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5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Smartphone Bill

Written by Jessica Steer
We spend a lot of time on our smartphones, so it’s no wonder many of us are faced with bills that put a monthly dent in our savings. Here are a few simple tips and tricks to reduce your smartphone bill and save your hard-earned dollars and cents.
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    We’ve all experienced heartbreak. Sometimes it blindsides us when we least expect it and leaves us wondering where it all went wrong. No, we’re not talking about relationships. We’re talking about phone bills—gut-wrenching, soul-crushing, wallet-emptying phone bills. Unfortunately, Canadians pay some of the highest rates in the world for cell phone service. But whether you signed up for a regrettable contract with your mobile provider or consistently find yourself exceeding the monthly allowances of your plan, there are a few things you can do to save on your bill and avoid an unpleasant surprise at the end of the month.

    1. Take advantage of Wi-Fi

    Let’s start with an obvious tip but a tip that merits repetition. To avoid additional charges, try to only use your smartphone when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. It may be tempting to check sports highlights or stream cute pet videos when you’re on the bus to work, but streaming content on your smartphone can quickly eat up your allocated data for the month. When it comes to staying entertained on your commute, stick to pre-downloaded videos, music, audiobooks, and podcasts. Save internet browsing and phone calls (especially long-distance calls) for later.

    2. Avoid roaming charges

    Whether you’re a high-flying globetrotter or an occasional vacationer, roaming charges are an important consideration. If you’re leaving the country, get into the habit of switching your data off before you cross the border. We’ve all heard horror stories of people coming home to massive phone bills. You don’t want to be one of them. If you need to have access to a cell phone while you’re away, you might want to consider your carrier’s roaming options or purchasing a prepaid SIM card from the region you’re visiting.

    3. Request a new cell phone plan

    Maybe you think that just because you signed a contract, you’re bound to it? Think again. Your service provider doesn’t want to lose you as a customer and may adjust your plan to keep you happy. Why not call them up to ask about a change or discount? Mobile providers are introducing new cell phone plans all the time. Maybe there’s a new plan that suits your needs better?

    Before you make the call, examine your phone bill. Each bill should provide a detailed breakdown of your calls, texts, and data. Learn about what you’ve actually been using your smartphone for and see if you can find a way to stop paying for services you never fully utilize like too many call minutes or text messages. It might also be time for a change to a less expensive data plan. But, if you’re consistently exceeding your data cap, you may want to look into simple ways to limit data usage as discussed in the next paragraph.

    4. Beware of background data

    It may come as an unpleasant surprise to learn that even when you’re not using apps they are quietly draining your data in the background. The good news is you can do something about this. Simply go into the settings of your smartphone and locate your cellular data usage options. Here, you can review the data usage of each app, and turn off background data allowances for the ones you don’t frequently use.

    5. Look at other mobile providers

    With a better understanding of your actual cell phone usage, you can shop around to see if other providers can cater to your specific needs. We all know who the big three mobile providers are but there are some smaller cell phone carriers with good promos and cheap phone plans to attract new customers. If you’re not happy with your current provider, research what others can offer you and sign up to the cell phone deal that’s right for you. Some carriers even offer prepaid options or allow you to pay for only what you use. There’s plenty of options out there, and it’s important to know that you’re not stuck with the wrong plan.

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