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Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill

5/21/2019

We have previously provided savings tips on how to save money on your water bill and how to save on your electric bill. In Part Three of this series, we share how you can save money on your cell phone bill.

Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill

Price Compare Providers

When it comes to selecting a cell phone plan, it’s important to explore your options to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible. On their websites, you’ll be able to compare the prices and financing plans of the “Big Four” cell phone carriers – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile – to smaller carriers like Cricket, Boost Mobile and Metro PCS. According to bankrate.com, switching to a smaller carrier could potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Only Pay for the Data You Need

Many consumers pay for unlimited high-speed data, but don’t actually use enough data to need an unlimited plan. According to market research firm, NPD Group, the average person uses only 5.8GB per month. If you think you might be overpaying for data, monitor your statements over the next few months – it might be a more affordable option to switch to a “pay-as-you-go” cell phone plan. For example, T-Mobile offers a pay-as-you-go service with 30 minutes of talk and 30 texts at just $3 a month.

Consider Switching to a Prepaid Plan

You can also save money on your cell phone bill by switching to a prepaid plan with your current provider. With most prepaid plans, you’ll avoid the taxes, hidden fees and surcharges that you’d typically see with a standard plan. In fact, according to the Tax Foundation Fund, taxes, fees and surcharges made up a staggering 19.1 percent of the average customer’s wireless bill in 2018. Take a look at your carrier’s website or visit a brick-and-mortar store to learn what options are available to shave a few dollars off your bill each month. 

Enroll in Auto Pay and Paperless Billing

Depending on your carrier, you might be eligible for a discount on your bill if you enroll in automatic payments or paperless billing. T-Mobile applies a $5 discount per phone line if you enroll in automatic payments; and, if you are on an eligible plan with Verizon, you’re able to receive a $5 discount every month when you sign up for auto pay and paperless billing. By opting in autopay, this feature helps you avoid late payment fees.  

Change or Remove Your Cell Phone Insurance

Typically, standard cell phone insurance provides more than enough coverage if your phone is lost, stolen or damaged. If you have a premium protection plan for your phone, consider downgrading to a basic insurance plan to save a few dollars each month. This could mean a few hundred dollars of savings in the long run. Keep in mind, however, that removing cell phone insurance is risky, especially if you have a new phone.
By taking the necessary steps to determine what you can do to lower your cell phone bill, such as price comparing providers, switching to a prepaid plan, or opting into automatic payments, you’ll be one step closer toward building a brighter financial future.

Erin Ellis

Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor ®
Philadelphia Federal Credit Union
eellis@PFCU.COM