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Money tip: 3 ways to keep cell phone fees in check

July 7, 2008

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If you have ever incurred cell phone fees, you know they can sting. Depending on your plan, the penalty for going over your minutes can range from 5 cents a minute to 45 cents.

If you've regularly been getting slapped with fees, it's probably time to change your behavior. From Amy Bickers, associate editor at Kiplinger.com, here are three ways to avoid cell phone fees:

¢ Keep track of your minutes. It's not hard and certainly is worthwhile. Just set up an online account with your phone carrier. You can also check minutes on your phone, typically by calling into the phone company's automated system.

¢ Buy text messages in bulk. If you don't yet have a bulk plan for text messages, it may be time to look into one. If you text frequently without a bulk plan, those text messages add up. Phone companies can charge up to 20 cents a message to send or receive.

¢ Look into prepaid services. With a prepaid service, you can cancel your service without penalties. The added benefit of this service is you aren't locking yourself into a contract. If you want to switch to another service, it is easy and fee-less to do.

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