Save on your cellphone

Cellphones are wonderful. They’re so convenient, essential for keeping track of business and friends, and many of us would be lost without them. But it’s so easy for cellphone expenditure to get out of hand.

Save on your cellphone 

Jocelyn Newmarch
Fri, 11 Nov 2005

This article is a printout from iafrica.com
Copyright © 2000 iafrica.com*, a division of Metropolis*

Cellphones are wonderful. They’re so convenient, essential for keeping track of business and friends, and many of us would be lost without them. But it’s so easy for cellphone expenditure to get out of hand.

As with most things, saving money in this area depends on how you use your cellphone. You may get a cellphone allowance from your employer. Equally, you may have bought it mainly for security reasons and prefer the prepaid route. If you use your cellphone regularly, or for keeping in touch with far away friends and family, a contract may be better.

?  Know roughly how many of your included minutes you’ve already used, if you’re on a contract. Plan how you’ll spend them, and try and divide it up so you have a set amount of time per week. Often, these minutes are used up before the month is halfway through.

?  When considering a contract, you can often save by choosing a less fancy phone. You can also get a contract-prepaid hybrid where you have a certain amount of airtime per month and can top this up with prepaid vouchers once this has run out.

Control your calls

?  Never call in peak time, unless you have a business contract, an allowance, or are on prepaid voucher which offers cheaper rates during the day.

?  Keep calls short. If you’re wanting a long chat, rather meet up and see each other face to face. Or consider using Telkom, which has a high line rental charge, but much cheaper calls to landline numbers.

?  Only make calls when you really need to.

Get savvy

?  Buy SMS bundles from your provider. A single SMS can cost 70 cents during peak time, and these quickly add up. Buying SMSes in bulk means you pay less for individual messages.

?  For long-distance calls, try phoning over the internet. These can be free within a provider’s network and can still be cheaper if you’re phoning over the internet. Skype charges to landline phones are one euro an hour. Telkom Communicator is free provided the person you’re phoning also has Communicator.

?  Always have enough money on your cellphone for an emergency call.

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