Phone Plans

How to Save Money on Cell Phone Data Plans and Put Some Change in Your Pocket

Sara Nuss
September 27, 2022

Everyone wants to save money, but it can be something that is extremely difficult to do. With inflation causing the rise of prices in literally everything, it can seem impossible to hold onto an extra couple of bucks. Saving money and learning how to is a useful thing to learn as you’re growing up, but once you hit adulthood, it can be more difficult than you think.

Cell phone plans are something that everyone has. Everyone nowadays has the latest smartphone to constantly check into their social media accounts, pay their bills, and keep in touch with their loved ones. To go out in public and still be able to surf the web uses a thing called data, which is something that costs extra on a cell phone plan, depending on how much of it you have.

Data is used on all smartphones and a lot of times it’s the reason why your phone plan is so much higher than it should be. There are plenty of ways to save money specifically on your data plan each month, and we’re here to help you! 

Continue reading to learn more about saving money on your cell phone data plans and more including:

  • How much money does a data plan typically cost?
  • How to save money on your cell phone data plan
  • Do you really need data for your cell phone plan?

How Much Money Does a Data Plan Typically Cost?

Putting this number in perspective can give you an idea of how much you really spend on a cell phone plan!

Data plans for a cell phone can cost a lot of money, and it’s important to know just how much money it costs in your plan. Image courtesy of Medium. 

It’s truly amazing sometimes how much it costs to have and use data on your smartphone. While a lot of people tend to go for the unlimited plans, there are other people who try to limit themselves on how much they use and get a set amount of GBs to use. The only issue is that it can be easy to go over the amount of GBs that you have, and then many major phone providers charge you for how many GBs you have gone over. 

There is a lot that you need to know about data plans before you consider getting a smartphone, or maybe even switching your phone plan. So why not get right to the point with some important information regarding data plans and how much they cost!

How Much Does Data Cost?

You may be wondering what the starting price for a data plan can be, but for many different phone providers, it can fluctuate and vary. The main reason why is because it all depends on how much data you plan on using. For example, a lot of prepaid data plans tend to cost a lot more than contracts. 

To put this into perspective, you could pay $80 for 5GB of data, but being held under a contract with Verizon for example, you could pay $80 for 10GB of data. The most important thing that you should take out of this is that doing your research before saying yes to any data plan is what you need to do in order to get an idea of how much to pay for one and also how much you’re willing to pay with how much data you think you’ll use.

Data Plan Caps Can Up Your Bill in an Instant

If you purchase a phone plan with a set amount of data to use on it every month, it’s important to try to stay within that limit because it can be easy to go over. Once you do go over, that’s where a lot of phone providers make their money because once you hit your limit, they can start charging you per GB that you go over.

Data plan caps are very annoying to many people and some months, depending on what you’re doing and how much data you use for the month, you can easily go over. Trying to avoid this is crucial because a lot of phone companies can charge upwards of $15 per extra GB that you go over, or it can come down to costing a certain percentage of what you pay a month for your overall phone bill. 

Sometimes Unlimited Data Plans Aren’t Worth It

We’re sure that everyone has heard about the unlimited data plans that a ton of different major and minor phone providers offer, but in reality, it sometimes isn’t worth it. While you can use your phone constantly no matter where you are and use as much data as you want, you have to consider how much of it you’re really going to use before deciding if it’s right for you.

Unlimited data plans sound like a great idea on paper, but it’s important to consider just how much data you really use. For example, are you someone who works from home a lot? You may not find it financially smart to get an unlimited data plan just because you are using your home Wi-Fi more instead of your data. 

While it’s nice that you never have to worry about overcharges for data and being charged a sum of money per GB you go over, you may be paying more for an unlimited data plan if you don’t use it a lot. 

Data Speeds Slow Down Once You Reach a Limit

You may get the unlimited data plan and think that you have unlimited high-speed data to use all month long, but in reality, it’s a myth, especially through a lot of phone providers. You can get an unlimited data plan, but what many phone providers don’t offer is unlimited high-speeds.

Unlimited high-speed data is something that we all want, but a lot of companies give you unlimited high-speed data for only a certain amount of GBs and then you get stuck with slower data speeds once you hit the limit, which could be around 25GB. It’s something that never seems to be addressed when signing up for an unlimited data plan, so sometimes purchasing a set amount of GBs of data may be the better option. 

How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Data Plan

Saving money should be your number one priority, so make sure to try and save with your cell phone data plan!

Data plans can be expensive, so it’s important to figure out ways around it to save money to put some extra change in your pocket. Image courtesy of Money.

Are you looking for ways to save money, especially when it comes to your phone plan? There are plenty of ways to do this, you just have to take some time out and do your research on data plans from major and minor phone providers, and take into consideration how much data you use or plan to use with the amount of people on your plan. 

Trying to find the best data plan for your cell phone is crucial, especially if you want to get a deal and save some money while you’re at it. Here are some tips and tricks to consider when it comes to your data plan and how you can save money!

