While people have cut back on dining out, entertainment, and clothing there is no sign of people cutting back on cell phones.  The Labor Department reports spending on phone services increased more than 4% from last year.  Many people own smartphones which means they are spending on average $100 a month per phone. If you have a family with multiple smartphones, you are probably paying a lot more than $100 a month. The Wall Street Journal notes that some families may be paying as much as $4,000 for cell phones which can potentially be more than their cable TV and internet bill.  But the wireless carriers aren’t upset over your bill and they are not worried about how you are going to pay for it.  US wireless carriers brought in $59 billion in 2011 which is up from $22 billion in 2007.  The wireless carriers’ revenue will continue to increase with their revised data plans, faster networks, and improved phones.  Most people want to keep their smartphone so many are willing to cut back on going out for dinner and drinks to help cut some of their costs to pay for their phone.  Some people also look to prepaid phones to help them save costs.  If you are really good at managing your smartphone usage, you can also consider reducing your data plan and relying on free wifi.  Then you have your extremists who are willing to give up their phones. That’s definitely too far for me, and it seems like its too extreme for most since more than 88% of Americans having a cell phone. I know that I fall into the category of looking elsewhere to cut back costs.  What would you do?
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Lindsey Fandozzi

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