smart spending

5 smart ways to cut smartphone costs

Opt for VoIP
Opt for VoIP

Stretch out your minutes with VoIP, or voice over Internet protocol, where you make calls or send messages via the Internet.

Google Voice and Skype are great VoIP options, says Nick Mokey. For example, by downloading a Skype app, you can make unlimited calls in the U.S., for a small fee, without using your phone's minutes. With Google Voice, you get free voice and text messages. "VoIP allows cheaper voice plans," says Mokey. "You'll use few minutes."

There is a downside, though: Some plans only allow one-way calling, he says.

VoIP is aimed at people with limited voice and data plans, and you don't have to sacrifice speed. People with iPhones can now use Skype or Google apps to make calls over the super-fast 3G network. T-Mobile offers free Wi-Fi calling that also can stretch your cell phone dollar.

Says Mokey: "As long as there's a hot spot, you're not paying from your pool of minutes."

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