Although mobile phones have become indispensable in daily activities, they have also turned into major expenses. For many people, cell phone bills are the largest consumers of cash after transportation and housing. Beyond making endless calls each day, data plans account for games, checking email, sending photos, surfing and much more. However, you can still enjoy the services offered by your phone while still cutting costs. Here are clever ways to save money on your mobile phone bill.
Take Advantage of Free Apps
Rather than using the cellular network when making calls, make use of free apps. Apps such as Google Voice and Skype are internet based; therefore, do not count against your cell plan minutes although the person on the other end must also have the app. These apps ensure you don’t exceed your monthly limit for cell minutes. Notice that in these free apps, there are ads such as ringtone subscriptions that could cost you money. In fact, most games are only free for a limited amount of time after which you have to pay to get an upgrade. If you have kids, disable purchases in your device settings before having them pick your phone. Ensure you also don’t reveal your password to iTunes so that your kids won’t have the opportunity to purchase movies or music.
Fine-Tune your Data Plan
An effective way of saving money on your cell bill is by choosing a plan that fits your usage patterns well. The details of your data plan can be changed no matter the period of the contract. Have a look at your data usage. If you have been using high amounts of data, step down to a lower plan to save money. Note that data overage charges are normally higher than the amount you would use to buy a more expensive data plan.
Turn off Roaming
Don’t make the assumption that if you don’t make any calls when outside the country you will not be charged. Understand that there are high chances of your phone connecting to other networks in the country you intend to go to and use data automatically to update you on the local weather or even your emails. The trick here is to turn off data roaming in the settings of your device before embarking on your trip. That way, you will still get access to the internet in the foreign country and not get extra charges for data roaming.
Consider Prepaid Options
A lot of users are too conditioned to their contracts that they fail to consider switching to prepaid phones, which can help in saving money. There are different prepaid plans available, with some charging a daily fee and others charging for the minutes used. Be keen on the fine print as most prepaid cell minutes have an expiration date.
Log on to Wi-Fi
Downloading files and streaming videos over the network of your phone normally consumes a lot of data. If you do not have an unlimited data plan, you get extra charges whenever you exceed your monthly data cap. Set an alarm that tells you when you are about to get to your limit in such cases. The other way is to use Wi-Fi whenever you are surfing the web since it does not use your data, and that means it is a safe and a fast way of doing the data heavy lifting. Just be sure not to use public Wi-Fi for personal finance transactions.
Get a Better Deal
Look at your provider as one of the many companies in a bargaining table. Every provider wants your business and will go to any level to retain your loyalty. Keep in mind that phone plans keep changing; therefore, the bargaining plan you embrace today may not be the best in six months. However, your provider will not disclose these details to you, so you have to keep checking on the latest promotions that could help lower your monthly charges. When making changes to your account, ensure that the upgrade will not extend your contract.
There are numerous approaches that you can apply to save money on your mobile phone bill. Start with the those recommended above, not forgetting that technology keeps changing. Keep track of new options that could suit your needs better.