SAVVY SAVINGS 13: Big savings by changing cell phone providers

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J.D. Power reports the average monthly bill will set you back $157. After your monthly housing, grocery and utility costs, it might just be the next priciest item in your entire budget.

  • Pay for what you need – do you really need unlimited data?  Use wi-fi.  Check your last 6 months of bills to see what you are actually using.
  • Skip the phone insurance – and any other fluff options on your bill.  Do you really need “visual voicemail”?
  • Enroll and autopay and paperless billing for discounts
  • Speaking of discounts – are you taking advantage of the discounts available to you?  Student, work, family plans
  • Take advantage of extras.  If T-Mobile plan includes Netflix, make sure you aren’t also paying for it on your own.  Can you use your mobile hot spot at home instead of home internet?  Food for thought.
  • Look into other carriers – see if your current carrier will match the offer. 
  • Don’t be afraid to switch.  Most people aren’t on a contract anymore.  If you are making monthly payments on a phone still (which you shouldn’t!), make sure the new company will pay it off.  There are often great deals for switching.  
  • Keep your phone longer. Steer clear of rolling the purchase of a new phone into your monthly plan (that’s a debt payment!)
  • Watch out for “free” phones from carriers.  Often they aren’t completely free and the cost is simply added to the monthly service bill (and you will owe the full amount if you terminate early)
  • Check out discount carriers.  Most of them use the same networks as the major 4.  For example, Cricket Wireless uses the AT&T network and has a plan for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 5 GB data for $40/month!  That includes taxes and fees.  Check out to compare dozens of carriers.

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