Americans currently spend an average of $73 a month on their cell phone bills. Here are seven ways to pay below that average:
- Consider Going Contract-Free: While a two-year contract may advertise a free or dirt-cheap iPhone, many of them actually end up charging more per month than the end cost of buying a phone outright, or paying for a phone in monthly, no-interest installments. Contract-free also means you can switch providers without penalties!
- If You DO Join a Plan: Bundle your cell, Internet, and cable service together under the same provider. Get everyone in your family on the same plan, because many service providers offer free in-network calls.
- Shop Around: The big carriers generally have as fast, reliable data networks with smooth-operating customer service. But a smaller service (there are many out there) can also be cheaper and meet your specific needs. Sites like MyRatePlan.com and WhistleOut.com can help you make comparisons.
- Consider Prepaid: If you don’t use your phone heavily or know exactly what service you need every month, consider pay-as- you-go. You usually can even get a smartphone as part of the deal—Although it may not necessarily be the latest and greatest model.
- Use Wi-Fi: Whenever you can, save your data by logging onto the Wi-Fi at home, the gym, or your local café.
- The Data Dilemma: Assess your bills to get a sense of your usual data usage. Many people mistakenly get a plan that’s too small and pay overage fees, orpay too much up-front for services they don’t use. You should also avoid streaming videos, podcasts, and music, unless you’ve paid for unlimited data.