How To Save Money On Your Phone Bill: Stop Paying Over $1,000 A Year On Your Phone

Your cell phone bill is probably one of the largest bills that you pay each month. Your cell phone can easily cost you over $100 per month, and if you have a family, then you may even be paying a few hundred dollars per month. This probably comes as no surprise, but most people are…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: November 25, 2020

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Looking to learn how to save money on your phone bill? Your cell phone bill is probably one of the largest bills that you pay each month. Cell phone bills can easily cost over $100 per month, and if you have a family, then you may even be paying a few hundred dollars per month. #savemoneyonyourphonebill #savemoney #waystosavemoneyYour cell phone bill is probably one of the largest bills that you pay each month. Your cell phone can easily cost you over $100 per month, and if you have a family, then you may even be paying a few hundred dollars per month.

This probably comes as no surprise, but most people are overpaying for their cell phone plan.

And, I’m sure you’ve probably thought that you were paying too much for a cell phone at one point, but you may have been too afraid to switch plans or providers in order to save money on your phone bill.

And, cell phones are something that many people don’t often change. They pay for service and tend to stick with that service for a long time, even if the price continues to go up, which it most likely will.

Even though most people are not happy with their cell phone bill, many have yet to take the time to look around to compare pricing. This can be from a fear of losing your number, the possibility of a different plan or company being worse, and so on.

Well, today, I want to help you find ways to save money on your cell phone bill.

In most cases, you may be able to keep your cell phone number. If you can’t, saving hundreds of dollars over the course of a year often warrants the case for switching to a lower-cost plan. Not wasting money can make losing your number worthwhile.

Related content:

How to save money on your phone bill:

 

Cut your cell phone completely to lower cellular phone charges.

Okay, for most people, this may seem drastic.

However, if you can’t afford a cell phone, then any plan would just be a waste of money and may be significantly hurting your financial situation. Yes, there are actually people who don’t have cell phones and they do just fine in life. Many of these people actually prefer not to have one. My brother-in-law is one of these people. He has never had a cell phone, and loves not having one.

People have survived for many, many years without cell phones 🙂

If you feel like your bills are piling up and you just cannot seem to get ahead, then I recommend looking into either completely getting rid of your cell phone, or finding a much more affordable option such as Republic Wireless (mentioned more in-depth below).

 

Find the plan you actually need.

There are tons of different cell phone plans in each cell phone company, such as AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile, and all the others. You’ll want to think about many different factors when determining which cell phone plan is correct for you, especially if you are wanting to save money on your phone bill. Think about factors like:

  • How much data you use each month – some people may only need 1GB of data each month (or none), whereas others like an unlimited option. This can be a huge price difference and should be compared among different companies in order to find the best value.
  • How many minutes of calling you engage in – I don’t think many cell phone companies still charge by the minute, but they may have different rules about international calls, etc.
  • What areas in your country or around the world will you need service in – Not all cell phone companies are created equal. One may be absolutely amazing in one city and completely terrible in another. So, you’ll want to see what works best for where you are and where you may travel to in the future.

There are many more factors, and the point is to think about how you use your phone and look at how each company and their plans suit your needs.

The same plan for one person may be a costly plan for another, so you don’t just want to use the plan that your friend may be using.

 

Do you really need that expensive cell phone?

An easy way to cut the average cell phone cost per month is to get rid of your expensive cell phone!

Many people spend a great deal on their cell phones, not even including the service. In order to afford it, many even enter a monthly payment plan or take out credit card debt in order to get the phone that they want.

“Want” is key here, as most cell phones are not “needs” for anyone. By getting an older model phone and not getting the latest and greatest every time one comes out, you may be able to save a decent amount of money over the course of your LIFE. I know some people who upgrade their cell phones every time the latest and greatest Apple iPhone comes out, which is once a year! They spend a lot of money on cell phones when in reality, their slightly older cell phone probably suits them just fine.

And, if you’re thinking “Well, I can get the newest cell phone for just a ~$30 additional monthly payment on my cell phone plan,” please think again. While $20-$40 extra a month may not seem like a ton of money, it can add up quickly and it may take you three years to pay off that phone that you think you need. Instead, you could probably save money on your phone bill by purchasing a slightly older but very similar cell phone from the same company. In fact, just slightly older iPhones can go for less than half the price, or even a quarter, of a brand new one.

So, next time a new cell phone comes out and you are thinking about upgrading, don’t forget to look at their slightly older models and compare them to see which one you can actually afford and need.

 

Split your bill.

For many cell phone companies, you may be able to save money on your cell phone plan by adding a line. So, if someone in your family has a cell phone plan, then you may want to add yourself to theirs because usually the cost is much more affordable than starting your own brand new cell service.

 

Do you actually need the insurance?

