Budgeting is an essential part of student life. Sure, the education itself is expensive (and costs continue to rise), but there are many other posts in the long road that is higher education.
That’s why, all things considered, a mobile phone bill may seem insignificant to a student with a number of other (more important and more expensive ) bills to pay. But what students might not realize is that over time, those monthly charges add up.
The good thing is that the sum of costs can be reduced, sometimes even up to half the price. Over the course of a year, reducing your mobile phone expenses will save you a decent chunk of change, and set you on the path to financial wellness.
Here are six ways to reduce mobile phone bills for a better bottom line.
Reduce data usage
Consider auto-pay or e-Statment options
Revisit your insurance coverage or protection plan
Downgrade your monthly plan
Consider a contract-free phone
Update service address
Reduce Data Usage
One of the most expensive parts of having a cell phone is accessing the web. If you go above your data limits, you might be slapped with an overage fee of anywhere between $15-20.
Those fees add up and provide extra expenses every month. That’s why it is essential to reduce the use of data. There are two major ways to do so:
Use home, work, and free and safe public Wi-Fi whenever it is possible. When at home or your workplace, always check that you’re connected to a Wi-Fi. There are also many cafes and public places that provide free internet connection;
Reduce data consumption by background apps. Even if you are not actively using data, many of your apps may continue to use it even if you don’t have them open. To check this info, go to phone settings and look at cellular data usage. Restrict data to the apps that don’t need to be costing you money.
Consider Automated Payment or e-Statment Options
Opting in for autopay or e-statements is a win-win-win. First of all, you will be doing your part for the environment by going paperless. Second, autopay may save you about $5-10 per month, depending on the number of lines and the contract. Finally, and maybe most importantly, opting in for e-statements is often a qualification for certain reward checking accounts (like Kasasa Checking) so you’ll be well on your way to earning your monthly rewards.
It’s simple math; Signing up for automatic payments will save around $60 per year.
Revisit Your Protection Plan or Insurance Policy
We’ve all been there - a cracked screen or stolen phone is akin to a broken heart. With repairs ranging anywhere from $90-$277 depending on the issue, and a new top-of-the-line device costing between $840-$1,149, insurance policies or protection plans may seem, at first glance, to be a good idea. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
For each claim you file, you’ll pay a deductible that could run anywhere from $29 to $225. Most insurance companies limit the number of claims you can file to two or three a year. And your insurer might send you a refurbished phone rather than a new model if a replacement phone is what you need.
Though it might be reasonable at times, being insured isn’t always necessary.
If you decide insurance is a must, start by reading into your policy. Usually, standard insurance is enough to cover possible risks, so consider swapping out the premium plan for a simpler option.
Of course, if you have a brand new and expensive smartphone, you might feel like the more protection, the better. However, if you have a rather old phone, you can even consider canceling insurance completely.
Downgrade Your Monthly Plan
It is important to know what you are paying for and if there is anything that you do not need. For instance, based on your usage habits and connectivity needs, you may have the ability to personalize your monthly plan to a more affordable one.
Some of us prefer texting, and may not need as many minutes, so check what you are paying for.
Look at the bill breakdown and consider what options aren’t essential. Maybe you don’t need unlimited data as you have Wi-Fi at home and work.
Another way to reduce these expenses is to consider pre-paid plans if they cover your needs.
Consider A Contract-Free Phone
Of course, contracts have their advantages. One of them is that you can buy the newest and the most advanced device. The disadvantages? You’re locked into a two-year contract that is almost impossible to break.
If saving money is a top priority, it’s time to look inward and decide if you really need that shiny new iPhone 11 Pro. Consider buying a phone that allows SIM cards; it will be much cheaper, and there will be no long-term contracts.
You can also save by using a phone longer. Try to keep a phone for at least two years.
Update Service Address
This one’s simple. If you’re moving out of state for school, update your service address.
Taxes are based on your e place of residence, and mobile phone taxes are no exception. So if you have changed residences, it is important to update the service address as this may influence your monthly bill.
Moving from one state to another can save more than a hundred dollars per year if you mention a new place of living. For the majority of cases, it is simple to do so.
You need to log into your user account and change the profile information.
Save Money Where It Matters
For some, mobile phone expenses might not seem like a big deal. However, over the course of a year, your monthly bill adds up quick! So it is smart to reduce these costs, especially when you are a student.
If you’re tired of paying a small fortune every month to have cell phone service, you can keep an older phone alive for a bit longer, downgrade to a more affordable monthly plan, or cancel unnecessary insurance coverage.
About the author: Christy Orr is a passionate writer and videographer. She manages short-term multimedia projects aimed at tackling social issues. Her style can be described as a combination of Indi and vintage. Christy also creates content essay writing services like EssayPro.