Looking to save money in 2016? Here’s an easy way to reduce your monthly expenses. Take a look at your cell phone bill, see how much you are using and paying per month and change your plan or carrier to a lower rate.
1- Consider cell phone reception
Providers continue to improve network speed and reliability. Before you change cell phone carriers for better rates, check your cell phone coverage at home and work and find out which carrier has the right coverage for you.
2- Are you on a contract?
If your phone is on a 2-year contract, then you may be stuck with your carrier until it’s paid off. Look for special promotions from rival carriers offering to pay off balance. Check phone compatibility- certain phones work on limited networks.
3- Find your data sweet spot
Most cell phone plans offer unlimited talk and text, so log in to your account and check recent data usage. If your phone is not on a contract, take a look at prepaid plans as they may offer more data at a lower rate. Average cell phone data usage is 2GB per month. I have a prepaid plan with T-Mobile, and use around 2GB of data per month:
4- Compare carrier plan and rates
Review your carrier’s cell phone plans. When I signed up with a prepaid plan with T-Mobile, I got 3GB of data for $50/month:
When T-Mobile dropped their prices recently, they did not move me down to the $40/month plan even though I use less than 3GB data per month. Instead, they kept me at the $50/month plan and increased my data limit to 5GB, which is more than what I need. It took just a few minutes to change my plan online to $40/month and save $120 in annual expenses.
- Avoid 2-Year contracts: Pay for the phone up front or do a no-interest payment plan
- If you’re not under contract, see if there is a lower prepaid plan with your current carrier or switch to another one (check phone compatibility)
- Save even more money by switching to low-cost carriers: Straight Talk, Boost Mobile, Ting, Project Fi, Metro PCS & Cricket Wireless
- Consider family plans to bundle phones & tablets with shared data