Monthly cellphone charges can wreak havoc with any budget. Many cellphone plans come with uncertainty on exactly how much you will be paying each month due to the potential to go over your limit for minutes, text messages, or data service. I remember we once got hit with an additional $50 in data charges on a single bill because a video was streamed to show a friend something funny and we were unaware of how much the charge would be. Fortunately, there are some methods you can use to limit the cost of your cellphone bill to an amount that is manageable for your budget. Here are some of the best ways to accomplish that.
Review Your Monthly Statements
One of the best things you can do to keep the cost of your cellphone bill down is to review your statement from the company each month. The statement will show you how many minutes, text messages, and bytes of data were used during the previous period and the amount you were charged for each. Check the amount that you are using against the amount that your plan allows. If you notice that you are consistently higher or lower than your limit, adjust your plan accordingly so that you are paying the least amount for what you typically use.
Cancel Insurance When Cost Outweighs Benefit
Many people elect to get insurance coverage on their new phones when they purchase them, paying around $15 per month for the coverage. When the phone is new, this is a good idea just in case something drastic happens and destroys your phone. However, as the phone gets older, the replacement value declines. Many carriers offer reduced priced upgrades after a certain time period, making it easy and cheap to get another phone. If you can go replace the phone at whim for little cost, there is no reason to continue to carry insurance on the phone you currently have.
Stop Using Expensive Services
There are many additional services that we can use with our phones that are helpful or entertaining, but can also cost a lot if we don’t watch out. For example, when you dial 411 for information from your cellphone, you will be charged at least $1.50 per connection. However, if you look up the information you need using a Wi-Fi connection, it may not cost you anything. You can elect to choose free apps instead of apps that require a single or monthly charge. You can also use free texting apps instead of paying for an expensive text messaging service. Being selective about what you choose to pay for can lower your monthly cell phone bill by a significant amount.
Join our newsletter
Subscribe to get the latest "Engineer Your Finances" content via email.