The Average American Spends $1,342 per Year on Phone Bills — How To Cut This Bill in Half

Having a mobile phone has become basically essential — but it’s becoming increasingly expensive to own one. A recent report from doxo found that Americans spend an average of $1,342 per year on mobile phone services, up 5% from last year.

While you may not want to ditch your phone completely to save on this expense, there are things you can do to cut your bill by up to 50%. Here are a few tips for slashing your mobile phone bill.

Switch Your Carrier

One of the reasons for inflated cell phone costs is that the “big three” wireless carriers — AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon — dominate the market. This has led to limited competition, enabling these companies to maintain inflated prices without fear of losing customers to more reasonably priced alternatives. However, you don’t need to rely on these companies for your phone service.

“One of the easiest ways to cut your phone bill in half is by switching to a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO),” said Rob Webber, founder of MoneySavingPro, a cell phone price comparison site. “MVNOs are an excellent option for those looking to save money on their phone bills without compromising on service. These low-cost carriers operate on the AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon 5G & 4G LTE wireless networks, meaning you can have access to the same quality of service at a lower cost.”

Top MVNOs include US Mobile, Mint Mobile, Boost Mobile, Tello and Ultra Mobile.

“By switching to an MVNO, you could save up to $700 a year on your phone bill,” Webber said. “It’s always worth comparing phone plans from each of the carriers to ensure you get the best value for your individual needs. All these carriers are prepaid, so there are no contracts or commitments.”

Switching also can be easier than you think.

“Many of these low-cost carriers now offer eSIM plans, meaning you can switch online without the hassle of switching SIM cards,” Webber said. “If your device is eSIM compatible, the switching process can often be completed within a couple of hours. You can keep your phone, number, coverage and, most importantly, keep money in your pocket.”

Switch to a Lower Data Plan

“If you’re looking to reduce your phone bill but are happy with your carrier, it’s worth checking your average data usage,” Webber said. “The big three only provide unlimited plans; but, in reality, we use a lot less data as most of us are connected to Wi-Fi for most of the time. So, by selecting a set data plan, you can save considerably on your monthly bill.”

By analyzing your usage and determining how much data you need each month, you can avoid paying for extra data that you don’t need, Webber said. “It’s worth checking with your carrier what data allowances are available.”

Cancel Unused Subscriptions

When you sign up for a new data plan or get a new phone, you may be offered “free” subscriptions.

“When it comes to free perks and subscriptions, mainly offered by the big three wireless companies, it’s important to be cautious,” Webber said. “It’s easy to forget to cancel once the free trial finishes, and you end up with additional monthly expenses. To avoid this, we recommend signing up for any subscriptions you want separately so you have full control. Keeping track of your subscriptions can save you money in the long run and prevent unwanted charges on your account.”

Check to see whether there are any subscriptions tied to your wireless plan that you might be able to cancel for cost savings.

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Average American Spends $1,342 per Year on Phone Bills — How To Cut This Bill in Half

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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