Top ways to save money when you text, call and use data

whats-app-messenger-appYou don’t need to fork out huge sums for expensive price plans if you’re a text addict, like to make lots of calls or spend your days scrolling through Facebook. There are actually a number of apps and services available that’ll cut your bills right down, give you more information about the way you’re using your mobile or even let you text and call completely free of charge.

Here’s our pick of the best ways to save money when you’re texting, chatting away and browsing the web from your mobile:

For texting, photos and videos: Whatsapp

It’s known to be super popular amongst younger people and teens, but if you find yourself exceeding your text limit every month, or want to shave some money off your bill and not have such a high number of texts included, then we’d recommend you give Whatsapp a whirl, regardless of how old you are.

The app is somewhere between texting and instant messaging, because you can send all kinds of content (like videos, photos and audio clips) but also see when the people you’re talking to are typing or online too, which can be really handy or just turn you into a complete stalker.

You can also send group messages and even text people abroad for absolutely no charge, so it’s great for travelling or if you have friends that live abroad and want to keep in touch without breaking the bank.

The app itself is actually available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian devices, so check out whatsapp.com to see if yours is compatible (we’d say it definitely is unless you’re still rocking an old school Motorola brick).

For making the most of your data plan: Onavo Extend

Onavo Extend is an app that promises to “stretch your data plan by up to five times” and helps you stay within your current data plan whether you’re at home or need to keep track of roaming charges when you’re abroad.

It works by running a lot of what you do with your mobile (but not everything) through dedicated servers which compress your data and save you money. Simple.

The app also presents you with reports about which apps and data activities are using up the most data, so you can keep track of how you’re spending money and make changes to your calling, texting and app-ing behaviour if you need to.

Onavo Extend is available for both iOS and Android devices for free, check out www.onavo.com for more information and download links.

For saving money when you call premium numbers: 08 Saver

If you have to make a call to a premium 0800 number instead of just going ahead and silently crying about the fact it’ll cost you a fortune in a month, try searching for the company you need with 08 Saver. It’ll find the organisation you need to chat with and present you with an alternative number that hopefully won’t break the bank.

Available from iTunes for 69p.

For free everything, whenever, wherever, whatever: Viber

Viber is a completely free app that allows you to do pretty much anything, for free, wherever you are and whatever phone you happen to have. You can call, video call, text or send photos and from what we can tell there really is no catch…

Visit www.viber.com for download information and to try and find the catch (let us know if you do).

About Becca Caddy

Becca is freelance writer specialising in all things tech, web culture and social media. She works as the Editor of Shiny Shiny and the UK Editor of Popgadget and has written for various print and online publications, including The Sunday Times, BitchBuzz and New Media Age’s spin-off publication, Reputation Online. Follow Becca on Twitter: @beccacaddy