- 1 1. Purchase No-Contract Phones
- 2 2. Negotiate a Better Price
- 3 3. Sign Up for Automated Payments
- 4 4. Use WiFi When It’s Available
- 5 5. Limit Background Data
- 6 6. Don’t Pay for Insurance
- 7 7. Get a Corporate Discount
- 8 8. Take Out the Stuff You Don’t Use
- 9 9. Consider Family Share Plans
- 10 10. Switch Carriers
- 11 Bottom Line
The market is flooded with cellular providers and an assortment of plans. So much so, you’ll most likely get overwhelmed by the options, much less how to save money on your cell phone bill. Well, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a list of 10 ways you can easily lower your cell phone bill. Let’s dive right in below.
1. Purchase No-Contract Phones
One of the easiest ways cell phone companies make money is through contracts. To get a “good deal” on a new phone, you’ll usually have to sign up for a two-year contract on their network. Hidden in that long-term deal is an ungodly cancellation charge if you want to switch carriers.
Instead, we recommend you buy gently used, unlocked phones with no binding contracts. Go online or ask around for older phone models you can buy at a discounted price.
2. Negotiate a Better Price
When shopping for a new phone, don’t assume you’ll have to pay the price on the sticker. Talk to a salesperson to see if you can get any fees waived. If you’re a long-time customer, you might be able to score a loyalty discount. Or, ask your current provider to match a better offer from their competitor. It never hurts to ask!
3. Sign Up for Automated Payments
Although not a huge money-savings tactic, we still recommend signing up for paperless billing and automatic payments. Besides saving you time, you’ll often score around $5 off your monthly bill.
4. Use WiFi When It’s Available
If you have access to it, stay on a WiFi connection. Going over your data limit could cost you as much as $15, so we recommend against downloading or streaming videos, music or podcasts, unless you’re connected to WiFi.
5. Limit Background Data
Even if you’re not actively using 4G service when you’re out and about, your apps might still be sneakily using data in the background. To prevent this, go into Cellular Data Usage and Background App Refresh in your phone settings. Toggle off the ones you don’t need to have running behind the scenes.
6. Don’t Pay for Insurance
This sounds counterintuitive, but let me explain. Take, for example, you pay $10 a month for phone insurance. If you don’t need a phone replacement, that means you’re throwing away $120 a year. Instead, put aside a few extra dollars a month in your phone replacement piggy bank so you can buy yourself a new phone when the time comes.
7. Get a Corporate Discount
If your work offers employee discounts, take full advantage of them. Your company might even reimburse your phone bill if you use it for work purposes. Or, you could deduct some of your phone costs from taxes if you use your phone for a home business.
8. Take Out the Stuff You Don’t Use
Examine your cell phone bill with a fine-tooth comb. It might seem like common sense, but many people don’t look at the actual breakdown of their monthly statement. If there are things you never use – leftover minutes, unlimited data, emergency roadside assistance, 411, enhanced voicemail – then by all means, don’t continue to pay for them. You might even decide it’s time to downgrade your plan.
Some carriers offer prepaid plans that let you pay for only what you use. Check them out to see if they would reduce your costs.
By switching to a family share plan, you could be saving anywhere from $15 to $25 a month. If you live with one or more family members, sharing your data allowance is not as big of an issue when you use WiFi as much as possible.
10. Switch Carriers
If you’ve tried everything, and you’re bill’s not budging, then it’s probably time to switch service providers. Do your research, shop around and don’t overlook the smaller carriers. Most use the same cellular towers as bigger providers, so you’ll get excellent coverage at a fraction of the cost.
To make comparisons easier, add up the cost of the phone plus the cost of the service for an entire year. This total amount is easier to gauge across carriers than month-to-month payments.
If you can lower your cell phone bill and make it a smaller part of your big budget picture, you’ll be able to have more money to hit your targets each month. That means more to pay off your debts or more to save for whatever the future holds. For more tips on saving your hard-earned cash, read our post Saving Money: 99 Tips, Tricks, And Easy Ways To Save Your Cash.
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