The average cell phone bill in the U.S. is now over $80, which means a family of 2–4 could be spending more than $200 monthly. If you compare that to the most recent U.S. median household income levels ($60,000), you can reasonably estimate that over 3.5% of the average American family’s income goes toward their cell phone bill.
That’s a sizable chunk of a household budget and we need to be careful about this expense. In this guide, we will explain the key reasons your cellphone bills are high and what you can do about it.
Usually, when you buy the new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy “for free”, the cell phone company tricks you into committing to a two-year contract. They want to make sure they would be able to suck another $4,000+ from you over those two years. That’s why they give you the phone for free. It is not easy to break a contract because it will cost you a lot.
Here Is the Best Path Forward:
- Review your last three months of statements to determine your actual usage.
- Find a plan that fits your usage patterns.
- Look for a cheaper contract with your current provider. Most service providers will allow you to reduce your plan instead of canceling your service, avoiding the cancellation fee. They want to keep your business so they’re happy to help you save money if it’s a choice between keeping you or losing you.
Do You Pay for Insurance?
If you are paying for cellphone insurance, think again. Do you need it? It’s mostly useless. Most customers have a difficult time reimbursing claims and even when they succeed, they have to pay an excessive fee.
Check Your Cell Phone Bills Properly
Do you know what every single charge on your bill is for? If not, it’s time to question your carrier. Sometimes there are wrongful charges which need to be corrected.
Spend a few minutes thoroughly reviewing every line item on your bill. You may be surprised to find that you’re paying for things you don’t need or didn’t even know you had. If that’s the case, contact your carrier and cancel these services.
Add Lines and Get a Better Price per Member
Buying multiple lines will help you split the cost with other people and will lower the amount you each pay. Most of the providers offer better rates if you are buying more than one line. If your spouse or kids have cell phones buying a family share plan is a great idea because it is much cheaper. A lot of these plans have unlimited voice, text, and data shared among all the devices on the plan.
Data Charges Can Be Monstrous
If you are not on an unlimited data plan, reckless use of data will kill you. It’s important to monitor how much you will need and how much you have used at any given point in your monthly billing cycle.
Estimate your needs and then your smartphone can help you keep an eye on it. You can also request text alerts from your carrier when you approach your monthly limits.
Whenever possible utilize Wi-Fi networks for large downloads like a movie or uploading photographs. You can turn on the settings so that your device connects to Wi-Fi at home and work automatically.
Switch to a Prepaid or Pay-as-you-go Plan
If you are operating within a strict budget, then a prepaid or pay-as-you-go plan could be the right option. Both types of plans offer cost certainty, meaning you will never have to worry about those dreaded overage charges!
And while many people think that a prepaid plan might restrict the number of talk and text minutes, that’s not necessarily the case. There are prepaid plans for basic devices with unlimited talk, text, and web.
Set up an International Plan Before You Go Abroad
One of the biggest shocks on a cell phone bill is the roaming and international voice and data charges when you come back from an overseas vacation or business trip. Make sure you set up an international plan before you travel to minimize these charges.
Your carrier will also make sure your phone will work in the countries that you are visiting. Some companies like T-Mobile offer limited-speed data and free text for all countries.
Haggle with Your Provider
You will be surprised but this works. All you need is to have good negotiation skills, and a clear understanding of your cellphone plan and other plans existing in the market. Done properly it can help reduce your bill! But not everybody is skilled at this.
We have helped millions of customers lower their cell phone bills who do not have the time and know-how for this negotiation. Sign up for BillTrim and let our cellphone experts take care of your bills. BillTrim can help you save at least $250 per year on your cellphone bills!