How to lower your Cell Phone Bill

by Yoda

Cell phone bill is a huge drain on everyone’s wallet. Most US customers have monthly payment plans with the top three careers. These plans charge around 40-80$ per line per month for data. On top of this most charge you an additional 25-50$ per month for just buying the phone on installment plan.

cell phone bill high

Reduce Phone Installments to 0, go with NO contract!

In my opinion there is no need to buy a phone in installments. If you cannot afford to pay 700+ dollars for a phone outright. You don’t need to buy that phone on installments at all. Phone is just another liability like a car. Its depreciating asset whose value will go to 100$ or less in 2 years. Plans today like JUMP, NEXT etc. are designed to get money out of you every month. 1 year done? Time to upgrade to latest I phone. All you got to do is keep paying. Remember planned obsolescence from my article? Phones now a day are not created with good quality control. Most of them have some or the other issues. But it’s still possible to use them for 2-3 years if you want. So, there is no point in buying the best I phone for a 1000$ only to change it 2 years later. That’s like 1000$ down the drain. Saving money on phone is easy:

  •  Buy cheap phones from companies with good customer service because you are probably going to need it.
  •  Make sure you buy using a credit card that doubles your warranty. You will probably end up using later and the card company will service it for free.
  • Avoid buying the latest gen phone, buy a generation older instead. There is a small difference in specs and things phone can do between 2 immediate generations. Most of it is just software gimmicks.
  • Buy latest gen when you know you are getting a great deal as incentive when you switch carriers.

Reduce text/talk/data cell phone bill

Now lets come to the meat of the article which is cell phone bill for talk text & data. I have listed a few carriers which I really like and which are continuously innovating to help reduce the bill on your wallet.

Project Fi

Key highlights:
  • 20$ base + 10$ per GB of data monthly
  • Credit on next month cell phone bill if you don’t use all data on prorated basis. If you use only 300MB of 1GB you get back 7$ next month.
  • Same data rate internationally (3G-4G speeds) in over 170 countries.Check countries here.
  • Unlimited plan available to but I won’t recommend that.
  • Works only on few phones. Although they have added more options in all price ranges recently!

This is an offering from Google. They basically rent networks from Tmobile, US Cellular and Sprint. They have a smart tech that switches you from one network to another if a network is weak in your area. The switch is seamless, and I never had any problem with it. You can even do calls using your laptop and using your wifi on phone. It links to your Gmail account and you can do messaging off there too.

Good for:
  • People who have access to wifi most day so they can save on data daily.
  • People who travel internationally a few times a year.
  • Great customer support on any question related to billing,device support if bought from Google.
  • Limited number of devices that are officially supported.
  • 20$ for talk and text and 10$ for 1GB of data seem steep in today’s world of unlimited data.

Check out here to apply for Project Fi.


Key highlights:
  • Family plan with 4 lines costs only 40$ a month on Tmobile One, more people the merrier! (this is the only plan I recommend)
  • Can be reduced to 30$ cell phone bill every month using kickback on less than 2 GB data usage.
  • Gets you Netflix access for free on plan with minimum 2 people.
  • Tmobile Tuesdays has great deals that can get you a dough nut/movie tkt etc. for cheap every week.
  • They also provide 2G-3G speed data internationally at no cost in over 140 countries.

This is probably the only big carrier that has been innovating like crazy. The above-mentioned points make it really cheap to use Tmobile as your provider. Helps save money on Netflix as well! For almost 30$ a month you can easily get 2GB of data with kickback on a family plan per line making it even cheaper than Project Fi.

Good for:
  • People who will be able to create a plan among themselves.
  • Those who are judicious with data usage and can take advantage of kickback.
  • People who travel internationally since it gives an option to not buy a local sim.
  • Most customer service is usually nonexistent.
  • Sometimes the MVNO provider

Don’t forget the MVNO’s (Mobile Virtual Network Operators)

These are virtual network operators. Just like Google’s Project Fi, these networks rent out bandwidth from big 4 carriers and then let users use it. They in turn offer way cheaper prices and allow you to bring your own device. So you can buy a cheap phone online and use them. Since they rent networks from the big carriers, there is no problem with connectivity. I would suggest you check the coverage map on their website before signing up with them. Some of the best ones are Mint, Teltik, Ting(Tmobile Network), Redpocket(Works using all) or Cricket(AT&T).

My only warning is to make sure you check the coverage area on the provider’s website. Search online to see what network they rent from. Also make sure you know the phone you have is supported on that network(GSM/CDMA). People are usually hesitant to give MVNO’s a try but its easy to sign up and connectivity is great at insanely cheap prices.

Good for:
  • People who are a bit tech savy and know what type of phone is needed under BYOD plans.
  • Those who want absolutely rock bottom prices. Some of these plans start at 10$ for 500MB-1GB of data a month!
  • Most customer service is usually nonexistent.These are pretty small business that just lease the network. So don’t expect a great customer service, although the service at big 4 carriers isn’t great either.
  • Sometimes MVNO has  lower priority on the main providers network they rent. Usually this is very rare and too small to worry about or notice any difference.
  • Some advanced features like Wifi calling or texting from laptop may or may not be available. Maybe you don’t need those.

cell phone bill decision regrets

In Conclusion

If you are paying more than 35$ on your monthly cell phone bill then you are doing something wrong. Cell phone bill is another monthly liability which you should try to reduce as much as possible. Think about how you use your phone. Do you make a lot of calls for work or personal use? Do you just need data to check social media and browse internet during the day? Make sure to incorporate your daily habits into decision making. Make sure to buy phone without contract and choose a provider that allows unlocked phones and charges low. Hopefully the tips above help you reduce your monthly cell phone bill.


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