Money Saving Tips: Text Messaging

The Philippines is the text (SMS) messaging capital of the world.  Along with food, shelter, and trasportation expenses, cellphone fees, particularly text messaging fees, probably rank among the top 5 of our monthly expenses.  I can understand the need for connection and to keep in touch with friends, that is why I won't tell you to stop text messaging.  Telling Filipinos to do so would be a worthless advice.  Instead, I would like to share some tips on how you can save a few extra bucks while still enjoying the benefits of text messaging.

1. Avoid joining Subscription / Chat / Update services.

If you are getting a lot of text updates throughout the day, check these messages and see if they are being sent to you for free.  A free update service will usually indicate this at the start or end of the text message.  If no such indication exists, it is most likely that the text message update sent to you is costing you.  Usual rates are P2.50 per text message.  I've seen services like this that guarantee "at least one update per day."  If you receive at least one for 30 days, that's 75 pesos a month or P912.50 a year!  If the service is not that important to you, you'll be better off spending this amount of money for something else.

2. Avoid downloading picture messages or music tones.

Each download costs around P15 pesos.  You don't really need these network logos, picture messages, or music tones.  You'll probably be better off taking your own picture, downloading a picture from the internet , or choosing an mp3 from your personal collection and saving it to your phone. 
Post-paid subscribers be aware that these downloads are normally not part of your text allocation for the month.  Availing the services of third party vendors will cost you extra.  Check your monthly bills to be sure.

3. Avoid joining raffle promos, game show promos, and text surveys on television shows.

Each time you join these promos they normally charge you P15 pesos per entry!  As a consolation prize, they send a free picture message, network logo, or music tone for your cellphone.  But as I wrote in no. 2, you don't really need this stuff.  Each time you join, they would also require you to register once.  That's an additional P2.50 pesos added to your expenses.  
Joining game show promos through text is like betting in the lottery.  Ever wonder how TV networks are able to offer big amounts daily?  That's partly because a lot of people are joining and texting their entries.  For each text that you send, a percent of the proceeds go to the TV networks.  Which means additional rating and income for them but additional costs for you.  Although the thrill and prospect of winning is tempting, your chances of being drawn is really very slim.  There are a lot of other better and more sure ways to earn money and become rich. 

4. Consider Unlimited Texting Promos

If you feel the need to connect or send a lot of text messages to a group of friends, consider availing of unlimited text promos.  There are promos that allow you to send an unlimited number of text messages over a certain period of time for a very reasonable amount. 

5. Be conscious of your messages and think before sending them.

A lot of cellphone loads are wasted on abruptly sent text messages that are uncomprehensible due to poor construction.  Sometimes we change the spelling too much or forget to put punctuation marks making the message harder to read.  Reading your text messages again before sending them will minimize these errors and you'll be left with a lot more load to text with.  
Instances where in we abruptly reply with a simple "ok" and then press the send message button only to realize that we need to clarify something and then send a follow up text is common.  Avoid these situations by being conscious of your actions while texting.  Consider everything before pressing that send button.  Also, avoid doing too many things at a time while texting.  This can lead to the same problem as well.  

6. Consider Calling instead of Texting.

Ever had one of those text messaging exchanges where in no matter what you sent, the other party just keeps replying back and asking for more clarifications?  There are messages that are easier to convey through calling instead of text messaging.  Sometimes, what could have been a 1 minute call only turns into several text messages exchanged over a longer period of time.  Not only are you possibly wasting more money but wasting time as well.  Try to look out for these situations.  Personally, I find that when I'm giving instructions, I convey the message faster and clearer by calling instead of texting.  

Besides, people connect better through calls.  It would be nice to hear each other's voice from time to time as well.  Happy texting everyone!

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