We now carry around a phone that has more computer capability than NASA used to put a man on the moon. But with great power comes great responsibility. It also comes with a hefty phone bill each month.
If you’ve resolved to save money this year, you’ll probably need to make changes with your spending habits. Cutting back on the daily trips to Starbucks and all the takeout dinners is a good start, but you can go deeper. That means making cuts to your monthly bills — starting with your smartphone costs. Here’s how you can make it happen.
1) Switch Carriers
Change can be good, especially when it gives you more change in your pocket. Any casual viewer of a network television show will find themselves bombarded with ads for phone services. You probably zap right past them because you already have a phone plan. Next time, stop and pay attention. Switching phone carriers could save you a significant amount of money, especially if you’re using a lot of data and getting charged extra.
Don’t worry about your contract, because many of those new offers provide money to buy out your contract. You might also discover that your contract is up and you’re free and clear. Nothing should prevent you from shopping around for a better deal.
2) Ask for a Better Deal
Speaking of better deals, you can also ask your current carrier for a better deal. They might be offering a nice new package that you could sign up for. The very hint of your desire to lower costs could spurn them into action. Definitely worth a phone call.
3) Share a Plan
Can adding phone lines save you money? Sounds crazy, but it may actually save you money each month. Again, the devil is in the details.
Signing someone else up for your plan will mean restructuring that plan. In that restructuring, you could find that your portion of the bill is significantly lower than what you’re paying now. Just be sure that person is reliable, or else you’ll get stuck with the whole bill.
Best of all, with a new plan like that, you probably won’t lose any storage. The one way you could lose storage is by loading up your phone with a lot of selfies, videos and music. But there are ways to work around getting more storage for your phone.
4) Drop or Change Your Insurance Plan
What do you need more with your phone: Tech support you’re never going to use or coverage in case you drop the phone, which you do all the time? The high-end insurance package that covers tech support sounds great with a new phone, but the answers you seek are likely available via a standard Google search. Dropping that premium insurance can save over $100 a year. It all adds up!
Just be sure to keep the basic insurance for lost, stolen or damaged phones. Those few extra dollars each month can pay off in a big way.
5) Trim the App Fat
It is so easy to go on an app-buying spree. You never want to feel like you’re missing out, right? Most apps — including games — have a “lite” version. This allows you to try out the basics of the app for free. The hope on the developer’s side is that you’ll get hooked and want to buy the ad-free version of the app. That might happen, but using the lite version first can slow down the impulse to buy.
You’ll also want to take a hard look at any apps that have monthly subscriptions. Are you really using those services? If not, it’s time to say “goodbye.”
6) Use More Wi-Fi
You know all those signs in coffee shops for “Free Wi-Fi?” Use it! The more you use Wi-Fi, the less you’ll be eating up data. You probably never will run out of data, because your carrier has a convenient way of adding more for a fee. It seems like a bargain — until you get the bill.
Saving money on your smartphone really does come down to making smart choices. A few adjustments can make a difference on your bill. Do that with all your bills and watch those savings add up!
Anum Yoon is a personal finance blogger and writer. She created and maintains her personal finance blog Current on Currency. You can subscribe to her blog newsletter right here for her weekly updates.