Skip to main content

Top Ten Cell Phone Expense Tips

A cell phone plan is no doubt a required expense in today's day and age. There are few tricks to making sure your expense is as low as possible. Here are my Top Ten Tips:
  1. Join a family plan. This saves a substantial amount of money so be sure to take advantage of it if you can.
  2. Have work cover your cell phone expense. More employers are coming around to the fact that they should reimburse employees for their cell phone costs (or give them an additional $25-50 per month) if the expectation is they need to do work from the phone (like check emails) or be on call outside of work hours.
  3. Shop alternative providers. There are the Big 3 carriers (Verizon, AT&T, and T Mobile) but there are other great providers that happen to use the exact same networks as the Big 3. So shop around and see if any of the other providers might be a better economic fit.
  4. Consider an unlimited plan and drop your home internet. If you can save money on your home internet, then the extra cost for the unlimited data would be worth it.
  5. Alternatively to #4, don't go for an unlimited plan and turn off your phone for data usage. 90% of all data usage is done in an area where you already have internet (home, work, restaurant, etc.). So save the money on data plans and go to a metered plan instead.
  6. Alternatively to #5, try no cell phone plan at all. If you can get wifi coverage in all the areas you want, then you might try experimenting with not having a cell phone plan at all. With the advent of video chat and text apps, there is becoming less of a need for cell phone plans where the only added feature is voice calling. And you can always add a cheaper mobile hotspot if you find there are areas where you really need coverage.
  7. For the phone itself, wait for the new release and then buy the version that the new model just replaced. That old model is likely plenty good and will immediately go on sale. 
  8. Try to hold onto the phone model for 2 years or longer before upgrading. This is where the real expense is in having a cell phone, so the longer you can wait, the more you will save.
  9. Add accessories that will actually protect the phone and keep it from becoming damaged. Even with insurance, the deductible to replace a phone is $100 or more. For around $50, you can get a case and a screen protector that will keep your phone protected from most major accidents.
  10. Shop around for insurance. Typically the insurance from the provider is expensive and not the best. My go to insurance provider is Square Trade (which is now owned by Allstate). Be sure to check them out to reduce the insurance coverage expense. The only thing to note about Square Trade is they don't cover lost phones, only damaged ones, but phones are getting easier to trace now if you happen to misplace it.