Money

6 Foolproof Ways to Reduce Your Phone Bill

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This post is part of the 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses series. Visit this page for even more ways to slash costs and eliminate unnecessary spending! Stop paying for expensive phone plans and try one of these foolproof methods to reduce your bill. #3 saved us almost 25%!

Phone plans make up a pretty significant portion of our budget.From landlines to smartphones, the average user is connected 24/7, with a cell sitting no more than a few feet away. Long distance isn’t so much of a problem any more, and minutes mostly a thing of the past. Yet, we pay more than ever before to have access to this technology!

Joseph and I used to pay a whopping $152 each month for both our smartphones {crazy, right?}, and while we both agreed that number was way too high, the benefits a smartphone could provide were necessary for both our jobs. So was there any way for us to lower the cost without getting rid of our phones completely? You bet!

No matter how much you’re paying for your personal phone plan right now, there’s always room for more savings. Here are 6 of my favorite ways to cut back!

How to Reduce Your Phone Bill:

1. Ditch the Landline – If you still have a landline, how often do you really use it? Getting rid of one phone from your monthly bill is one of the easiest ways to reduce the cost immediately, but be sure it actually lowers your overall bill when you drop it. Sometimes, a bundle package of phone/cable/internet costs less than just cable/internet. Weird, I know!

2. Use a “Dumb” Phone – I still remember the day I upgraded to my very own Android smartphone. I was way behind my peers, which bothered me a little bit, but the savings were worth more than the pressure. We wanted to make sure we could actually afford the phone and extra data plan before we made the switch! If money is tight, seriously consider a phone that doesn’t have internet or app access. You won’t be tempted to check your email or Facebook feed every 5 minutes, that’s for sure!

3. Go In on a Family Plan – Just a few months ago, we dumped our original phone plan and hopped on the same plan my parents and grandparents use. It saves us $35 extra dollars per month, with absolutely no changes to our data usage or minutes! See if a few family members or relatives will jump in and do the same — even a group of close friends is a great option and results in savings for everyone.

4. Switch Services – If you’re not loyal to any one company, consider switching services and research AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, TracFone, or Verizon to see what they can offer you. Just be sure that the coverage is adequate for your area. One of the reasons why we love Verizon and stick with it, is because we’ve never had a problem with dropped calls. There are also lesser known plans like Straight Talk or Ting that are becoming more popular every day. I have never used either of these, so if you’ve tried one, please leave a comment below with your experience!

{UPDATE: Since I wrote this post we switched over to Republic Wireless: Now our monthly bill per line is between $14 and $25! Read my review}

Tired of a sky-high phone bill every month? Here's how to get unlimited talk and text, and stop paying for data you don't even use. We saved over $500 per year on our phone bill just by making this one simple switch!

5. Cut Back on Your Plan – Skip the unlimited cell phone plan, and work hard at staying under a certain minute or data package. Surprisingly, you can save a lot of bandwidth just by surfing the internet and downloading apps on your own wi-fi network. Also be aware of what apps are hogging the most data. You can check this for both the Android and iPhone, and if you’re not sure you can stay under the allotted text amount, research a free texting app, such as Text Me to help.

6. Negotiate a Better Rate – My grandparents are expert negotiators, and I’ll never forget the time I was with them in the Verizon store when they insisted on keeping the plan they already had, even though it didn’t officially exist anymore. Verizon wanted them to “upgrade” to the new basic plan, which included more text and minutes than they really needed, and cost a bit more. After much haggling, they walked out with the same plan they had been on at the same price. The lesson I learned that day is this — nothing is ever set in stone, everything is negotiable. So try it!

Today’s Challenge:

Take a good look at your last phone bill and see if there are areas you can cut based on the methods we talked about above. Can you ditch a line? Combine a plan? Call and negotiate a better rate? Do you really need that smartphone, or can you survive with something cheaper and more manageable? Take your time answering these questions, and let me know what you end up doing in the comments below! 

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Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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11 Comments

  1. I work from home so high speed internet is something I must splurge on. I was able to cut my phone bill by choosing a cell phone company that uses mostly wi-fi. They also have a referral plan so you can reduce costs even more. I’ve been using it for 7 months and love it. So does my budget 🙂

  2. Hi Kalyn, I just joined in on Day 16. I wanted to share with you that I was able to cut my cell phone bill by $40! I look forward to finding more ways to save.

  3. I use straightalk! I was paying $145.00 for two iphones with ATT and got my bill down to $82.00 a month for the exact same iphones. The data is much less with straightalk but when I actally started to look at my att bill we werent’ even using very much.

    Money saving tip on data, get hooked up to your WI-FI at home, so your phone at home using the WI-FI instead of the data on your plan.

    I have been on straightalk now for about 7 months, i have no complaints. The one thing they don’t offer is visal voicemail, but there is away around it by dounloading YOUMAIL which basicaly does the exact same thing.

    1. Wow, what a difference in savings — thanks for sharing your experience with Straight Talk!

  4. I have a landline and no cell phone. It’s $18.65 a month including taxes. I don’t have long distance, caller id, or call waiting, but I DO have unlimited minutes 🙂 It’s still much cheaper than having a cell phone.

  5. GIV Mobile is an affordable no-contract service worth looking into in order to reduce your monthly cell phone bill. It offers four “Unlimited Everything” plans starting at $29/month for talk, text and 2G data and $35/month for talk, text and 4G LTE data. GIV Mobile also provides a wide range of cell phones to choose from. In addition to the low rates, GIV Mobile donates 8% of every customer’s monthly bill to up to three charities of his or her choice including Feeding America, The Conservation Fund, and the United States Fund for UNICEF. GIV Mobile is certainly making it easy to live frugally and give generously!

    1. I have never heard of GIV Mobile before, but I love that they donate to charity — what a cool company!

  6. I have possibly tried every straight talk phone out there. And a big thing when buying one is ask which towers the phone uses like Verizon sprint etc BC where I live t mobile doesn’t work well and neither does sprint nor at&t unless you live in city limits. But my grandma has been nice enough to give me a phone on Verizon and I have never had problems with service. And also if you want a family plan on the cheaper side BC its not in the budget Walmart has family plans for cell phones and they are pretty cheap and they are smart phones. Hope I could help.

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