How to Keep Your Smartphone Bill Affordable

Is your smartphone bill creeping up higher and higher? It probably has a lot to do with your data use. This can be a frustrating situation, but there are steps you can take to get your bill back down where you want it.

Here are some of the best ways to keep your smartphone bill affordable.

Limit Your Data Use

Image via Flickr by jannekestaaks

Some apps can use tons of data in the background even if you’re not using the app. This is a problem you can easily fix by going through your app settings one by one and making changes to how the apps use your data. For example, your email app might be set to check for new mail every minute. Spend some time carefully going through your settings to get your apps under control.

Another thing to watch out for is streaming content. Audio and video files can use up a ton of data in no time. You can set audio files to stream only while you’re on Wi-Fi, or you can stick to just playing songs that are already stored as part of your phone’s library.

Your apps can be set to update only when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. This avoids a lot of unnecessary data use that you might not have even known about.

Try to get in the habit of using your apps only when on Wi-Fi, as much as possible, and don’t hesitate to ask for Wi-Fi passwords at coffee shops, restaurants, and waiting rooms. Employees are asked about Wi-Fi on a regular basis, and most of the time they have an easy password ready to give you.

Set Up Data Alerts

Another great way to keep your bill in check is with account alerts. You can easily set up your account to send you free text alerts about your data usage before you actually exceed your limit. This will allow you to scale back data use for the rest of the billing cycle, saving you from the unpleasant surprise of an overage charge.

Another option is to use the data alert feature to figure out just how much you need. If you receive an alert early in the billing cycle, you may decide to jump up to a higher data allowance instead of risking overage fees. It’s usually a better deal financially, and it’s a relief when you’re not stressing about extra charges.

On the other hand, if you get a data alert with only a few days left in the cycle, it might be better to stick with the plan you’re on. Make a strict Wi-Fi-only rule until the new cycle starts, then try to spend data more wisely throughout the month so you don’t run out too early. This is the best option if you want to stay on the most affordable plan.

Choose the Right Plan

You have plenty of plans available with T-Mobile that will allow you to use its extensive 4G LTE network for talk, text, and data, while keeping your bill in the price range that’s comfortable. There aren’t even any overage charges. You can compare affordable cell phone plans with T-Mobile yourself or you can call customer service and get help from a representative. They can usually take a quick look at the usage information on your account and help you decide which plan is your best bet.

Avoid Charges While Traveling 

If you travel a lot, you may find roaming charges that you weren’t expecting. Just crossing the border into Canada can lead to hefty fees. If you need to take your phone while traveling abroad, there are some ways to prevent a sky-high bill.

Make sure you put the phone on airplane mode to keep from using data. Data roaming charges can add up quickly so this is an important step. Make sure you only use Wi-Fi-based methods of keeping in touch. For example, you can use WhatsApp or Viber for calls.

International calling plans and data plans are available as well, which you can add to or drop from your plan as needed.

Smartphone bills don’t have to be out of control. These are some easy steps you can take to keep your smartphone bill affordable.