Choosing the right cell phone plan for you doesn’t need to be difficult. Find the best mobile data plan for you and your family in these simple steps.
Track Your Data
Sure, you might think you only use your phone occasionally. If you share the phone with a family or use it for your business, figure out how much data you actually use in a month. Being able to track your data usage is just one of the helpful features of a smartphone. Ask yourself:
- Do I use the phone daily?
- Do I upload and stream music and movies?
- Do I download and upload large files?
- Do I video conference?
- Do I travel with the phone or use it for international calls?
- Do I share the phone with family members?
- Do I primarily text, call, or view media?
You want to buy a plan that reflects the data you use. Be honest. If you primarily stream movies on your phone or send memes all day, then you probably will rack up large amounts of data usage each month. Don’t expect to change your habits just because you have such a large bill at the end of the month. If you share your plan with family members, opt for a larger data plan.
Estimate Travel Costs
Do you travel with your phone or make international calls often? If you only use your phone locally, then you can find a cell phone plan that has unlimited local calls and data. Both pre-paid and post-paid plans require extra fees for international roaming. Talk with your carrier to determine what international costs you might have.
Add Wi-Fi Access
Most new smartphones have integrated Wi-Fi access. This will save you money because you will not have to use the network. Reduce your data usage overall.
Decide on Pre-Paid
In most cases, a pre-paid plan will save you money. Unlike complicated post-paid plans that require a long-term commitment, the pre-paid plan allows you more control over your data usage and costs. Sign onto the plan for a month or a few months at a time. Recharge your account quickly on your phone. Pre-Paid plans do not carry international roaming. You may have to add that feature if you plan on traveling or making many international calls.
Choose the Right Plan
After you have figured out how much data you plan on using and whether you need international roaming options, find a plan that fits the needs of your family. Some plans will include a phone (or several phones) with the plan. Choose the plan that will cover the amount of data and coverage that you already use each month. Some plans incorporate the cost of the phone into the plan. Choose a reliable phone unless you don’t plan to use the phone often.
Read the Fine Print
Some plans are unnecessarily complicated to confuse customers. If you see that there are charges and fees that you don’t understand in the contract, ask about them before you sign. If you end up locked into a contract you don’t like, realize that you might have to pay exit fees if you change plans. Ask about phone repair and replacement, data costs when you go over the usage, and international roaming before you sign onto a plan.
Monitor Your Data Use and Bill Carefully
After you have chosen the right mobile plan, don’t stop keeping track of your usage and costs. You might find that you need more or less coverage. The phone might need new features or a replacement. Adjust your plan if you need to. This is easier to do with pre-paid plans where you have more control over the costs.
Choose the right plan for you and your family in these simple steps. Use your phone worry-free with the right smartphone plan for you.