Your cell phone is, undeniably, an essential item. You use it to check your email, get directions, and even watch your favorite shows. However, if you’re like most Americans, you’re paying an arm and a leg for those services every month. According to the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, Americans spent an average of $99 a month—or a whopping $1,188 per year—on their cell phone service. That doesn’t mean you have to keep paying through the nose for this essential utility, however—in fact, there’s a simple way to cut your cell phone bill significantly, according to experts.
If you want to keep more money in your pocket, finance expert Ethan Taub, CEO of personal finance sites Billry and Debtry, says that signing up for a new group plan with friends or family members can help you significantly reduce your monthly bill. “If you band together with five or more, you can use the power of people to strike a deal with one of the providers,” says Taub.
“Locking that many clients into one provider will allow you room to negotiate and get the best deals they’ve got,” he explains. In fact, 12 of Taub’s own employees banded together to get a group discount and managed to score a 50 percent reduction on advertised rates from a major carrier.
But teaming up with a big group isn’t the only way to lower your bill—read on to discover more easy ways to lower your phone bill every month. And for more ways to keep more cash in your wallet, this is The Best Way to Save Money While Shopping Online, According to Experts.
Always check for free wifi.
If your data usage is eating up a huge amount of your cell phone bill, there’s an easy solution you can use almost anywhere. “Whether you’re in or out of [your] home, always opt to use wifi when possible, as data usage via the internet doesn’t count toward your monthly data cap,” says consumer expert Dana Marineau, CMO of savings app Rakuten. Luckily, you can find free wifi almost anywhere these days, from Starbucks to Whole Foods to your local public library. And for more easy ways to save money, check out The Secret Store on Amazon With Tons of Popular Items on Sale.
Evaluate your phone usage.
Sure, you know how much you’re paying for your phone service, but do you know which services you’re actually using most? Marineau recommends analyzing your phone usage and researching what other cell plans offer in terms of service.
“Depending on how much time you spend talking on the phone or how much data you use, you can save roughly $200+ each year just by switching your phone plan to better fit your lifestyle,” Marineau explains.
Look to the little guys.
If your cell phone plan is with a major carrier, consider switching to a smaller company and you might just get a smaller bill, too.
“Don’t forget to check lesser-known carriers like Consumer Cellular and Republic Wireless—they all offer different plans and pricing, so you’ll likely find competitive deals,” says Marineau. And for more great information delivered to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Ask for a discount.
It may seem too good to be true, but in many cases, companies will give you a discount on your bill if you just ask.
Marineau notes that, in order to retain customers during the economic downturn, many companies are working harder than ever to meet customers’ needs. “By speaking with a representative from your phone carrier, they may be able to waive certain fees or charges, or offer recommendations on different plans and special promotions,” she says. And for more easy ways to reduce your spending, This Is How Much Money You’d Save If You Made Your Coffee Every Day.
Sign up for autopay.
Something as simple as automating your bill payment could save you major cash.
“Most providers are willing to lower your bill up to 10 dollars per month if you sign up for autopay,” says financial advisor Eduardo Litonjua, founder of PassiveIncomeTree. He adds that doing this for a family or group plan can save you even more.
Ask about employment-based discounts.
Depending on your career path, you may already be eligible for a discount on your phone bill.
“If you’re a veteran, nurse, teacher, first responder, or even a student, each cell phone company has a simple verification process” that can help you score employment-based discounts, according to personal finance instructor Frankie Fegurgur, founder of Frank Money Talk. Fegurgur explains that these discounts can often save you as much as 10 percent on your bill every month, and that they may make you eligible for savings on phones, accessories, and activation fees, too.
Inquire about small business discounts.
However, you don’t have to work for someone else to get in on those savings.
“If your lines are through a business that you own, you typically qualify for discounts similar to corporate employees,” says Fegurgur. Signing up through your small business can also get you access to a dedicated sales rep and business-specific customer service.
Ask about senior plans.
If you’re over 65, you may be eligible for big savings on your phone plan.
“There are wireless carriers who specialize in lower cost plans” for seniors, Fegurgur explains. “You can contact them online or over the phone, and can help you transfer your existing phone number.”
Consider a prepaid plan.
If you’re willing to pay up front for your phone bill, you can likely keep more cash in your wallet by doing so.
“Postpaid always costs more than prepaid,” says financial advisor James Walsh, CEO of Billions in the Bank.
Ditch your insurance.
If you haven’t ever needed to use your phone insurance—or forgot you were paying for it in the first place—it may be time to give it up. Walsh says that ditching insurance is an easy way to save money every month without giving up any valuable services you’re actually using. And if you’re looking for some extra cash, Chances Are High You’re Eligible for a Stimulus Check in These 4 States.