A cellphone bill is an expense almost everyone has to pay each month. Even if you set up automatic payments to make paying it easier, it’s still money you have to come up with monthly—and it can be a big bill.
Here are five ways to lower your cellphone bill:
Switch to no contract. One of the big costs of a contract plan with your phone provider is paying a subsidized price so that you can get the latest phone every two years. Some companies run the contract for 30 months, which lowers the payment, but also adds six months to the time it takes to pay off the phone.
A no-contract plan requires you to buy the phone upfront, but should give you a much cheaper monthly cost over the next two years.
Keep your phone longer. Your phone purchase is no longer bundled in a monthly cellphone bill with a no-contract plan, and you can continue that savings by keeping your phone for longer than two years. The savings increases each month you keep your phone.
Call with WiFi. Most phones offer the option of calling using WiFi, saving data usage and keeping your bill low. You can also use WiFi to send text messages or chat by video, as well as use the internet.
Keep the background silent. Even when you’re not actively using your smartphone, email and apps are running silently in the background and eating up data. Turn off this data usage in the settings menu and only check your email when you have free WiFi. Be sure to check out the background data usage for individual apps on your phone to get an idea as to which ones use the most.
Match your data to your usage. With an unlimited data plan, you may not be paying extra for using a lot of data, but you may see speeds drop when you hit a limit that resets every month. If you’re using WiFi often to save on data usage, look at your phone’s data usage in the settings section to see if it’s within a data amount your phone provider allows at a lower rate.
If you don’t use as much data as you have access to, why pay for it? Conversely, if you’re watching Netflix on your phone and use a lot of data, you may be able to save money by switching to an unlimited plan.