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13 Ways to save on your cell phone bill
If you’re like most people, cell phones are a necessity rather than a luxury. We use cell phones to navigate, to pay our bills, for work, banking, and to keep in touch with our loved ones. And did you know that approximately 80% of Americans may be paying too much for their cell phone plan? That’s why we have dug up some super easy, super quick ways to help you save on your cell phone bill.
Quick ways to reduce your cell phone bill
1. Drop the insurance
If you have cell phone insurance, you’re probably paying around $10 a month for it. That’s a lot of money to pay just in case something happens to your mobile phone. And do you really need it? The answer is probably not.
If you look closely at your insurance policy, you will discover that it doesn’t cover many common mishaps like water damage. If you drop your phone in the summer vacation lake, for instance, you won’t be covered. So after two years and $240 of insurance payments later, you still have to pay for your next phone out of your own pockets.
Deductibles run as high as $200 on cellular insurance plans. Add that amount to whatever premiums you have already paid, and you’re still out of pocket three to four hundred dollars.
You are better off setting $10 a month aside for replacing your phone if something should happen to it.
2. Check your bill
Too many times, companies get away with charging us for services we don’t use or never asked for. Sit down with a nice cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and do a line-by-line itemization of your cell phone bill.
Examine your bill for unfamiliar or confusing items. Call your cell phone carrier and have them removed if they shouldn’t be on there. And don’t be afraid to ask for a retroactive cancel date on a service that you have been wrongfully billed for.
While you are looking for ways to reduce your cell phone bill, you should also assess how much of your services you are actually using. Are you paying for unlimited data but barely use more than 2GB of data in a month?
These are the kinds of charges you can easily cut down on to save you some money every month.
3. Membership or employee discounts
Check with your employer to see if your employee benefits include a discount through certain carriers. This is not uncommon amongst larger corporations. You may also be eligible for benefits if you are required to use your cell phone for work.
Memberships at clubs or organizations sometimes come with added benefits of cell phone discounts. Even a small discount is worth taking advantage of.
4. Use wifi when you can to save on your cell phone bill
Always use wifi when you can. When you are using wifi, you are not using your data. This will be especially important if you are not on an unlimited data plan.
We should note here that there are some security concerns when you use public wifi. Wifi that doesn’t require passwords can be especially susceptible. Information, like your bank account number or a password, can be intercepted by hackers when on public wifi.
Avoid doing any private business on public wifis. It could leave you exposed to hackers. If you think your data may have been intercepted, consider updating passwords to ensure your information is secure.
5. Limit your background data use
Not only can some apps hog up your battery even when you aren’t actively using them, but they can also be using data you don’t know about. Apps like Facebook, for example, are notorious for using a lot of data whether you have it open or not.
To check to see if you have background apps hogging data and battery juice, go to settings and then Battery and device care. Your phone will have a list of apps that are running and using power and data.
You can shut them down from there. You should also note which apps are running, then go to the individual app settings to keep them from running in the background. For apps that you don’t use often, you may want to log out of them to prevent them from secretly using your data.
Ways to save for data contract cell phone plans
6. Change your plan
If you are under contract with a cell phone carrier and don’t want to pay early termination fees, consider downgrading your plan. Most carriers will let you downgrade with no penalties. They would rather keep you as a customer than have you switch carriers.
Some carriers may pay for your early termination fees. With a 95% saturated market, cell phone carriers are in high competition with each other. You are a hot commodity!
7. Watch your data
If you are trying to save money by having a limited data plan, then staying under that data limit is vital to saving money. If you can’t stay under your data budget, switching to an unlimited data plan may be cheaper than paying the overage fees.
8. Move to a joint account
If you and your partner are on individual plans, you could be saving money by combining your accounts. Cell phone users can save up to $15 a month per line when sharing a family plan. That’s $30 a month or $360 a year you can put towards that next family vacation or retirement!
9. Sign up for automated payments or go paperless
Some carriers will reward you with some money off your monthly bill just for signing up for automatic payments. It’s one less bill for you to worry about, and you’ll never be late on making that cell phone bill payment again; what’s not to love?
10. Ask for a better price to save on your cell phone bill
That’s right, just ask your carrier to reduce the cost of your plan. The worse they can say is no. You might find out you are eligible for additional discounts you didn’t know about, or perhaps they are running a promotion that you can take advantage of.
If you are experiencing serious financial problems and need help negotiating multiple bills, you may want to consider a bill negotiating service like Billshark.
Ways to save for pay-as-you-go cell plans
11. Change carriers
If your cell phone carrier won’t work with you to reduce your cell phone bill then perhaps it is time to switch carriers.
Learn more about choosing a cell phone plan here. In a nutshell, smaller carriers like Mint Mobile can be less expensive than the bigger carriers. Or, perhaps a different carrier is running a competitive special for new customers.
12. Go month-to-month
Month-to-month plans do not require you to commit to a long-term contract, so you still have the flexibility to switch or stop whenever you want. Most plans will offer just as much data and whatever options you need with a small activation fee for new service.
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer month-to-month now, so you can choose from a big national cell phone provider or one of the smaller ones.
13. Upgrade your phone less often
We all love the fancy new phones with next-gen technology, but ask yourself, “do I really need that?” before taking the plunge.
Old doesn’t mean bad. Does your phone get good service, work with wifi and apps, and take good pictures? As long as it’s performing these basic functions, try to keep it for as long as you can.
You can save yourself $30 – $40 a month in cell phone payments just by keeping your old phone. Put that extra money towards savings or retirement!
Ways to save on your cell phone plan: FAQs
Who is the best, cheapest carrier?
Mint Mobile offers the best plans (4GB for $15 a month) for the least amount of pain to your wallet.
Who has the best cell phone coverage?
Verizon is considered to have the best cell phone coverage in the United States.
Who is cheaper, big or small cell phone carriers?
Generally, smaller cell phone carriers, such as Visible, are cheaper than the bigger ones, like Verizon. Smaller carriers essentially piggyback off of the bigger carriers’ cell networks which means it costs them less to provide you service.
What is the best unlimited data plan for someone on a budget?
Visible has a $40 a month unlimited data plan that we think rocks for those on a budget.
What is the average amount of data used by most people?
Americans use an average of 7 GB of data each month.
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