5 Tips for Cutting Your Cell Phone Bill

Between checking emails on the go, streaming cute puppy videos, or zoning out to your favorite playlists during a workout session, our phones are used for much more than simply talking these days. So, it’s no surprise that our cellphone bills have become an expense that can easily cost hundreds of dollars.

Fortunately, there are several ways that are effective in cutting cost on your cellphone bill. Here are 5 tips to explore:

1. Drop the Insurance
Insurance offered by your cellphone carrier typically ranges from $7 to $11–it doesn’t necessarily break the bank. Unfortunately, a common misconception is that paying the monthly fee alone covers your cellphone in the event of damage. There is a fairly large deductible to pay on top of your monthly payment before your phone is replaced, typically between $50 – $200 depending on the device, according to MONEY magazine. It may be beneficial to omit your carrier’s insurance altogether and invest in a solid protective case instead.

2. Limit Data Usage
Cellphone carriers often charge expensive fees for exceeding your data limit. You should know how much data your plan offers and implement practices to not surpass it. One best practice is using secure WiFi instead of your cellular data whenever you can. Streaming podcasts, music, and video over your cellular data will drain it substantially. Downloading your digital content for offline use is a great way to conserve your data and avoid fees. Upgrading your plan to include additional data may be more cost-effective if you find yourself constantly reaching your limit.

3. Consider Family Plans
Using a family plan from your cellphone carrier can drastically cut cost even for singles. Family plans offer separate lines on a combined plan, which decreases the cost per person. Kelsey Sheehy, personal finance expert at NerdWallet, offers a comparison analysis of the best family plan options depending on your needs including data, talk, and text. Using a family plan with trusted friends or family members is one way to cut costs on your cellphone bill.

4. Conduct a Bill Audit
This may seem obvious, but have you actually went through your bill line by line and inquired about every fee with your carrier? Many wireless carriers charge surcharges and fees that are not required by law. There could be discrepancies with state taxes charged if you’ve moved and kept your same number. It’s best to ensure you know what you’re paying for, you might be able to get some fees removed.

5. Switch to a Prepaid plan
Switching from a contract to a prepaid plan could save money on your cellphone bill because they’re usually cheaper. The 4 major carriers (T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T) offer prepaid plans, likewise, smaller carriers including Cricket, Republic Wireless, and Ting. You may have to sacrifice the latest phones on the market, pay full price upfront, and encounter limited service depending on where you live. But, in return you’ll experience the same amount of data, minutes, and text offered by the major cellphone companies.