POSTED: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 8:09am
Many teens want a new cellphone for Christmas, and that could have a big impact on monthly bills. Chris Clackum reports.
(NBC News) Parents looking to give their teenage child one of the most-wanted gifts for Christmas this year should gear up on how best to pay for it.
A survey by Ebates.com finds a third of American teens want a cellphone for Christmas this year.
That should parents scrambling to see what it will do to monthly cellphone bills.
"More than half of Americans pay more than $100 a month right now for their cellphone service," notes author and technology journalist Bob Sullivan. "That's $1,200 a year, that's a lot of money"
Fortunately competition in the industry is heating up and driving down costs for consumers.
"If you have your own gadget you can get service for a smartphone for $40, $50, or $60 a month where there's no contract involved," Sullivan says.
Owning your own gadget is getting easier because of plans like T-Mobile's offer of a new phone every six months when you buy their data plan.
Another way to cut your cellphone expense is go prepaid.
"The vast majority of people, almost all of them who are on a contract plan, overpay because they're paying for minutes or data that they don't use," Sullivan explains.
With prepaid plans you're only paying for what you use.
A family plan where minutes and data packages are shared is also a good option.