mobile finance

5 simple ways to save with a cheaper smartphone plan

Be careful with add-on plans
Be careful with add-on plans © iStock

Be careful with add-on plans

Adding monthly cellular service for other devices to your smartphone plan can add up.

Some plans charge for device access and data use separately; you could pay $15 to $40 a month in access charges for each device, plus $30 for 3GB of data for your tablet, $50 for 5GB of data for a mobile hot spot, and $10 extra per gigabyte if you exceed your data allotment. Other providers combine the 2 for $20 to $80 per month based on data usage.

A daily, weekly or monthly data pass can save you money if you need cellular data for an extra device only occasionally, such as your tablet when you're traveling.

Family plans are available with and without contracts from major carriers. Discount carriers sell family plans, too. There's usually a base price plus an extra fee per line. You'll need to decide whether you want to share data or have separate allotments for each line based on each family member's usage habits.

Per-person costs can be less expensive with a family plan, so singles might want to create a "family" among trusted friends or relatives to save money.

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