The Top 5 Ways to Save Money on Your Cellphone Plan in 2021

Woman happy with new phone plan
Luis Molinero /

We’re coming up to the end of the first full week of 2021 and leaving the year that must not be named far behind us.

Since the beginning of each year always seems like a good time to reset certain things about your life, you might be thinking about reviewing your monthly bill to find ways to cut your recurring expenses.

One area that has potential for savings is your cellphone bill. Here are several ways you can save on your cellphone bill in 2021.

1. Switch carriers

Between the major cellphone carriers and the smaller MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) that lease coverage from them, there is plenty of competition out there vying for your business. That means, if you take the time to shop and compare, you should be able to find a carrier with a plan that fits your needs, at a price you are comfortable paying.

Just make sure that when you switch, you switch to a carrier that has strong coverage in your area. Saving is great, but not worth it if you don’t get good service.

Here are some of the most popular carriers you might want to consider switching to:

2. Track your data

The biggest difference between a very inexpensive cellphone plan and a much more expensive one is the monthly high-speed data allotment. The more data in the plan, the more that plan will cost. Basically, these days what you’re paying for from your plan is the data.

A great way to save on your cellphone bill is by tracking how much data you use. Take a look at the past three months of data usage (you can usually find this on your monthly bill or by logging in to your account online).

If you are using less data than you are paying for, you may be able to save money by downgrading to a plan with a smaller data allotment.

3. Use less data

If you find that you are using up to your data limit, you might want to consider pulling the brakes and using less so that you can get a smaller plan. One of the best ways to do this is by connecting your phone to trusted and secure Wi-Fi whenever possible. This way, when you are browsing the internet or streaming shows on your phone, you will not be using your mobile data.

Speaking of watching shows, most streaming apps have options that limit the quality (and therefore data usage) whenever you are using mobile data. Use these options to make sure you aren’t reaching your limit too fast.

Here are just some cellphone plans with low data limits and low rates:

4. Join a family plan

If your family isn’t already on a family plan, you are missing out on a ton of savings. This is especially true if you are with one of the major carriers, and want to stay with them. Typically, the more lines you have on one plan (usually up to four or five lines), the more you save per line. Depending on your carrier and plan, you could save over half per line compared with a single-line plan.

Really, there’s just no reason not to be on a family plan if you are in a multi-person household. These days, adults are staying on their parents’ plans long after moving out, just to take advantage of these savings. Just make sure, if you’re the account holder, that everyone is paying their share.

5. Don’t buy a new phone

Part of the reason why cellphone plans can get exceptionally expensive is that many people purchase phones on monthly payment plans, adding as much as $40 per month on a bill. The problem is, many are buying new phones when they really don’t need to.

If your phone is paid off and is working perfectly fine, you probably really don’t need a new one. Consider buying a new phone when it is no longer supported on the latest operating systems, will not hold a charge or is otherwise damaged. New phones might seem cool, but keep in mind that the latest bells and whistles are often things you end up not using very often.

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