The Best Ways to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill

Cell phones are no longer a nice-to-have; in many respects, they’re an essential part of our day-to-day lives. And it doesn’t help that they aren’t always cheap to own. If you’re spending way too much on your monthly phone bill, there’s a good chance that you can bring that price down. However, you’ll have to be smart and at least a little willing to change your habits.

Be Mindful of Your Data Usage

Depending on the specifics of your phone plan, your data usage is probably the biggest factor in how much you’re paying each month. While browsing simple web pages and sending messages takes up little to no data, streaming music and videos over your data plan will eat up your allowances quickly. And as music and videos become higher-quality, this will only get worse as time goes on. As a rule of thumb, connect to Wi-Fi wherever you can, and only download or stream while on Wi-Fi. This will cut down on your data considerably, freeing you from overage charges.

Shop Around for a Different Plan

Despite your best efforts to make better phone habits, you might just have a plan that isn’t working for you. Perhaps you’re paying for too much unused data or unlimited texts and calls that you don’t need. At the end of your statement period, assess what’s important to you in a cell phone plan. Is your current plan meeting those expectations, or could another one that your carrier offers do just as well for cheaper? It’s worth calling up your carrier to see what other options they might have available for you.

Go in on a Plan With Friends and Family

Like most things in life, a cell phone plan is easier–and cheaper–when you’re not alone. Nearly every major carrier has a family plan that allows you all to go in on a shared plan together. But, while you will save money, there are downsides, of course. For instance, you’ll want to set some guidelines for your group ahead of time so that everyone gets a fair share of the plan. You don’t want to have one person hogging the data, and you definitely don’t want to be that person yourself.  

Switch Carriers

Your carrier will have multiple options available for you to choose from, but there’s a limit to what they can offer. Sometimes your best bet is to just check out other options from different carriers. Keep in mind that, depending on the contract you have, you might need to pay fees for canceling early, and if you’re leasing a phone, you’ll have to pay the rest off. On the bright side, you should get to bring that phone to your new plan.

Go Prepaid

Going prepaid is one option that many people don’t consider, and it’s one that frequently ends up being cheaper than a contract in the long run. There are plenty of prepaid phone carriers out there, and many of them rely on the same cell towers that the bigger names use, so you probably won’t notice a drop in service. While you do lose out on some perks, such as free phone upgrades, many prepaid users find the tradeoff to be more than worth it.

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