It’s no secret that Canadians pay more for their cell phone plans than those in other countries. Canadians pay an average of $101 per month for their cell phone bill. For more robust cell phone plans that include 10-49GB of data, Canadians pay about $227 per month, which is higher than the average costs for residents of Italy, Germany, France, the UK, the USA, Japan, and Australia. If you want to save on your cell phone bill, check out these tips.
1. BYOP – Bring Your Own Phone
By purchasing your own phone outright, you aren’t bound to a contract. This way, you don’t have to pay fees for switching to a better contract down the line, or for losing a phone that doesn’t belong to you.
Although buying a phone can be costly, you can find good deals at used cell phone kiosks, as well as websites like eBay and Kijiji.
While this option can potentially save you money down the line, it might not appear as cost-effective at first glance as contract phone plans. If you’re the type of person who generally does well with contracts, guides, and restrictions, you might prefer a set contract. If that’s the case, consider opting for shorter contracts to give you the flexibility to switch after a reasonable amount of time.
2. Don’t Upgrade Your Phone Too Soon
Sometimes cell service providers try to lure you in with a free phone 24 months into your contract. However, it’s usually never free. The cost of the phone is factored into your monthly payments, which can cost you an additional $20-$40 per month.
Did you know that your smartphone can last 2-4 years? 2 years is the minimum, so upgrading after 2 years is often excessive. Wait it out—your phone can usually handle a bit more use. And when you’re ready to upgrade, don’t choose a brand new phone. Picking a used phone can save you even more money.
Not sure how much of your income you should be saving? Find out here.
3. Get A Prepaid Phone
Paying for your cell service in advance can save you extra fees at the end of your billing cycle. Prepaid plans also help you to be more mindful in your cell use, since you take extra care to use only what you’ve paid for.
Remember though, prepaid cell phone services often have an expiry date. That means if you don’t use your service before the set date, you could waste part of your prepaid plan.
Looking to maximize your monthly savings? Check out our list of car insurance discounts to see if you qualify for any.
4. Compare Different Phone Providers And Negotiate
Universal sticker prices don’t exist anymore. Even the same product can vary widely in cost across competitors. That’s why it’s important to always compare before making any purchase, especially cell phone plans.
Look up different cell phone providers and the plans they offer. And, compare different plans from the same cell phone provider. Are any plans similar to yours but with a lower price tag? Use this information to negotiate a better price with your current provider. Or, try to get more features and perks in your current plan for the same price.
Additionally, cell phone plans change constantly. The plan you secured last year has likely already changed to a more attractive package. However, your cell phone provider certainly won’t inform you of that. It’s your job to take the initiative and do the research.
Remember, negotiating is usually easier if you’ve been a long-term customer of the cell service provider. If you find that you can’t negotiate a better deal, consider switching to a more attractive provider or plan when your current contract lapses.
To up your price comparison game even more, find out which Canadian stores offer price matching.
5. Opt-Out Of The Warranty Or Insurance Protection
Since you likely use your cell phone regularly, it makes sense to protect it with insurance. Cell phone insurance ranges anywhere between $5 – $40 per month, along with a $100 deductible for premium plans. But, it’s important to assess whether the insurance you’re offered is actually worth it. Cell phone insurance covers a wide range of things, like:
- Manufacturing Issues—if your phone has a defect due to a manufacturing issue, insurance usually covers it.
- Dead Battery—if your battery loses its ability to charge, many insurance plans cover the cost of switching out the battery for a new one.
- Damages—If you damage your phone, insurance protects some causes for that damage, such as water damage, breaking your phone by dropping it, damaging your charging port, etc. However, not all causes for damages are covered, so you need to read the fine print.
Look at your insurance plan and consider how well it fits your lifestyle. If you’re careless and have a history of dropping phones but your insurance doesn’t cover that damage, you might be better off with a different plan, or no plan at all.
6. Get A Family Plan
Most businesses offer discounts for buying in bulk. That goes the same for cell phone service providers. Family plans let you purchase multiple phone plans with friends or family at a discounted rate. This is a great way to save money, almost $15 per month, per person, though that number can vary.
Remember, make sure you only purchase family plans with people you trust. The last thing you want is to be on the hook for someone abusing their phone plan and hiking fees every month.
Learn how to create a monthly budget to keep track of your expenses and savings.
Cell phone plans are always negotiable, as well as abundant! Be intentional with your cell phone use and review your costs per month to see if you can find room to save.
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