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How to save on your cellphone bill

Cellphone plans are constantly changing. If you're not constantly shopping and comparing, you're probably paying too much for your service each month.

Consumer expert Amy Davis has some ideas to help you save some money on your smart phone.

If you have not already called your cellphone company and threatened to switch to another carrier, what are you waiting for? That is the quickest way to get any company to throw you a bone, or in this case, a lower rate. 

Before you call them up, you want to be prepared with how much you could save if you switched.

You can check the rates of every plan offered in your area at My Rate Plan and Whistle Out. Just type in how much talk, texting and data you need; and you'll get a list of the cheapest to most expensive plans available.

Don't be afraid to switch to a lesser-known discount carrier. Many are actually the little brothers and sisters of the big wireless companies. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are both owned by Sprint.

Boost plans start at $35 a month for unlimited talk and text with 3 gigabytes of data. Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T and Metro PCS is owned by T-Mobile. The smaller, cheaper carriers share the same network as their parent companies. The only thing that's smaller is the price you'll pay.

If you like your carrier, but not your monthly bill, check for new or updated plans. Your cell company won't notify you if it rolls out a cheaper plan that could save you some money, but it will switch you if you ask.

All of the big carriers offer employee discounts and savings for state, federal, military, teachers and students. They can drop the price of your monthly  bill by 15 to 20 percent.

Signing up for auto pay can pay off. Both Sprint and T-Mobile will give you at least $5 off your bill each month if you let them automatically deduct your payment from your bank account or debit card.

Lastly, a lot of people are paying their wireless companies $10 to $15 a month for device protection or a warranty. Tech types say the coverage isn't worth it. If you buy your smartphone with a credit card, your card may offer an extended warranty when the manufacturer's warranty expires.

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