5 smart ways to cut smart phone costs

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Smartphones are sweeping the country, but new technology comes at a cost. I’m Lucas Wysocki with you Bankrate.com Personal Finance minute.

Between data plans, texting, and your phone your phone bill is looking more like a car note, but there are some things you can do to pare down that monthly bill.

First, identify your needs and use that info to shop for the best plan. If you only use data to check e-mail and occasionally browse the web, you can skimp on your data plan. If you’re a fan of texting, consider unlimited texting plans.

Sites like billshrink.com will do the comparison shopping for you, just enter your usage needs and they’ll find plans that suit you. When you’re starting your contract, avoid those unnecessary add-ons like warranties and insurance.

Most provider-issued warranties overlap the manufacturer’s warranty, and insurance plans often have higher deductibles. Finally, if you need to keep an eye on your minutes consider a Voice over IP app like Skype or Google voice.

For a nominal fee, you can have unlimited calling in the US no matter which provider you have. For more thrifty tips, visit bankrate.com. I’m Lucas Wysocki.