It doesn’t take long for your cell phone bill to get out of hand fast, but I’ve got some really good tips for reducing your cell phone bill that are fast, easy and effective. While smartphones aren’t cheap, they also shouldn’t cause your monthly bill to be half of what a pricey car payment would cost. Though my cell phone bill is something I’m willing to pay a good bit for, I’m not willing to pay for add on items I don’t need. Many cell phone carriers can tell you that you need certain add-on features added to your bill that are actually a waste of time, or they don’t tell you about other options. Check out these tips for reducing your cell phone bill and don’t hesitate to make the changes today.
1. Data Packages
One thing to be aware of when thinking of tips for reducing your cell phone bill is how much data you actually need versus what you have. For instance, I don’t talk on the phone a lot at all, but I use my internet, download music, and listen to streaming radio a good bit. Therefore, I know I need more data than the smallest package offered, such as 1 GB or so a month. Yet, that doesn’t mean I need to select the biggest package of 5 GB either. Find out how much data you’re using on the plan you have now. I always suggest going with the minimum data plan first, and evaluating your usage after one month, without monitoring how much you use your phone. Then, see how much of your data you’re using and upgrade your package the next month if you need to. I find that I usually average around 2.5 GB every month, and reducing my package down to this per month helped save me the $30 a month increase it would have cost to upgrade to 5 GB per month.
Roadside assistance, warranty, protection plans and even caller ID are all add-on features that are commonly found on many bills. Don’t select roadside assistance, as for one, you’ll probably never use it, and most all automobile insurance companies come with this feature anyway, which you’d definitely want to use over your mobile carrier’s service. If you have an iPhone, it already comes with a warranty on the phone for one year, without the need for paying for an additional one through your cell phone provider. Secondly, it doesn’t cover water damage, which is one of the main reasons people need to use their warranty. Instead of investing in additional warranty for the phone, which costs about $10 a month, save that and you could save $120 a year to put towards a new phone instead. Caller ID is usually not but $1.99 or so a month, but is totally unnecessary as almost all phones already come with this feature. I still haven’t figured out why it is even offered anymore. One add-on that I do pay for each month is GPS navigation, which is only $5 a month, and I use it enough to make it worth it since I don’t have an automobile GPS and can use my phone’s on the go, even while walking.
3. Going over Your Data Each Month
One tip for reducing your cell phone bill each month is to stop going over on your allotted data every month. If you need to increase your data, that’s fine, but be sure you’re utilizing your WiFi, which uses less data, and be sure it’s not turned off through the settings. This can save you tons of data all day long. When you leave your home, or a place that has WiFi, feel free to switch it back off so you can use your carrier’s data system. Doing this saves your data, which reduces how much data you need to pay for each month.
Another issue to be aware of is how much you’re texting. I have unlimited texts, which I am happy to pay for each month, for an additional $10 added to my normal plan. Since I don’t talk on the phone a lot at all, I select the bottom line minutes allotment, and instead select unlimited texting, which I need. Know how much you text and talk, and evaluate how much you need versus what you’re paying for.
5. Carrier Smarts
One other thing to be aware of is what carrier you’re with, and if it’s the best option for you. While Verizon and AT&T are the cell phone “giants,” T-Mobile’s 4G service is actually one of the fastest growing companies that offers no plan at all, and comes with unlimited texting and talking for nearly half of what all other carriers charge. Sprint offers similar plans as well, and AT&T even has a new plan that’s similar. Be sure you select a carrier that fits your needs and budget. Check the coverage maps on each of their websites to see how extensive their data is in your area, and then go with the carrier that best meets your budget.
6. Mobile Hotspot
I use this feature on my phone a good bit since I live in an area where our internet can get sketchy. This allows me to use my phone to plug into my computer to access my phone’s data to get online through my laptop. It’s also great if you’re somewhere that doesn’t offer WiFi. If you don’t need this feature, be sure you aren’t paying for it. Some cell phone plans come with this feature automatically, and if you’re paying for something you don’t need, you’re wasting your money.
7. Backdate Your Bill
If you make any changes to your plan or features on your bill, you’ll be asked to select what date you want these to take effect. Always select the backdate option, which will apply the changes to the earliest date possible, most likely at the start of your last billing cycle. By doing this, you get the lower rate at an earlier day, which reduces your bill. If you upgrade your features, as in you add more, then be sure to select the latest date possible to save more money on your first new bill with the added features.
Making these small changes or checking these items to make sure you’ve selected the right ones for you can save you so much money on your cell phone bill each month. If your cell phone bill has you stressed each month, tell me about it! What’s causing your cell phone bill to get out of hand?