1 of 2

A video released by Kiplinger last week reminds consumers that major cellphone carriers aren’t doing them any favors, which is why they need to do their homework.

“Pricing on packages that might include data usage, text messages and voice minutes are constantly changing,” the video says. “It can be difficult to compare one to another.”

In fact, cellphone contracts have been going through a revolution of sorts, with companies like AT&T and Verizon Wireless developing no-contract plans that mirror the once radical approach of providers like Republic Wireless.

Affordability continues to be an important issue for providers, particularly because of the expansion of the smartphone market. Because of this, companies have gotten creative to remain competitive.

Rumor has it even Apple seems to be toying with the creation of a less expensive model for the more cost-conscious customer.

To help make things less complicated, Kiplinger recommends three tips to keep in mind while searching for the right contract:

First, pay close attention to your family's data usage. If your family frequently streams videos on their phones, be sure to get a plan with a large enough data package to accommodate.

Second, be aware of the minutes you use. If you or your family members don’t use up many calling minutes, it’s not necessary to opt for a costly package with unlimited calls.

Third, be sure to ask people you trust what they think of their wireless carriers. You can get a better feel for the reliabilty of a carrier by asking someone in who shares similar cellphone needs.

JJ Feinauer is a graduate of Southern Virginia University and an intern for the Moneywise page on DeseretNews.com. Email: [email protected], Twitter: @jjfeinauer.