Figuring out the best phone plan for your needs can be daunting. So many factors can affect your budget, including phone and plan pricing, cellular coverage, and hidden fees.
The first thing to do is consider your lifestyle. For example, how much data do you use regularly?
Look at Your Usage
It can be hard to track precisely how much data you use, especially if you have a family plan with multiple devices. Thankfully, your phone likely has built-in features that help you stay on top of this.
For example, you can check your usage in the settings app on an iPhone (iOS 14.0 and higher) or the network and internet section of Android phones (4.0 and higher). These features show how much data each device has used for the current billing period and may even offer warnings before your data allotment is exhausted.
Keeping track of your data usage can also make you more aware of any apps running silently in the background, sucking up your monthly allowance without realizing it.
Optimize Your Plan
The good news is that you now have more freedom to select a cell phone carrier and plan. However, this also means deciding which option is best for you can take time.
You may be tempted to go with unlimited plans, which can often be costly. Instead, try buying data buckets that suit your usage habits.
A pay-as-you-go plan can help you control data costs and is especially useful for vacations or business trips. Whether you can save money by bundling home internet and mobile or smartwatch plans is worth considering.
Lastly, you should ensure your coverage is reliable and meets your needs. This includes having adequate network coverage, fast download rates, and mobile hotspot data.
Downgrade Your Plan
Phone plans in Maine could be more precise, with multiple data allowances, long-term contracts, and different cellular generations to track. However, despite the myriad caveats and fees hidden in fine print, it pays to shop for a better deal.
According to Consumer Reports, over half of CR members who switched providers last year reported saving money and getting better service.
Consider downgrading to a lower-tier data package to make the most of your plan. You can use apps to monitor your usage and help you stay under your data limit, reducing your monthly cost. Also, relying on Wi-Fi can cut your reliance on data. If you need cellular data, try using mobile hotspots when possible.
Switch to a Prepaid Plan
Cellphone plans can be complex and costly. But there are ways to make them work for you and your budget.
For example, if you’re paying for data you don’t use, consider switching to a prepaid plan. The major carriers have prepaid plans that offer a range of features, from unlimited talk and text to data with varying usage levels.
According to consumer advisers, some prepaid providers also have family plans that include free phones and streaming subscriptions. Regardless of which provider you choose, always do your research. You may be surprised that a prepaid plan meets your needs while saving you money. It just takes a little investigation and planning.
Ask for a Better Price
The pricing practices of major cell phone carriers can seem convoluted. Multiple factors go into determining your plan price, including data throttling thresholds, international service charges, and hot spot usage fees. Plus, several hidden costs can be added to your bill as well.
These additional charges allow providers to charge you more without raising your plan price. While you may need more time to switch carriers, a simple call with your provider could result in significant savings on both your device and monthly plan. Ask about retention offers and new customer discounts to see what you can get.