The average cell phone bill may contain a lot of extra charges that you don’t actually need. One of the most common “extras” is probably cell phone insurance. While I’m sure someone actually gets good use out of this, many people probably do not need that extra insurance. Really, it’s probably just a big money maker for the cell phone companies.

If you are paying for insurance on your cell phones, evaluate whether you actually need it or not. This may cost you anywhere from $5 to $10 a month, and you may never even use it. Plus, you have to remember that you will usually have a deductible to pay as well, so that’s another cost that may make this less affordable.

 

Switch to paperless billing.

These days, many cell phone companies offer a small discount if you switch to paperless billing. It may only be around $5 a month, but this small way to save money on your phone bill is easy and can add up over the long run.

In addition, you are saving paper!

 

My favorite affordable cell phone company – Plans starting at $20 per month.

If you are through with your old company and are looking for a more affordable cell phone service, then I recommend looking at Republic Wireless. They have monthly cell phone plans for as low as $20 per month, and both my sister-in-law and mother-in-law use them for their cell phone needs. And, Republic Wireless has nationwide 4G LTE coverage!

I first heard about Republic Wireless a few years ago, and immediately told my family members about it, and many of them are now happily using their service.

With Republic Wireless, you can get a new phone through them, or you may be able to bring your own phone. They sell the Samsung Galaxy, Motos and more, all for much cheaper than what you would find with the big carriers. You may even be able to bring your current phone to them too, which would be even one more way to save money.

Please read Saving Over $2,000 A Year With Republic Wireless Review for more information.

Why is Republic Wireless so cheap and how can they offer such cheap cell phone plans?

I’m sure this is a question you are asking yourself right now as you are reading this review.

Republic Wireless IS really that affordable. It’s that easy to save money by switching to Republic Wireless. It’s not a scam, a joke, or something where they are going to jack the price up later (they are not like cable companies).

There is no catch, there are no contracts, no activation fees, no roaming charges, and you can switch your plan easily if you need to (up to twice a month).

So, how is all of this possible at such a cheap price?

I know if you are anything like me, sometimes a price so low can seem too good to be true. It only makes sense to want to look into it further.

Republic Wireless is able to offer such a great price on their phone plans because of the hybrid technology they offer. All of the phones on the Republic Wireless network use WiFi as the default setting. This means that whenever you are near a WiFi network, your phone will attempt to connect to it and use it. This makes it very cheap for both you and Republic Wireless.

This also means that if you are traveling internationally, you can use your Republic Wireless phone for the same low flat price!

WiFi is everywhere these days, so it’s not a hard thing for them to be able to do.

What happens when there’s no WiFi around with my Republic Wireless phone?

You might be wondering, but what if I don’t always have WiFi available? That’s no big deal because your phone will still work even if you are not in a WiFi area.

This is because your cell phone will then connect to a cell network so that you can still make phone calls, send texts, and more.

Now, if you’re worried that you might lose WiFi during a phone call, no need to worry about that situation either. Republic Wireless phones can switch seamlessly to a cell tower so your phone call doesn’t drop. Also, if the WiFi you are currently using isn’t the greatest, you can switch your phone manually to use a cell tower (or the opposite way around as well). This way, you can always use what’s best for you.

The service is great, and at the prices Republic Wireless offers, it honestly can’t be beat. And, in most cases, you can keep your current phone number too!

Please share how much you pay monthly for your cell phone bill in the comments below. Do you think you pay too much? Would you ever go without a cell phone?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Great article Michelle. I’ve had Virgin Mobile for 7 years now and love them. I pay $35 a month for unlimited everything. And I only buy Android phones that cost $100 or less. They usually last 2 or 3 years. I just can’t understand these people that drop $600 or more for a phone, it’s crazy!

    I am thinking of switching to Republic or another of the super-low cost plans but right now I think $35 a month is still reasonable.

    1. I’ve seriously been considering Virgin Mobile! The perks they offer to members are pretty great too.

      Liking it?

      1. Nick, I would recommend it, but one piece of advice would be to check Sprint’s coverage map online first. Their overall network is not as big as ATT and Verizon, so if they have lots of coverage gaps in places that you spend lots of time it might be frustrating. In a nutshell, they’re mostly just as good as the biggies in urban areas, but they drop pretty quick when you get out to the country.

        Other than that I’ve had no issues with them, easy billing and they haven’t raised my rate in 6 years.

  2. You really pay a LOT for your phone plan…. Here in Portugal (Europe) we get plans with thousands of minutes (and 5 GB) for as low as $10.

    With quality, and with the 4G always ON.

    Can’t figure it out why is so expensive in the US.

  3. Jessalyn

    I’ve been using Straight Talk for over 7 years now!! They have definitely gotten better over the years, but I’ve never had any huge issues with them. They run off of AT&T or Verizon wireless and is only $45 for unlimited text, call, data.

