Cell phone costs seem to be going up all the time. More expensive phones and data options are always coming out. In today’s world, a cell phone has basically become a necessity for daily life. But you can avoid getting ripped off, which means more money left over for you or your family. Here are some ways you can keep your costs down.
Nix the Contract, and Keep Your Phone Longer.
A cell phone contract is basically just a way to save money on getting an expensive new cell phone every couple of years. You would be amazed at the amount of money you can save on cell phone costs if you simply go with a no-contract plan and pay for a phone up front. Yes, the cost of a cell phone and service may be significantly higher than if you went with a contract, but the savings over the long-term will be significant.
Keeping your phone for longer than two years is much simpler than you might think. The rate of innovation in cell phone technology isn’t quite what it used to be, so using a brand new phone will only improve your experience slightly.
Cut Down on Data.
First, it is important to keep track of how much data you are using every month. You can do this by logging into your account on your carrier’s website or app, or simply calling their customer service line. That way, you can see if you are paying too much money for data you’re not using. You can also find the information from the settings area of your phone.
Armed with the knowledge of how much data you’re using, you can then decrease your data plan and save money that way. You can also strategically plan when you will use your phone’s data by using Wi-Fi whenever you can, such as at a coffee shop or at a store. Use FaceTime or WhatsApp to send messages and do audio and video calls over Wi-Fi.
You can also turn off apps and email that are using data in the background in your phone’s settings menu. Then you can accustom yourself to checking email or using those apps only when you have Wi-Fi access. Turn off individual app’s ability to use data in the background to save even more data.
Go with a Family or Pre-Paid Plan.
With a family plan, you can save money in many cases by sharing the amount of you use. This is most useful if you are careful to use Wi-Fi whenever possible. Also, pre-paid plans are available through many major carriers as well as through carriers that cater to the pre-paid market. You can cut your cell phone costs significantly, but you’ll have to pay for your phone at full-price.
Forego Insurance, and Take Advantage of Discounts
You can save about $10 a month just by getting rid of insurance. You can pay for many repairs more cheaply. Use a tool like Find My Phone to help you find your phone if you lose it. Check with your employer to see if you can get a discount through them as many large companies have partnerships with carriers that let their employees get their service for less. If you’re military, you can also get discounts.
Finally, check into promotional discounts that are going on with different carriers. The promotion might not last forever, but the discounted rates are often locked in for you. Negotiate a better price by talking with a salesperson to get your activation or upgrade fee waived. You may also qualify for a loyalty discount. You can also ask your current provider to match a great promotion from a competitor.
If you find a great deal at another carrier, you may be able to take advantage of it and save a lot of money on your cell phone costs. They often use the larger carriers’ cellular towers, and they offer about the same coverage for a lot less money.