Everyone likes to save a little cash when it comes time to pay the monthly cell phone bill. Once you've done all your homework and found the plan that's best for you from the company that offers the best service there are still a few things you can do to make sure you're not spending too much on things you don't need or want. Like everything else, there are apps for that!
Here are five apps that can help you trim a little fat from your monthly phone bill.
My Data Manager
You should only be paying for the data you need. While some carriers like Google's Project Fi only bill for the exact amount of data you use each month, most companies don't give credit for data paid for but not used. That means paying for the right amount is pretty important.
Ways to monitor how much data you use are probably built into your phone, but the best way to make sure we use any software utility is to make it easy. Enter My Data Manager. Track how much data you use through mobile and Wi-Fi with roaming data accounted for separately, keep track of voice minutes and text messages, track shared or family plan data totals and more all from one app or home screen widget. Finally, My Data Manager also has what's called a Plan Matcher that keeps track of plans offered in the U.S. and can help make sure you're using the right one based on your usage history.
Stop paying for texts or for any international texting plan. Just stop right now!
WhatsApp was designed to replace SMS plans from the ground up because in most places around the world texting isn't "free" or built into the monthly plan costs — just like international messaging for many plans in the U.S. And there are now over a billion daily users because it's really good at it. Spending the extra money to text a friend or relative overseas is crazy when you can do it better for free.
Those same friends and relatives who are outside the U.S. might enjoy a phone call every now and then, too. Of course, those aren't usually part of your "free unlimited voice calls" either.
Skype is to voice calls what WhatsApp is to texting — a better way to do it that doesn't cost any extra cash. Both parties install the free app and set up an account with Microsoft (you probably already have one of these anyway) and you can make calls that usually have the same or better quality than they would if you just called the "regular" phone number.
There are a ton of apps that can do this, but since Microsoft is behind Skype we're pretty sure it's here to stay and isn't suddenly going to stop working. As a plus, you can use Skype on any computer with internet access, too.
GlassWire Data Usage Monitor
With Datally ending up in the Google Graveyard, we have found GlassWire to be a great alternative for tracking your data usage. The app provides in-depth details as to how much data your apps are using, while also giving you the ability to block connections right from the app.
GlassWire has another useful feature which helps you to create a "firewall" directly on your smartphone. This allows you to manage new app connections, helping you to determine whether a new app is doing things it shouldn't, or if it's a good one to use. Some additional features include a "Speed Meter" to view your data usage in real-time, and alerts when you are nearing your data limits set by your carrier.
Your cable company's Wi-Fi network
Chances are you have cable television, and chances are the company you pay for it offers a Wi-Fi network you can use with your account login.
The way this works is through an app that notices when a Wi-Fi hotspot through your cable company (Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, whoever) and when it finds one you connect through it instead of your data plan.
It's "free" as in its part of your monthly cable bill, it's secure because it's not a public Wi-Fi network and it's automatic so you won't need to remember to do anything. All you need to do is install the right app and set it up.
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