5 monthly add-on features that you can probably go without to save yourself some money

5 monthly add-on features that you can probably go without to save yourself some money
At this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to when the economy will turn around, but as we’ve seen over the last couple of years, people are more conscious about how and on what they spend their hard earned money on. In the wireless industry, we can sort of see the same thing playing out, as more carriers are moving away from yesterday’s all-you-can eat methodology with data plans, and instead, adopting tiered ones to better stabilize their network capacity and grow profits. Yet, we somehow get very comfortable with items regarding our monthly cell phone plans, and even worse, we overlook some of the add-ons that have been slowly dissolving the money from our pockets.

Well folks, we implore you all to check out your monthly statements and see what you’re being charge because you can probably save yourself some money and use it elsewhere. Similar to what we saw with the advent and proliferation of text messaging, a lot of people decided to move down to a lower minutes base plan to accommodate the new add-on to their accounts, but the move actually saves money in the long term. Knowing that, here are some monthly add-on features that you were probably sold on at the time of buying your snazzy new device, but in all honesty, you’re simply throwing your money away seeing that there are better alternatives.

Text Messaging

Okay, you’re probably scratching your head after reading about our spiel in the paragraph above, but seriously, you’re probably not aware of this thing called Google Voice. Assuming that you’re sporting a modernized smartphone of some sort, we’re certain that you’re on some kind of data plan. Therefore, you ought to cancel that add-on text messaging plan and simply rely on Google Voice to send messages to people. Sure it lacks MMS for now, but you never know what’s in store for the future. And did we mention that Google Voice is free and offers unlimited texting?! ‘Nuff said.

Monthly GPS Navigation

Looking back a few years ago when feature phones ruled the landscape, many people took to the liking of voice guided turn-by-turn directions from their GPS enabled phones. Back then, it was easily regarded as a luxury only reserved for those with bottomless wallets, but as we know all too well, that’s no longer the case anymore. Heck, even the most basic of basic smartphones can get free navigation. On one hand, you have great free services like Google Maps for Android smartphones, which can even store maps in the event there’s a loss of data connection. Although it’s not quite as intricate, Windows Phone users have Bing Maps as an option. Furthermore, there are a host of one-time payment GPS apps that offer extensive functionality – such as TomTom, Magellan, and Navigon. So why don’t you just drop that extra $10 per month add-on for things like AT&T Navigator or VZ Navigator?

Cell Phone Insurance

Yes, we know that it’s peace of mind for those unfortunate events, but how often do you find yourself dropping your phone or having it stolen? Nowadays, there are a lot of services that offer free GPS tracking and remote services if you happen to lose it. Meanwhile, certain cases are constructed to withstand the brutal punishment of our normal everyday ordeals. However, when you look at the $8 and up prices associated with insurance for our gadgets, not to mention the added deductible when making a claim, the monthly cost can stack up to a staggering amount over the 2 years of owning a smartphone. As much as we’d say it’s a great investment, it’s not going to matter if you don’t make a single claim during your time of ownership. Otherwise, if you happen to forgo getting insurance, there are ways to replace your missing/broken device. For starters, we’re sure you can find a friend that can lend you an unused spare device. Worst-case scenario, you can buy yourself a replacement through places like eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist.

Visual Voicemail

Yes, the transcribing service was popularized by the introduction of the iPhone, and when we look across the landscape right now, it’s something that’s widely available with most smartphones – even for free! However, there some services that carry a monthly cost for it, such as the case with Sprint’s offering. At a paltry $1.99 per month for each phone, it makes you wonder how uninformed and unaware some people really are out there in the world. Again, Google Voice is yet another perfect solution for this one, as the service offers its own integrated transcribing service. Sure it might not be perfect with its performance on all occasions, but hey, it’s there for us to use for free.

Roadside Assistance

Now this is a good one, and in fact, we have to give some kudos to whomever managed to sell you on adding roadside assistance to your account. For some people, they’re probably scratching their heads and wondering why in the world a wireless carrier is offering its customer roadside assistance. Well, the beauty in it is that you’ll be covered if the vehicle you’re in actually stalls or becomes inoperable. However, as some of us know, most car insurance companies offer this feature – though, it’s an add-on for them as well in most cases.  Normally, this feature carries a $4/per month cost with most wireless carriers, which is something that might be lower price with your car insurance. And in some instances, it’s something that’s already included in your policy.

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