead of eliminating your data plan, consider dumping your voice plan – if your carrier allows it, of course. You can use the W-Fi access on your phone to make phone calls via Google Voice, Fring or Skype. Although the quality might not be perfect, it can save you up to $40 a month – or whatever the cost of your voice service is.

8. Cut back on data

If you aren’t ready to eliminate your voice service, smartphone or data plan completely, try cutting back on your data usage instead. Consider uninstalling apps like Angry Birds, Google Maps, Netflix and Pandora, which take up a lot of your bandwidth and data usage. Switch to your carrier's lowest-tiered data plan and use websites like WhatisMyCap, which offer you tips on how to avoid data overage charges using your actual data plan! Using this site, I was able to eliminate $15 from my bill each month!

How to Save on Your Cell Phone Bill