Are you paying for something you can get better for free?

Many people pay a king's ransom to AT&T or Verizon -- around $20 a month -- for texting. But smartphones can use apps that allow worldwide free messaging and they deliver a more robust user experience too. Among the free options:

It's important to mention that these services are free when you're texting from a free wifi hotspot. If you're not, you're using your smartphone's data network and could incur a fee.

These services I've listed give you messaging apps for free because it's all about the games they try to sell you. It's not even the mobile ads that pay the bills for these freemium services; it's really the gaming apps that come embedded in the platforms!

Of course, the fastest growing of all these free services is the controversial SnapChat.com. If you're a parent and you haven't heard of SnapChat, get a clue fast so you know what your kids might be up to.

As for you, stop throwing money away! Don't let AT&T or Verizon rip you when the industry offers better stuff for free.
 

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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