For months I have been searching for ways to save on our cell phone bill. For three lines, we pay almost $220 a month. Our plan includes unlimited talk, text, and data (from the old days when those plans were still offered). Unfortunately, one of us was also suckered into getting a leased phone at $27 a month – which I think is a rip-off. So learn from our lessons, and how you can save on your cell phone bill by switching to a new plan.
Disclaimer: This plan won’t apply to everyone. You need to evaluate your usage and decide what is best for you. Most of us have plenty of access to Wifi and don’t stream YouTube 24/7, but for those of you who do, you might be better off finding a high-usage data plan.
Know Your Usage
For most carriers you can call, text, or go online and view your data usage on a monthly basis. For us, two of us used less than 2Gb a month and the last didn’t even use 0.5Gb We were paying a premium for that data and not even using it! Find out how much data you use and what you’re paying for. Most of us get the higher data plans ‘just-in-case’. But know that you’re paying for that, and most likely not getting that data back.
Forget the “Latest and Greatest”
Many of us ‘need’ the newest, flashiest phone. We convince ourselves that our current phone is slowing down (flashback to dial-up days) or that it needs the newest bells and whistles. In reality our current phone is more than adequate. There are also quick fixes to some of the issues. Battery draining quickly? If the phone is a few years old, think about replacing the battery. I did this for $10 and 30 minutes on my IPhone 4S two years ago. Talk about renewed energy! I believe many of us already know we gain nothing by keeping up with the Jones’s.
Check your provider
Once you know your data usage and what kind of phone will suit your needs. Check your provider against others. Are you still getting the best bang for your buck? Of course there are the major players. But remember the smaller guys too: Republic Wireless, Straight Talk, etc. But wait! There’s a new comer to the block! (Or at least one I recently learned of)
Enter: Google Fi
Google Fi is much like Republic Wireless and the other pay-as-you-go providers. You pay a line fee and per data usage. Honestly, Google Fi and Republic Wireless are very comparable. For low data users (2 Gb or less) I feel Google Fi is slightly more beneficial. A single line is $20 and $10/Gb. That’s $40/month. But here’s the kicker – Google gives back any data you don’t use! For example. Last month, I paid for 2Gb up front. But I only used 1.1Gb. Google gave me that $9 back as a credit on my next month’s bill.
How much you can save on your cell phone bill:
Take my family as an example. As I said in the beginning we were paying $220/month. With Google Fi we drastically reduced our cell phone bill.
Line 1: $20 + 2Gb = $40
Line 2: $15 + 2Gb = $35
Line 3: $15 + 1Gb = $25
Remember data that isn’t used is paid back. Line 3 uses less than 0.5 Gb/month. But for simplicity lets say all data is used. That totals to $100/month. By switching to Google Fi, we save $120/month!
Now, we each had IPhones before this. Google Fi only supports the Google phones. However, by realizing the least expensive Google phone (Nexus 5X at the time of writing) was more than adequate for us, we were able to sell our IPhones for $250 each, and buy the Nexus 5X for $200. Netting a cool $150 – 1.5 months of service!
I’m not saying that this is the route for everyone – especially high data users. So please, find what works best for your situation and let us know in the comments below!