iPhone vs. Android. You've probably debated someone on which was better at some point. Gone back and forth about which phone had the better features or design. But have you ever argued about how you save money on your cell phone bill?
Probably not, but maybe you should start, especially if you have debt and little to no savings. Finding ways to cut back on your cell phone bill is one of the easiest ways you can save money.
Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Are you one of those people who has to have the latest phone? If you're paying full retail, you're looking at an upwards of $1,000, or more depending on the phone. Guess what, in a year that phone won't be worth close to that full retail price, so you're putting a good sized chunk of money into something that goes down in value. Plus, if you're like most, you may have opt'd for the monthly payments. That adds an additional $20-$40, or more to your plan per month.
Here's a better plan, buy a slightly older generation phone, and you'll save money on the phone itself and the depreciation on the value of that phone. Or if you have to have that latest phone, just keep it longer before you upgrade again.
Use Wi-Fi. Data plans can run up your bill. Not all carriers offer unlimited data and those overages can add up pretty quickly. Lots of places offer free Wi-Fi, so be sure to connect whenever you're on the go. Also, make sure you check to see if your apps running in the background use data. If they do, turn off the ones that you don't use very often.
There are some carriers that offer lower plans and will even pay off what you owe your current carrier. Also, it's a good idea to regularly check in with your carrier to see if they have any updated service plans and to be sure you're using all the features of your plan. In many cases when we buy a new phone, we get sold on new plans that offer services that you may get for free for a period of time. Sooner or later they start charging for some of those services, and we tend to forget about it. Double check that you're using all the features of your plan, you could be spending money you don't need to.
Sign up for paperless billing. More companies are offering a discount now if you opt to skip the paper. Also, check to see if you can get a discount by automating your payments each month.
Cut the insurance. If you can't afford to pay for a replacement or to get your phone fixed, then you're buying a phone that's too expensive for your budget. The insurance is another added expense that you don't need. Invest in a good case and opt for a cheaper phone. Besides, I like the self-insured method. Instead of paying for insurance that you might use, save the money yourself and you will always have money to fix and replace your phone in the future.
Depending on your phone use, look into no-contract and prepaid plans. These can offer more flexibility and options than your typical contract plan, and can save you a ton of money. I get that this option may not be for everyone, but it's something to look into if you're cutting expenses. I found this detailed article that explains the advantages and disadvantages. You can find that by clicking here.
Before I started my financial coaching business, my employer had an employee discount for phone plans through a specific carrier. The savings was around 8%, nothing to write home about, but 8% savings is still savings! It's worth it to check with your employer if they have agreements with any carriers for discounts off your bill.
We live in a world now where cell phones are needed more than just wanted. Many of you who follow our blog post, and are a part of our LIFE WITHOUT PAYMENTS Facebook group, (Join the group by click here!) you're looking for ways to cut costs to build that first emergency and pay down your debts faster. Your phone, and your phone plans are good place to look. Remember, when tackling your financial challenges, every dollar matters, so let's get to work finding them and putting them to better use!