3 Ways to Save Money on Cellphone Costs in Tough Times

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This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com.

While it’s too soon to know how long the pandemic will drag on our economy, many of us already feel the strain on our finances, or at least the financial uncertainty — enough to get serious about downsizing and cutting costs. Don’t let confusing cellphone charges keep you from trimming the fat on your bill. Here are three surprisingly simply ways to stay wired and keep more cash in your pocket.

1. Switch carriers

This has always been my first tip, and will probably always be my first tip, when it comes to saving money on cellphone plans. Without a doubt, you know the big players like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, and you might even be aware of some of the smaller carriers like Metro, Cricket and Boost, but there are so many other carriers out there. Smaller MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) sell cellular service that piggybacks on networks owned by the major carriers, usually at far lower prices. If you really want to save money on your mobile plan, shop these carriers.

Check out the deals some of these MVNO carriers are offering:

2. Pass on the new cellphone

Switching carriers doesn’t have to mean buying a new phone. Phone unlocking policies are more lenient than ever, and with new network technologies taking over older ones, device compatibility is becoming less of an issue. It’s easier than ever before to bring your phone to a new carrier. Those MVNOs listed above all will let you bring your own device and connect with their plans.

3. Lower your mobile data

With most cellphone plans, you’re hardly paying for voice minutes and texting anymore. Unlimited talk and text are ubiquitous and cheap. What you’re really paying for these days is mobile data — your phone’s internet connection — for such things as streaming movies and conference calls. Basically, the more mobile data you use, the more you pay.

It makes sense. Mobile data is important to us and is a big way we keep connected these days. To save on data, first learn how much you use. Take a look at your last few cellphone bills. There should be a breakdown of how much data you used. Second, once you know you much data you use, look for a plan with a data allotment that just meets your need. This way, you’re not paying for data you don’t use.

If you find you use a ton of mobile data (more than 10GB per month) try to lower that usage if possible. Connect to Wi-Fi networks when you can, like when you’re at home. These plans all have a maximum data limit of 5GB.

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