Over the past two decades, cell phones have become a necessary expense for almost everyone. Many people would list their cell phone as the most important accessory to remember when going out and the majority of people have their cell phone with them wherever they go. This quick rise in demand and constant use over the past 10+ years for cell phones has opened the door for a long list of companies to deliver a variety of options to save you money on your cell phone service.
The only problem for most people is they’ve been loyal to one cell phone provider and haven’t taken the time to explore their options or simply negotiate a better deal from their current carrier. It’s easier than ever to save money on your cell phone service and here’s four simple ways to start today.
1) Perform a Usage Audit on Your Account
It may sound too simple to save you any substantial amount of money, but you’ll probably be surprised to find out that you are paying for services that you don’t use. Have you been paying for inflated phone insurance that’s going to charge you a fee or deductible should you actually need to use it? Cancel it and the money you save could allow you to pay for Spotify or Pandora and download the music you want to play for later. Suddenly, you’ll be able to listen to music without using data. Win-win.
A simple review of your past monthly data usage may reveal that you’ve been paying for a data plan that you just don’t need. If you have multiple gadgets or tablets on your plan as well, consider going Wi-Fi only on tablets and gadgets. Once you understand what you actually use, you’ll be ready to use some of the other tips to save money on your cell phone bill.
2) Automate your Comparison Shopping
You don’t need to drive around to a bunch of cell phone stores to save money on your cell phone bill anymore. The internet has given you the ability to rate shop instead. There is a vast selection of cell phone plans available in this day and age, and you can search through most of them from just a few great websites. Here are two of the best sites that will allow you to quickly search for the best deals on cell phone plans. You can filter by your data or phone needs, budget, travel requirements, and more.
My Rate Plan is an all-around useful website that is best known for saving money on cell phone plans. You enter in a few details, and you’ll get a list of all the available cell phone services in your area. The site can help you find great deals on all kinds of other common expenses, like insurance, television service, mortgages, and more.
WhistleOut has reviewed hundreds of thousands of cell phone plan combinations with 33 different suppliers to provide you with a detailed analysis of the best cell phone plan for your usage habits and needs. It’s a straightforward website that helps find out if there’s a better cell phone plan out there for you.
3) Buy a Used Phone and Lower Your Monthly Bill
We all feel the temptation to jump on that next iPhone update, but you would be doing your bank account and your cell phone bill a big favor if you resisted the next big release. If you really need a new phone, buy a used phone. There is a long list of sites and online stores where you can buy a used phone, up to and including the most recent release from all the major manufacturers. Glyde.com and Swappa.com are two of the best sites geared expressly towards selling phones. You can even usually find a great selection of phones on your local Craigslist that you can pick up today, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous.
If you do buy a used phone, make sure that it is unlocked for the cell phone carrier that you are using or planning to start using. Some phones can be tied directly to certain carriers and can cost $150 or more to unlock. You will also want to ask for usage credits or other account bonuses to make up for not needing or wanting the phone deal offered by your carrier.
4) Consider a Switch to Prepaid Cell Service
It’s a common misconception that prepaid cell phone service is going to be lower quality. Not only have some of the companies that started prepaid cell phone services grown into large and high-quality cell service providers, but most of the major players in cell phone service now offer some type of prepaid service.
Wirefly.com is also a great resource for comparing available prepaid cell phone plans. Most of the carriers offer some kind of unlimited plan for calls, texts, and data. They generally work with all the most popular phones as well.
There you have it. Why pay more when you can save and get the same thing or better? These savings really can add up fast, helping you stash some cash in the rainy day fund.