How to Lower Your Cell Phone Bill

Published on June 2, 2020 by Lauren

Are you considering lowering your cell phone bill? Maybe you haven’t done it because you don’t know how to lower your phone bill.

When money is tight (or you want to free up cash to spend on other things), most people start with their food budget. I’m a big advocate for spending less on groceries, but that isn’t the only way to get your budget under control. 

If you’re like most people, you don’t look at your phone bill often. Your account might even be set up on autopay, so you don’t give it much thought.

The average cell phone bill is $157 per month in the US.

That’s almost $2,000 a year. If you have learned how to budget, you will know that would pay for your Christmas presents every year!

Chances are you’re paying too much for cell service. Luckily, plenty of options exist to lower your costs. 

How to Lower Your Cell Phone Bill

How to Lower Your Cell Phone Bill:

1.) Cut your data plan.

Big named carriers push their unlimited data plans. Having no restrictions on data sounds nice. But is it worth the cost?

Usually, the answer is no.

Cut your data plan to lower your bill and watch your savings add up.

2.) Take advantage of free Wi-Fi.

To reduce the amount of data you use, look for places to tap into free Wi-Fi.

National chains like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Barnes & Noble all have free wireless internet.

But that’s not all.

Check out your local public library, gyms and fitness centers, museums, and public parks for free Wi-Fi, too.

3.) Cancel cell phone insurance.

Phone insurance usually costs around $11 a month, which adds up to $132 per year. 

Compare that to the average cost of a repair, which can be $29 to $277 for Samsung and Apple phones.

If you keep your phone for two or three years, cell phone insurance can cost you more than paying for the repair out of pocket.

4.) Limit background data use.

Do you need to check your inbox every 30 minutes? Or have your phone automatically download app updates?

For most people, the answer is no.

Turn off background data use. Save app updates and downloads for when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

5.) Wait to upgrade your smartphone.

Phones from top manufacturers like Apple and Samsung can easily last a few years.

If you’re happy with your phone, waiting to upgrade can shave $30 or more off your cell phone bill each month.

6.) Skip the payment plan for new phones.

Forking over $30 a month sounds like a great deal for a brand-new phone. With a two-year payment plan, you’re really paying $720.

Ouch.

Skip the payment plan and buy one you can afford to pay for upfront.

7.) Get the autopay discount.

Companies don’t like chasing late payments. That’s why carriers often give you a discount for signing up for autopay.

You could lower your cell phone bill by $10 to $20 a month.

Plus, you’ll never have to worry about paying a late fee.

8.) Check for an employee discount.

If you work for a large corporation, a government entity, or are in education, chances are you qualify for an employee discount.

Check with your human resources department to see if your workplace offers this benefit.

It could save you up to 20%.

9.) Look for other discounts.

Military service members, veterans, and first responders can qualify for huge savings, too.

You could save $10 to $25 a month on access fees and get a discount on service plans.

Some banks and credit unions offer discounts on cell phone service for their members, too.

10.) Shop for a new plan with your current carrier.

Cell companies change plan options often. You might be paying more for a plan they don’t offer anymore.

Check out what their new lineup of plans.

You could save on your cell phone bill without switching carriers.

11.) Check Out different carriers.

Even if you love your current cell company, you could save money by switching to a new carrier.

While you’re looking at the big names like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, don’t forget to check discount carriers, too.

Republic Wireless, Boost Mobile, and Ting could cut your bill in half.

12.) Switch to a prepaid plan.

Prepaid plans often cost a lot less than a traditional plan with a contract.

When you switch, you can keep your same phone number.

You might be able to keep the same phone, too, making the decision to change even easier.

13.) Make your cell phone bill tax-deductible.

If you work from home, you probably use your cell phone for business calls and emails.

If so, you can deduct some or all of the cost of your phone bill on your taxes.

It doesn’t directly lower your monthly payment, but can reduce your tax bill when you file income taxes.

14.) Consider moving to a joint account.

Your data plan makes up a big part of your monthly bill.

With a joint account, you can spend less on data with a shared data plan.

Family plans can be cheaper than buying service on your own and often come with discounts when you add new lines.

15.) Look for phone deals.

Smartphones come with a big price tag.

Because cell carriers are so competitive, they offer discounts on phones all the time.

You might find a buy-one-get-one-free deal or get half-off if you sign a service contract.

16.) Cut the fluff.

Add-on services, like mobile hotspots and enhanced voicemail, could cost you more than you think.

Look at your bill to see if you’re paying for services you don’t need.

17. )Ask for a better price.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for a discount. 

Talk to a salesperson to see what they can offer.

You might get them to waive an activation or upgrade fee, or price-match a deal you found from one of their competitors.

Your cell bill is usually a big part of your monthly budget. Using one or two (or all!) of  these tips to lower your cell phone bill can help you save money.

 

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