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Top 6 Text Messaging Tips That Avoid Data Plans

Here’s how to maximize your texting without paying for the mobile Web

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Text messaging continues to grow into a global religion by the day. Some people even prefer texting over talking. With the texting proliferation, you can do much more with texting (or SMS) these days than simply sending 160-character messages to your friends.

If you’re already paying for a text messaging plan or it’s included in your overall plan, perhaps you’re not in need of the mobile Web. This list of text messaging tips helps you maximize what texting can do for you without having to pay extra for Internet data usage.

1. Facebook Mobile: Update Your Status

Facebook
Image © Facebook
If you’re on board the social networking craze and Facebook is in your regular repertoire, you needn’t be tethered to your computer to update your status for friends and colleagues.

Facebook Mobile is a free service so you can do just that while on the go. Regular texting rates apply according to your phone’s plan.

2. Twitter: Mobile Microblogging

Twitter
Image © Twitter
It’d be hard to hear a thing or two about the Internet without having Twitter pop up on your radar. The service, which started as a free microblogging service for computer users, has expanded into text messaging so you can send and receive updates via SMS.

But content on Twitter moves very quickly and often, so make sure to control your costs so you’re not flooded with Twitter “tweets”.

3. IM Text Messages

AIM
Image © AOL
You don’t have to be tied to your computer to IM. An IM (or instant message) conversation via services like AIM, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk can happen through text messaging, too. This can help to save you cash on the mobile Web and even cell phone minutes.

4. TextHog: Secure Expense Tracking

TextHog
Image © TextHog
What do you do with all those receipts from the gas station, restaurants or grocery store? Instead of having them pile up and collect dust at home, why not record your expenses using texting?

TextHog empowers you to manage your expenses simply and securely on your cell phone via text messaging. The free service allows tagging to organize similar transactions and offers trends, spending reports, budgets and reminders.

5. Text Message Sweepstakes

Cell phone text messaging
Image © PNC, Getty Images
If you’re a lover of contests, your cell phone can help via your text messaging. In fact, SMS is one of the most popular ways to enter sweepstakes these days.

You don’t have to be at your computer or use your cell phone’s mobile Web to enter a sweepstakes. If you’re out and about and one strikes your fancy, you can just text to enter. Some contests even let you know within seconds if you’ve won.

6. Email a Cell Phone With Texting

Email
Image © Tim Robberts, Getty Images
Even if you don’t have email configured on your cell phone or the person’s phone you’re sending to, your mobile phone still has an email address. You can text to it from your phone just like you would send an email from your computer.
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