Cell phones are expensive, and this is sometimes due to the high cost of your phone plan. It can be difficult to find a phone plan that helps to save you money, so here are some tips for staying connected on a budget.
Decide on data.
One of the most expensive parts of cell phone plans today is access to data usage. Most cell phone users are paying for 1 or 2GB monthly, but some are paying for up to 3GB or more. You can keep track of how much data you really use by using apps like My Data Manager. Once you are familiar with how much you tend to use, shave off some of your data plan and save (keep in mind your access to wifi usage as well).
Watch your usage.
Paying for less data is a good first step, but you will also want to reduce and monitor your data usage as well -- extra charges for going over your monthly data limit can add up quickly. You will want to avoid activities like video streaming, online games, video calls, music streaming, and uploading most anything. All of these things will eat up your data, so try to limit these activities to only while on wifi instead.
Compare different carriers.
There are a lot of phone carriers who all offer different types of phone plans. Though two-year phone contracts are nearly impossible to find for new customers, if you already have one, you can stick with it. However, this may or may not be in your best interest financially. Knowing what prices you can get with both larger companies such as Verizon and AT&T and smaller companies such as Consumer Wireless will help you to find the best possible deals.
Add people to your plan.
Family plans are a popular option since they offer numerous discounts for things such as data access. People on a family plan don’t actually have to be related, though -- if you have multiple friends on single lines in your phone company, it wouldn’t hurt to consider seeing what a family plan could potentially save you.
Consider a prepaid phone.
You may just want to ditch the phone plans altogether and opt for a prepaid phone instead. One of the benefits of prepaid phones is that you only pay for exactly what you need. While having a phone with a larger company has its benefits, you could be paying for much more than you really need, either for data or how much texting/calling you do. A few examples of smaller companies offering prepaid phones are TracFone and MetroPCS.