Frugal Tip: Cell Phone Data Plans

More and more people are getting "smart" phones these days. I personally have the iPhone. I have lots of friends who have Androids and iPhones too. The internet data plans that these types of phones require can be pricey. They don't have to be if you apply some of my tips!

First track your usage. Look at 6 or so months of data usage and come up with an average. For me I use less than 200MB in a given month. AT&T has a 200MB monthly plan. This works for me and is the cheapest option! I switched over to this plan and save $15 per month! I have since never gone over the limit.

Second get a free WiFi locator app. Most smart phones work with WiFi. My office has WiFi. I have WiFi at home. A lot of places I frequent also have it. By putting my phone on the WiFi I am off the data plan. It is also faster and uses less battery! If I am in an unfamiliar place I fire up the app and see if there is free WiFi around.

Lastly I turn my data off on my phone unless I need to use it. It only takes a few seconds to switch back on. A bonus is my battery lasts a lot longer by having it off. Setting your email accounts to manually check instead of on a set schedule cut my data usage in half. I am on WiFi most of the time anyway so no need to have both running at once.

I find that the majority of the users don't need the bigger data plans. The reason most people have the bigger plan is due to laziness. They don't want to have to "worry" about how much data they use so they just pay through the nose. Jumping on WiFi is an easy habit to form. We all do it for our laptops so why not do it for your phone too. Save some money while you are at it!