Phone bills can be very costly. J.D. Power reports the average phone bill in the US to be about $157.00 per month. That works out to $1,884.00 per year. That’s a large chunk of money—money that can be used to achieve your financial goals such as traveling or putting a down payment on your first home.
1. Comparative Shopping
The most obvious way to save money on your phone bill is to do some comparative shopping. The cell phone market is extremely competitive. There are countless service providers—research what’s being offered by some of them. Shop around and read reviews to see which carrier can provide you with what you need at the most competitive price that fits your budget.
2. Employee Discounts
Find out is if your employer has a deal with a mobile carrier that offers employees a corporate rate. Also, find out if they will reimburse you for using your phone for work purposes. If you’re self-employed, you might be able to write off a portion of your phone bill at tax time.
3. Lower Data Usage
Many plans offer unlimited data. As much as that is tempting, you can reduce your phone bill by getting limited data. But you must know what your limits are, and don’t exceed them. If you do, it will cost you a lot of money!
- Avoid downloading or streaming using data on your phone.
- Some applications, such as YouTube, have offline features that allow you to use the application when you aren’t using the internet.
- Download podcasts and playlists ahead of time to save data.
- Limit your background data use. Many phone apps update in the background when you are not using them. And this uses data. As much as possible, select to disable background data usage. If possible, also disable auto-play video ads that stream to your phone.
- Turn off your phone when you are not using it. Such as while traveling abroad or while you’re asleep. And any other time you’re not using it.
4. Sign Up With a Smaller Carrier
It’s easy to be distracted by the big-name carrier out there. However, they are not the only options. Many smaller carriers in the market offer similar quality at a significantly lesser cost.
5. Select a No-Contract Plan
Look for a carrier that offers a no-contract option. That way, you’re not locked into a contract and can easily cancel your plan if you were to find another carrier with a cheaper no-contract plan. Breaking a contract can result in a substantial cancellation fee.
6. Avoid Frequent Upgrades
It can be tempting to get the latest cell phone on the market. If your existing phone works fine, then avoid replacing it with a new one. Avoid the need to upgrade to a new phone every time one comes up. This will save you a lot of money over time.
7. Pay Cash for Your Phone
Most people get their cell phone along with a phone plan. It appears that you are getting the phone for free and only paying for the plan. But you’re not. You are paying for the phone throughout the contract. These contracts are usually for 24 months. Avoid bundling up the cost of the phone with the plan. Buy a phone outright and select a no-contract plan to save money. This will force you to buy something cheaper. Something you can afford.
8. Pay Only for What You Need
Look at the cost breakdown in your latest phone bill. There may be more features offered on the plan over and above what you need. Features such as unlimited data, too many minutes, enhanced voicemail, emergency roadside assistance, and 411.
Do you need everything you’re paying for? If the answer is no, it could be time to switch to a different plan. Some carriers even offer prepaid plans or let you pay for only what you use. These are better options and are cheaper.
9. Avoid insurance
It may be cheaper to save for a new phone than to pay for insurance each month throughout a contract. If you don’t have the cash on hand to replace your phone if something happens to it, your phone is too expensive for your budget.
10. Select Autopay
Most cell phone carriers add a $5 discount to your bill if you opt for automatic payments. Over time, that can lead to a decent amount of savings. Set up autopay with your bank.
11. Use Wi-fi
As much as possible, get into the habit of using wi-fi. Wi-fi is extensively available just about everywhere. Get into the habit of using wifi as much as you can, whenever you can. For downloading and streaming and even texting and calling!
12. Get a Family Plan
Most mobile phone companies offer family or shared plans. Where they let a group of people share a monthly allotment of minutes, with each member having his or her own phone and phone number. All charges go to one combined bill. Members can call each other for free. These plans usually, but not always require that all members under the same plan live at the same address. If you opt to get a phone plan, try to get a family plan, especially if you have a large family.
Save Money OnYour Next Phone Bill
Your phone bill is part of your household budget. Cutting down on your phone bill allows you to use the extra money to save towards other financial goals, like travel, putting a down payment on your first home, or buying something you need.
Use the suggestions listed to reduce your phone bill. Or, if necessary, change your phone plan. Download the Vimvest app to track all your monthly expenses, including your phone bill. Go a step and add your financial goals on the app. Transfer the savings from the reduced phone bill towards one of your financial goals.