Save money, be smart with your smartphone bill

A lot of smartphone users are paying for a bigger voice and data plan than they really need. CNET's Kara Tsuboi reports on ways you can trim your plan and save some cash.

Kara Tsuboi Reporter
Kara Tsuboi has covered technology news for CNET and CBS Interactive for nearly seven years. From cutting edge robotics at NASA to the hottest TVs at CES to Apple events in San Francisco, Kara has reported on it all. In addition to daily news, twice every week her "Tech Minutes" are broadcast to CBS TV stations across the country.
Kara Tsuboi

If you own a smartphone, there's a good chance you're paying for more in services than you actually use. Because many of us are fearful of extra charges that can quickly add up, we choose a bigger voice and data plan than we actually come close to using. CNET senior editor Kent German has shared some tips to find a service plan that better suits your needs:

• Analyze the amount of time you spend talking on the phone every month over a period of time. Find the average. German says it's unlikely you're using all 700 minutes (or more) a month that your provider gives you.

• Track your data usage. It can be confusing to figure out which files are which size, so here's a general rule: If you use your smartphone's data plan for anything more than simple e-mails--like streaming music and video, and sending photos and other attachments--then you would benefit from an unlimited data plan.

• Adjust your service plan, if needed. Depending on the monthly and yearly savings, it may be worth resetting your contract for another two years.

Billmonitor.com recently conducted a smartphone study in Great Britain and concluded that if everyone adjusted their plans and paid for the correct services, they'd collectively save the country nearly 5 billion pounds, or more than $8 billion, a year. Astounding.

Watch this: How not to overpay for your smartphone