    1. I’ve heard great things about Straight Talk.

  4. I think one of the best way to save on phone bills is to have our employer willingly cover them. Mr. FAF doesn’t have to pay for his phone bill while a pay $25 a month since we joined a t mobile family plan.

  5. Love this! I know people who have bills that are $400+, just for two or three phones. It’s insane the amount people will spend on cell phones. I have a pretty simple plan (very little data), an older phone that is paid off, etc., and my bill is super low. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  6. It is crazy how much phone bills are now. In the “old days” you had one bill – that everyone complained about – for the house. Now, everyone has there own phone and a cost with it, even the kids.

    I’m not sure Republic Wireless is available in my area.

    Jason

    1. Yeah, it is crazy how much that has changed.

  7. Amy

    My husband and I use Ting and have been very happy. Our bill usually comes out to $44 per month and that covers both of us.

    1. Wow, that’s not bad at all.

  8. Lisa

    I actually have not had a cell phone for nearly two years now. If I need to use the phone, I use Skype. And to give out my number, I use Google Voice so I can text and listen to voicemails right from my e-mail. It’s worked out great so far.

  9. Steve

    These are all great tips. I am now with MintSim which runs on T-Mobile network. I prepaid $180 annually and receive unlimited calling and texts with 2 GB of data usage. This averages to about $15 a month. I have had no issues.

    1. I’ll have to check this out, thanks!

  10. Kris

    We currently have Boost Mobile in which we pay $85 a month for three people(me and both my in-laws) which in not bad but we looked up on Ting recently and really considering switching over because of their customization options for talk, text and data. Based on our usage habits, I think we can pay $50-60 a month for all three of us and we can carry over our current phones to Ting.

    1. That sounds super affordable!

  11. Joy

    We use Walmart Family Mobile. It uses T-Mobile’s network. Cost for the phones has been under $100 each, they’re Samsung brand, not as fancy, but work just fine. Cost for 3 of us each month is $70 for unlimited talk, text, and data. Each additional line gets $5 off the cost, which is nice.

    1. Joy

      Sorry, just to be clear, it’s $70 a month for ALL of us total!

  12. One of the easiest ways anyone can have a virtually $0 phone bill is by taking their laptop with them with a headset and an attach microphone everywhere they go. The unwritten rule is, if you have your laptop with you and your headset with microphone and can access a WiFi hotspot such as Panera Bread, McDonald’s, Walmart, or even places such as restaurants or hotels while parked in the parking lot or patronizing their business, you can access their free Wifi service from your laptop. Secondly, simply pull up Gmail by Google and activate the call function. Be sure to activate your microphone on Google Gmail by allowing the application to access Google Hangouts through your laptop. Afterwards, dial the number of your choice and listen for the ringing signal.

    After your call is connected, you can stay on Gmail with your free long distance phone call as long as you please. Sometimes, the service unknowingly disconnect for whatever reason. You can’t be mad at Google Gmail because after all, the service is free. The clarity of the phone call is pretty good but sometimes muffled out. You can’t be mad if it happens to you because after all, the Google Gmail free phone calling service cost you nothing. And if the phone call gets dropped for whatever reason, you can’t be mad at that either. You can’t beat free, right? 🙂

  13. My husband and I share 500 MB of data per month. Most people are shocked to hear this. He uses wifi at work and I tap into our wifi at home (and I work from home). The only time we use data is if we are out and about and need to check email or use GPS to get somewhere. I turned data off on almost every app. Also the data rolls over each month so we have a few GB unused right now!

    Another tip would be to always buy your new phone using cash. Do not use the built in “phone plans”! It’s like financing a car only it’s your phone. So crazy. I have line items on the budget for new phones, when we expect to buy them and how much they will cost and we save a little money each month toward this future expense.

    Also, it’s important to take care of your phone and avoid dropping it, have a good phone case, etc. to avoid breaking it before you plan to buy a new one. I always keep at least one old phone at home in case one breaks and we need an emergency phone.

  14. sally

    I think saving money on cell phone bills is great, but the fact remains that cheap does not always mean better. If you pay 100$ mo or 120 whatever it is at Tmobile, and only get reception 50% of the time and never can hook up to the data, then that free unlimited data and unlimited calling makes no difference, because its no use if you cant connect.

    Our cell bill for 4 people mo runs us 300$, we have a large bucket data plan(60gb), unL calling , unL text, unL international calling, detailed paper billing, our plan includes tethering(all of it) our speeds are not throttled or limited at the 10-15gb thing the NEW UNLMITED plans call for, we get 35-70mbps off our hotspot from our phones when needed. And it works everywhere.

    So, cheap can be debated, because if its cheap and you are not getting the service you are paying for its still more expensive than the plans you pay more for and actually receive a functioning communication network.

    By the same token, “Cheap” can also mean something you pay high dollar for and receive minimal functioning.

    what matters at the end of the day, is are you getting most of what you are paying for .