Oddly enough, I feel like it’s the norm to be overpaying for a mobile plan. I know many more people who pay upwards of $100 a month than something reasonable… like $40. Years ago, I committed to a wireless carrier and haven’t changed since. Regardless of all the issues I’ve had with this wireless carrier, I’ve stayed with them. Why? I got comfortable. And I felt like it was too much of a hassle to change. Well, it has cost me a lot more to stay with them than to just bite the bullet and switch carriers. So if you’ve realized you’ve been overpaying your cell phone bill and are looking for ways to finally pay what you should be paying, lowering your cell phone bill is actually a lot easier than you think.
- Use WiFi as much as possible.
Everyone says this, and it might even be a hassle to find it every time you need it but believe me when I say it’s worth it in the long run. Your data can run out surprisingly fast throughout the month when you don’t take the time to connect to WiFi, and running out of data could mean paying for more. If there’s WiFi available, there’s no need to use your data.
- Understand how much data you ACTUALLY need.
The vast majority of us are attracted to the idea of unlimited texts, unlimited talk, unlimited data. But how much of that unlimited data do we actually end up using? There’s a bigger chance that we overestimate our monthly data usage. Review your data usage over the past few months with your carrier, and you’ll probably be surprised at how little it may be. By changing your plan to one with smaller data usage, you could be saving yourself a couple hundred dollars a year.
- Use autopay.
Wireless carriers will typically offer a discount when you enroll in autopay. These discounts can be as little as $5 a month or even $10. Either way, it could save you $60 a year at the very least.
- Skip the smartphone upgrade from your carrier.
The Big Four, aka AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, will market smartphone upgrades in a way that’ll have you thinking you HAVE to get this upgrade or you’re missing out on one of the best deals that’ll come around. Smartphone upgrades will lock you into two years of monthly installments, meaning two years of higher phone bills. It’d be a better financial move to wait to replace your phone or consider purchasing a refurbished phone.
- Switch to an MVNO.
Prepaid plans offered by MVNOs are probably the best, most affordable plans you could find. The Big Four also offer prepaid plans, but they’re generally more expensive than ones from MVNOs. For example, Verizon offers a prepaid monthly plan with unlimited talk and text plus 6GB of data for $35 a month with autopay ($40 without autopay). For a month of 5GB of data and unlimited talk & text, Blue Beat Mobile is currently offering it for $17.97. For the big data users, there’s even a plan for 15GB of data that’s currently less than Verizon’s 6GB – $26.97. If you’re hesitant on switching, keep in mind MVNOs operate on the same network as the Big Four, so you’re pretty much getting the same service. If you want to test the waters, Blue Beat Mobile also offers a trial plan on AT&T’s network at just $4.99. It’s worth exploring your options to get the best deal for your mobile plan.