These days, a cell phone is not a much a want as it is a need. We use them for more than just making phone calls. They are used for budgeting, games, entertainment, health and so much more! With the need for a phone increasing, so is the desire to find a way to reduce your cell phone bill.
When your cell phone bill comes, do you look at it and just shake your head like me? I can’t believe how much it costs!! If you find your cell phone bill is out of control, you are certainly not alone. However, just because you get a bill and they tell you what you have to pay doesn’t mean that you have to be stuck in that higher payment rut! Check out these great tips to help you lower your cell phone bill.
More cost-saving tips:
- Simple Tricks to Lower Your Cable Bill
- Ten Ways to Save $12,000 This Year
- Lower Your Utility Bills
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR CELL PHONE
1. Compare plans to find the best option
Whether you are in the market for a new carrier or just want to see if you can reduce your rate, it is important to compare plans. Grab your current bill and visit MyRatePlan or WhistleOut. You will enter a few key pieces of information from your bill and they will offer different plans which may be available from your current carrier, or perhaps even a lower one through another company.
Don’t forget that you can now keep your same number if you do happen to sign up with a new carrier. It is very important to read reviews about the company before you jump on board. Research things such as coverage area, dropped calls, dead zones, etc. It is not worth paying less if you are going to also receive less service and/or your phone will not work when you need for it to.
2. Renegotiate your current plan
A simple way to lower your cell phone bill requires making a call to your current carrier. Talk to them about a possible rate change.
First, discuss what they offer new customers and try to negotiate to get that same rate, or share what you can get if you happen to leave to go to a competitor (which is when the above information will come in handy).
If you happen to be at the end of your contract, you will often have much better results, as they know you will be free to leave and they want to do what they can to keep your business.
Now, if you are not comfortable doing this on your own, you can use a service to help you – such as Trim or BillCutterz. These companies review your current bill and do what they can to see if they can’t get you a lower rate. Best of all, they don’t charge you a dime for the service if they can’t save you any money!
3. Watch your usage
If you look at your plan you pay for a certain amount of data each month. Compare your usage to the amount for which you pay. Are you using all of your data? If not, that is money wasted. You can easily downgrade your plan so you pay less each month.
4. Go with a no-contract plan
The worst thing that we can do as consumers is to lock ourselves into a contract. It may sound great to pay less for the latest cell phone, but it may actually be cheaper to purchase the same phone via an installment plan.
You may find that the access fees are less on these installment plans and you usually do not have to put any money down. Many of the larger providers are already heading this route, so they know what customers want and are making the changes for you!
What is really great is that when you pay your phone off, your bill will drop by $30 or more every month! However, should you be on a contract plan, your rate stays the same for the entire term of the agreement.
If you find that you want to leave your current carrier and sign up with someone else on a no-contract, installment plan, talk to the company about buying out your current contract. Many times, they will offer to do so in order to get your business. It is always worth asking!
5. Get reimbursed for phone usage
If you use your phone for work, you might be able to get paid for it. When you connect your email and company accounts through your phone and use your data to conduct company business, it could possibly be a reimbursable expense. Check with your employer to find out if they offer such a plan.
6. Avoid data hogging traps
Do you love to watch video streams on your phone or even play online games? These often use a LOT of data. Instead of using your data to stream these, make sure you are connected to WiFi. When connected to a cell network the following will gobble up your data:
- Video Calls: Face to face calls can use up to 3 MB per minute!
- Video Streams: HD-Quality video streams can consume upwards of 6 B per minute. If you stream just one 4 minute video daily on YouTube, you can use upwards of 700MB of data every single month!
- Uploading videos: A video can use a lot of data when uploading to YouTube or other providers. For example, a 3 minute HD video can use as much as 300MB.
- High Action On-Line Games: These are a lot of fun, but can use 1MB of data for every minute of play.
Connect to your home WiFi whenever you can to run these types of applications. Doing so may reduce your overall data usage and you might be able to change your plan. Make sure you also disable automatic updates. That way, you can only complete the update when you are connected to your home WiFi instead.
You can use an app like My Data Manger to track your data usage and alert you when you are getting close to your monthly limit, so you don’t have to pay overages.
7. Carefully review your plan
Look for mystery charges on your phone. If you are not sure what something is, then you need to check into it and make sure you are not paying for something you do not need. Even at just $5 – $10 a month, that is YOUR money. Even at just $5 a month, that is $60 in just one year!
8. Check with your employer
Some employers offer a corporate cell phone discount to it’s employees. Reach out to your benefits co-ordinator or human resources manger to see if this is an option for you. You can save as much as 10% or more on your monthly bill.
9. Ditch the big companies
Large companies such as AT&T and Verizon have been the only players in the game for some time. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. There are several companies that offer reduced cell phone costs, without giving up service or coverage.
You can sign up with Mint Mobile and get a plan for as little as $15 a month. There is no need to buy a new phone. You use the one you already have and they give you the card and everything you need to move your plan from a higher priced carrier to them.
10. Buy a used phone
While having the latest phone may be awesome, it is also expensive. When a new device is released, people rush to upgrade and then have their old phones, which they often sell. Let them pay more for their phone and you can get an older one for much less.
Sites such as Gazelle sell used phones in all styles. Some of them are unlocked, meaning you can use them anywhere, while others are carrier specific. They are in all types of condition and the price varies based on the model and quality of the device, but it is a simple way to get a new phone without paying too much.
If you are parent, this is the most affordable way to buy your child a phone. Don’t rush and get them a new iPhone. Buy something older and get a basic plan and you’ll not find yourself overpaying for a phone for your 13 year old son or daughter.
11. Skip the upgrade
When you near the end of your contract term, your provider will usually send you a letter letting you know that you qualify for an upgrade. Throw the letter in the trash and keep your current phone. Once you stop paying for your phone thorugh your monthly bill, start saving that same amount. Then, when you need to get a new one, opt for a used one rather than paying a premium for the latest device.
12. Pass on the insurance
It can be tempting to buy insurance for your phone. After all, if you break yours it can call a small fortune to replace. However, you pay a premium for their insurance. Instead, set that money back each month in a savings account. If you crack your phone, you can get it repaired for less than you would pay for the insurance you are giving to your carrier.