Did you know that the average person checks his or her phone 46 times each day? That means every day, Americans are checking their phones a total of eight billion times. That’s a ton of talking, texting, surfing and snapping, am I right?
Our love of smartphones costs us a ton of money, over $1,000 a year on average. Think about how much your cell phone bill is – probably a lot more than you wish you were spending. No matter how often you use your phone, who your service company is or which type of device you have, here are a few ways you can outsmart your smartphone costs.
1. Watch your data limit. Going over your data limit will result in unwanted charges. According to CNN Money, 1-in-5 people were charged an overage fee in the last six months. Use your phone company’s app or an app like My Data Manager to track your data usage regularly. Knowing how much data you have available will help you stay below your limit.
2. Limit your streaming. Streaming music and movies on your phone is super convenient, but it not only drains your battery, it can use up your data quickly. Streaming could be the culprit behind your overage fees.
3. Avoid fast-action games. Games with detailed graphics and multi-player modes can take up a lot of data too, especially those that require an internet connection. Plus, download fees and in-app purchases can add up.
4. Stay on Wi-Fi. When you’re not logged in to a Wi-Fi network, you’re using up data left and right. Staying connected to a Wi-Fi network can help you conserve data. Plus, it’s easy to set up your phone to automatically connect to your home, office, coffee shop and gym networks.
5. Beware of hidden charges. Don’t just glance at your phone bill each month. Really look at the cost breakdown to see where your money is going. If there are fees you’re unsure of, ask your cell phone provider for clarity. Removing these unnecessary costs can result in a lower cell phone bill.
6. Check for a work or school discount. Many businesses, schools, organizations, etc. offer a discount with cell phone companies, so be sure to ask if one exists for you. Make sure you’re not missing out on discounts that may be right at your fingertips.
7. Keep up with carrier promotions. You’ve seen their commercials – your cell phone carrier is constantly running promotions. If you’re due for an upgrade or if you have a contract ending soon, find out what deals are available to you. Even if the current offer doesn’t apply to you, let them know that you’re looking to lower your costs. Your phone company doesn’t want to lose you to a competitor, so it never hurts to ask!
8. Consider a switch. Keep an eye on offers with other phone companies or even prepaid services. There may be a more inexpensive cell phone plans out there for you. Do your research and make the decision that’s best for your cell phone needs and financial situation.
9. Deduct your work cell phone. If you use your cell phone for business, you can claim the business use of your phone as a tax write off. If you have a separate phone exclusively for business, you can claim it as a tax deduction. If your cell phone has personal and business use, consider receiving an itemized phone bill to measure and prove the business portion for the IRS.