Updated: January 30, 2008
Almost everywhere in the metro, I would always see someone holding a cellular phone – reading or sending text messages. Mobile technology has indeed become part of our everyday life. Wasn’t it just a few years ago when the Philippines was named as the texting capital of the world? SMS quotes, news, rumors and jokes in the country is as viral as YouTube videos.
I used to be one of them, people who would relentlessly send text messages to friends, forwarding jokes, inspirational messages, SMS chain letters, rumors, random greetings, text animations and all that stuff. It was only a few years ago when I resolved to change my habits. I realized that my “inexpensive” pastime is not at all cheap. Those “harmless” text messages sent everyday do add up to a significant expense if you think about it. The good news is that although the days of free SMS services are gone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that our social life should go dead too. That’s why I’d like to share to you some tips on how to save money through these smart text message sending habits.
Use Unlimited Text Services
All mobile telecoms in the country offer unlimited text services. Globe Telecoms has Unlitext, Smart has All Text, Sun Cellular has Text Unlimited – these companies offer various services at different costs so better call your service provider and find out which one is best for your budget. Moreover, did you know that this is not exclusive to prepaid plans? Even postpaid plan holders can subscribe to these unlimited / all text services. One piece of advise though, do not use these unlimited text services everyday. It’s best to use them only during special occasions when you’re planning to send a lot SMS like Valentines, Christmas, New Year or during your birthday when you would be thanking a lot of text greeters. Furthermore, getting these unlimited services will compel you to send text messages as often as you can just to be able to make the most out of your money. But in return, you would be wasting your time sending SMS when you could have been doing something more productive, right?
Use The Telephone
Before you send that text message, why not try to call that person’s landline first? Most people are often at home or at work anyway so save your precious cellphone load and use the telephone. When you need to know something urgent and important, don’t text and place a missed call; just pick up the telephone and dial the person’s landline numbers. If he or she’s not there then that’s when you send an SMS. Are you just greeting your friend “Good Morning” and you don’t want to disturb him or her at work? Go ahead still and place that call, I’ve done this to my friends in the office so many times and they actually appreciate it more than just receiving a text message. Even if they’re busy, they could always spare a few seconds of their time for a friend.
Come Up With Personal Codes
This technique works several ways. First, it saves you character space so that your message can be as concise yet comprehensive as possible, saving you that extra money for long messages. Among your friends, try to come up with codes that you can use to replace common text messages, words or phrases that you send. This works well with names, places you often hang out and questions you often ask. For example, “Hey, me and S are going to MM l8r for dinner at 8. JUs?” In this message, S represents the name of a friend and MM is a place where you guys often go to, l8r means later and JUs simply means “join us.” It only takes a few minutes to come up with your own codes for your group, go ahead and try it with your friends.
Schedule A Rotation In Forwarding Messages
How often have you received the same joke from different people so many times? Unknowingly, your friend just wasted money sending you something that you’ve already received from someone else. The solution to this is to refrain from forwarding every funny or inspirational message you get. I would often just save the best jokes on my cellphone and tell them to my friends when we meet. Actually seeing them laugh can be more rewarding, believe me. If you’re an avid text greeter, then why not divide or distribute your contacts into several groups and make a schedule for your text messages. You could have your Monday group, your Tuesday group and so on. You won’t be spending as much on SMS greetings and yet, your thoughtfulness will still be appreciated.
Don’t Always Text When You’re Bored
The best way to save money on text messages is not to send them at all. If you’re bored and your fingers are itching to send a text message, why not try something else like playing one of your mobile games or organizing your contact list. I’m sure a good number of entries in your phonebook needs to be editted, modified or deleted. Check you inbox and erase old messages and empty your outbox. Most if not all mobile phones nowadays have organizers. Why not spend some time fixing your appointments and schedules or better yet, start an entry to track your expenses. Moreover, you could also try to bring a pocketbook along with you so that instead of reaching for your mobile phone, you could just read and take your mind off texting.
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Photo courtesy of taminsea