ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill

Updated on May 9, 2016
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy writes about family, home life, parenting, money-saving tips, and many other topics, as well as essays and occasional humor pieces.

Don't Go Over Your Data Plan!

Data plans are costly - here's how you can save money on your bill each month.
Data plans are costly - here's how you can save money on your bill each month. | Source

Tips to Have a Lower Cell Phone Bill

So, your cell phone is now an extension of your hand, and you carry it everywhere.

Maybe you text, play games, read books, send and receive emails and, oh yeah, make a few calls.

Data plans are expensive, and some of the more popular service providers (such as AT&T) no longer offer plans with unlimited data.

And, if you don't use a huge amount of data, you need a way to keep your usage under the limit (which saves money each month).

Here's how to reduce your usage painlessly, save battery life and avoid going over the limit of your plan.

Use Wi-Fi on Your Cell Phone Whenever Possible

Yes, you already have wi-fi turned on, but you can start using 3G, 4G or LTE if you're downloading something in a wi-fi area and the phone wants to speed things up a bit.

Example - I just bought an iPhone 5, which has LTE capability. Within a short time (as in, less than a day), I got an alert that I was nearing the limit of my plan. I had been installing apps, and even in my wi-fi area, the phone had reverted to LTE.

Yes, 4G and LTE are razor-fast (especially LTE) and great and all that, but if I'm not in a huge hurry, I'm happy with wi-fi speed, too. And I am even more happy if I don't have to pay a higher bill next month.

The solution? If you're in a wi-fi area, turn off all data as well as 3G or 4G, or LTE. Don't break into a cold sweat - you can turn it back on when you leave the house or finish your cup of whatever at Starbucks.

Set Up Special Email Accounts for Junk

Stop reading and do this, right now. You will thank me later.

Pick whatever free email service you want, and set up an account for all subscriptions, memberships and other sites that spam you continually. Then, click the 'manage subscription' or 'manage emails' setting on the notices you get and change the email to your new Junk account.

If you don't need to read the emails from these places the minute you get them (I'm guessing you can wait, right?), don't even load that account on your phone.

If you'd like the option of reading them on the run, you can load this account into your phone and then turn it off (takes only a few seconds) when you're out in the car, or wherever, and turn it back on when you're in a wi-fi zone. Or, just read them at home, on the computer.

This one trick will save you a ton of data by not eating up your megabytes each month with the ads, photos, messages and whatever else comes in from these accounts. But you still have the convenience of getting the messages when you want to view them, not minute-by-minute.

Use "Manual" to Retrieve Emails, Not "Push"

Again, this is a setting you can turn on and off as needed. But it's a helpful one to use if you want to avoid going over your limit and you're getting close.

Just go to settings on your phone, and select 'manual' to fetch your emails. This means you will only get new ones when you click on email, and the phone searches for new messages.

By changing this setting, you can wait until you're in a wi-fi area and then fetch your messages while you're sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, or drinking that cuppa whatever at your best hangout.

This is a good setting to use if you aren't able to filter all of the data-eating emails into one account. Professionals who need to view graphics, videos, or other huge attachments can save money by manually retrieving messages from those accounts when they're in a wi-fi area.

Otherwise, the phone will eat up your data by looking for messages at whatever interval you've set. Even a few messages with photos will take a bite (or byte?) out of your monthly usage.

What do YOU do with your phone?

How much do you use your phone for games, texting and other non-call activities?

See results

How to Save Money on Texting

This won't save data, exactly, but you can save quite a bit of money on your cell plan by loading and using a free texting app.

There are quite a few to choose from (the number has grown in the past year), so search for 'texting' apps, read the reviews and ask your friends to make a selection.

Usually, the app is free, and the texting is free, and you even get a free phone number for texting. They make money by loading ads (little bars on the bottom of the screen on the good ones, pop-ups on the bad apps). And they make money by selling super-cheap minutes that let you call from the app.

Yes, the apps really work - you can even make international calls back to the USA when you're out of the country - for just pennies. And, if you're not on an unlimited calls plan, you can revert to the app for calls and make them for next to nothing, rather than paying ginormous fees for going over your minutes.

It might take a month or two to train your friends to text you on the new number, but they will indeed do it, and it's worth it. I was able to cut off my texting plan completely with an app like this, and I made phone calls back to the states from wi-fi hotspots while traveling internationally.

These tips can save a ton of money over the long haul - and they're easy to follow!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)