Connect to Wi-Fi Whenever You Can

There are plenty of different ways to save money on a data plan, but the easiest one is to connect to Wi-Fi whenever you possibly can. Connecting to Wi-Fi doesn’t use any data whatsoever and it helps to save your data for when you actually need it and you can connect to not only your home Wi-Fi, but there are plenty of businesses out there that offer free Wi-Fi that you can take advantage of as well. 

Watch or Limit Your Monthly Data Use

Are you someone who typically goes over your data, or is spending a lot of money on unlimited data? Going over your data plan will cause you to spend a lot more money than needed, or maybe you don’t use enough data and you have an unlimited plan. Whatever the case may be, something you should sit down and consider is just how much data you use a month.

You can keep track of your data usage using different apps that you can install on your phone, such as GlassWire, which is a free app to help you see just how much data you use a month. If you are using more or less data than what you expected, it’s a good idea to reconsider your data options and adjust it from there. 

Update Apps Using Wi-Fi Only

There are plenty of reasons to try and do everything that you possibly can using Wi-Fi only and this includes updating your apps. A lot of smartphones have it so your apps automatically update whenever they want, and they could potentially be updating while your phone is not connected to Wi-Fi, hence using your data when it’s completely unnecessary.

You can go into the settings on your phone and change when you want your apps to update and while it’s convenient to have it on “update automatically” it can end up costing you money in the long run.

Disable App Data in the Background of Your Phone

A lot of apps tend to gather data from you whenever you have the app completely closed, or even whenever you’re not using your phone, but did you know that this can use up data? The purpose of your phone gathering this data for any app that you have is so it can give you the newest and latest information and more, and this is something that all apps do.

There is a way to disable this so you don’t have to worry about your data running out, or being overused. Going into the general settings on your phone and turning off the “background app refresh” is all you need to do to save data and money too.

Turn Off Wi-Fi Assist

Have you ever heard of a thing called Wi-Fi assist? Well, if you have it turned on, (which you probably do!) whenever the Wi-Fi that you’re on isn’t working so good, your data will kick in to help back it up to make sure that you stay connected no matter where you go. 

While this sounds very convenient, if you’re someone who pays for a specific data plan each month that isn’t unlimited, you may be in trouble when it comes to paying your monthly phone bill. You can turn off Wi-Fi assist to ensure that your data won’t be kicking in, and it’s super easy to do!

Take Out the SIM Card in Your Phone Whenever You’re Outside of Wi-Fi

While this may not be the most practical way to save money on your data plan, if your phone has a SIM card in it that you can get easy access to at all time, then you can pop it out whenever you go out in public, or even when you know you’re getting close to hitting your data limit so you don’t have to worry about going over.

While this sounds like a good idea on paper, for many people this may not be the method for them. Whenever you take a SIM card out of your phone, you lose access to all of the services included in your phone plan, such as texting, talking, using data, and more. 

Change Your Data Plan

While this may be one of the easiest ways to save money on your data plan, it is definitely one that you should consider thinking about as well. You should consider changing your data plan if you use more data than you thought you would, or if you don’t use as much as you thought you would. 

No matter what, making a simple change to your data plan is an easy thing to do and it’s a decision that could potentially help you to save money in the long run. It’s important to go over the data plans that your phone provider offers as well to see if any of them suit you and if they would help you save money too.

Do You Really Need Data For a Cell Phone Plan?

Data is essential for all smartphones, but is it possible to get a phone plan without it if you’re not interested in it?

For smartphones, data is something that a lot of people like to include on their cell phone plan, but it’s important to know your options if you don’t want it. Image courtesy of Three.

A question that we should all ask ourselves if we want to save some more money every month is do we really need data for cell phones? While many people may want to save money, own a smartphone, and not pay for data, most plans tend to require it if you’re purchasing a smartphone, or have one on your plan.

This goes for the four major phone companies that are out there currently, especially Verizon. The reason for this is that the companies don’t make money anymore on texting and calling alone, so they instead opt to charge you outrageous amounts in data to make sure that they continue to get their money.

With some companies, you can potentially get away from using data, such as with AT&T and T-Mobile, but with Verizon for example, it’s impossible. The reason for this is that Verizon is a CDMA service and they don’t use SIM cards. Whenever you get a new phone through them, you need to contact them and ask them to activate it for you. With GSM carriers, such as AT&T and T-Mobile, you get a SIM card with your device that you can pop in and out if you’re looking for a new way to save data.

While this may not be the most useful way on how to save money, it is a solution so you don’t have to pay as much for a data plan, or if you don’t want to run the risk of going over on your plan whenever you’re out and about. 

While this can be discouraging for some people, it’s just something that you have to accept when it comes to owning a smartphone in this day and age. There are plenty of different ways to save money while having a data plan and knowing these ways can help you out in the long run. 

Why not consider all of the ways that you can save money while owning a data plan so you can still keep your data and also put a couple extra bucks in your pocket every month too!

Sara Nuss
Sara Nuss is a journalist from Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in wireless, dewi, phone plan advice & blockchain.