This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com.
Cellphones have given us a way to stay constantly connected to the world around us and to keep information at our fingertips. But as cellphones have made the move over from luxury to necessity, they have also become yet another bill we have to pay, and a cost that tends to creep ever upward.
To make sure your cellphone bill doesn’t spin out of control, consider these money-saving moves:
As phone unlocking eligibility requirements have relaxed, it has become easier than ever to switch carriers.
Competition between carriers big and small is fierce, so by doing a little comparison shopping you are bound to find a cellphone plan that fits your needs for a price that you are comfortable paying. Consider the smaller budget carriers, or MVNOs, which offer services that run on the same infrastructure as the major networks owned by the big four carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint). With one of these carriers, you will pay less for the same dependable coverage.
Buy less data
Unlimited talk and text are becoming standard features of many cellphone plans. This means that buying fewer minutes and texts might not save much money (if any at all). You can, however, save big by buying less data.
It’s a good idea to check your last few cellphone bills. They will tell you how much data you used in that billing period. If you are using less than what you pay for, it’s time to change your plan to one with a lower data allowance. If you find yourself using all your data, consider changing some habits (like connecting your phone to Wi-Fi networks whenever possible). Once you get your cellular data usage down, you can change your cellphone plan to save money.
Get on a family plan
Cellphone carriers love signing on multiple lines to one plan. The general rule of thumb with family plans is the more lines you have (usually limited to four or five lines) the less you’ll pay per line.
Set up automatic payments
Almost all carriers offer a discount if you sign up for automatic payments. All you have to do is link your plan with your bank account or credit card and agree to a specific automatic payment day, and you’ll start to see savings on your monthly bills. Autopay discounts usually range from $5 to $10 per month.
Take advantage of free subscriptions
If you are already paying for monthly subscriptions to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or Spotify, you might want to check with your carrier. Offering free subscriptions has become commonplace with cellphone carriers. When I made the switch to Verizon, I was able to replace the Spotify subscription I was paying for with the free Apple Music subscription offered by Verizon.
Check for discounts
You could be eligible for a discount on your cellphone plan. Several carriers offer discounted plans to those who are currently serving or have served in the military. Some offer discounts or special plans for seniors or students. Ask your carrier if you qualify for a better deal through one of these offers.
If you don’t qualify for those discounts, check with your employer. Some companies have deals with cellphone carriers that extend discounts to employees.
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