Published on April 5, 2013, by

That $100 or more you pay each month for the privilege of owning an iPhone sure can sting when it’s time to pay the bills. There are lots of ways to get that number a little lower, though:

1. FAN Discounts: Check if your employer gets a discount. In many cases all you have to do is tell the wireless company the name of your employer to receive a discount of 10 to 30 percent off your bill every month. This also holds true for many other products and services beyond cell phones, so take the time to hit your employer’s HR web site to see if you could be raking in even more discounts.

2. Get the Right Plan: If you’re not coming close to using all your minutes — especially if you’re on AT&T where you have the buffer of rollover minutes — then it’s time to downgrade. You may also be grandfathered on a plan that’s more expensive than current offerings. Check out what’s currently available and switch if it’s a better deal. Also, if you have two or more phones in your family it’s almost always a better deal to combine them onto a single family plan.

3. Ditch the Add-Ons: Check your bill for add-ons you don’t need. If you’re not a texter or only use iMessage, ditch the unlimited text plan. That phone insurance may have big holes in its coverage and probably has a hefty deductible, so is it worth it? How about roadside assistance? If you have a car still under warranty you probably already have that, so why pay twice?

4. Check For Junk Charges: The wireless companies are complicit in a lot of shady services that quietly tack themselves onto your cell phone bill with the hope that you won’t notice. If you find any unexplained charges like text information services, call the wireless company to get them removed.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask: This applies to many services where there’s lots of competition, but don’t be afraid to ask if they can do better. Often phone/chat agents are empowered to offer you discounts and freebies just to keep you happy, so why not take advantage of it? A good rule of thumb is to call each of your providers (cell, cable, Internet, etc) once a year and ask if you’re getting the best deal. You may be surprised what they can do for you.