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Smartphone bills skewing family budgets

Wednesday - 9/26/2012, 10:13am  ET

AP: 9b0a312a-7178-4ac4-a338-113c14a53a1a
It doesn't matter what type of cellphone you have, your phone is probably a money pit. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

How much does your cellphone bill cost per month? Is it so much that you have to cut down on other expenses? Post a comment in this story, comment on WTOP's Facebook Page or use #WTOPTalkback or #WTOP on Twitter.

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - If you pay the bills, you know your smartphone is a money pit.

Not even counting apps or accessories, you are paying more and more to use and enjoy the ever-growing number of things possible on cellphones.

And that's causing many families to cut back on other things to feed their smartphone habits.

Labor Department data released this week shows spending on phone services rose more than 4 percent last year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Wireless carriers working to develop faster network speeds are reaping the benefits of increased data usage.

Surfing the net, streaming video and playing games chews up data, for which customers usually pay.

Families with more than one smartphone can easily pay $4,000 yearly, far more than they pay for cable and home Internet.

The Labor Department figures show Americans spent $116 more on phones last year than they did in 2007.

It appears people are reducing spending on other items to compensate for what they're spending on their phones.

The amount spent on dining out fell by $48 a year, clothes spending dropped by $141 and entertainment spending dropped by $126, according to the Labor Department report.

How have your smartphone bills skewed your family budget? Here are some of your thoughts from Twitter and Facebook:

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)