How to avoid sticker shock for tween's cell phone bills

Cell phones are not just for teenagers any more. According to a new survey by the National Consumers League, nearly six out of 10 (56 percent) of the parents with children aged 8 to 12 give their tweens cell phones.

Roughly a quarter of those parents are seeing higher bills than they'd expected to pay in order for their child to have a cell phone.

That's why it's so important for you to answer some basic questions before you go shopping. The National Consumers League says you should ask yourself:

  • Why does your child need a cell phone?
  • Will the phone be used primarily to stay in touch with parents and for emergency use? Or will your child be using the phone for entertainment or to communicate with friends?
  • How much do you want to spend per month on service?
  • How much do you want to spend on the initial purchase of the cell phone itself?
  • Is your tween mature enough to keep their minutes, texting, and data use within plan limits?
  • Is your tween mature enough to use the phone responsibly and avoid viewing or sending inappropriate content?
  • What is your tween's school's policy on cell phones in school?
  • Does your tween have a habit of losing things or can he or she handle the responsibility of caring for a phone?

More Info:
Survey: Majority of 'tweeners' now have cell phones, with many parents concerned about cost