How to reduce iPhone usage costs

Written by nat fondell
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How to reduce iPhone usage costs
Reducing your data usage can keep iPhone bills low. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Some mobile networks charge iPhone users for data usage over and above a set monthly allowance. With the days of unlimited data seemingly gone for good, the savvy customer will look for ways to streamline their iPhone data and messaging usage. By implementing a variety of practical applications and structuring your iPhone usage, you can stay in control of the amount of data you use, and the amount of sent and received messages that you pay for.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Configure your monthly plan to reflect the bare minimum of minutes, data and messaging that you require. This number should reflect the amount of time you spend in areas with Wi-Fi access, the amount of time you spend talking on the phone during the day and the amount of texting you do. Whenever possible, streamline your plan so that the smaller extra fees don't add up, realising that you will be paying this fee every month, so that a £3 monthly fee is really a £39 annual fee or £78 for the life of the typical mobile phone contract.

  2. 2

    Download and install applications that can help you make the most of the free services available to your phone. Wi-Fi hotspot finding applications can help you find all of the available, free wireless services in your area and can place them all on a map which is easily accessible when offline as well. Texting applications allow you to text free over a Wi-Fi network, though you are often required to set up an alternative phone number. Skype, Viber and other voice chat applications allow you to save minutes by talking over the Internet connection.

  3. 3

    Adjust the settings on your iPhone to use as little data as possible when you are not in Wi-Fi areas. In the Settings menu, turn "Cellular Data" off, and your phone will not send or receive data when not connected to a Wi-Fi signal. This is an effective way to stop yourself from going over your allotted data amount towards the end of your billing cycle. Also adjust your various applications so that they cannot "push" information to your phone when not connected to Wi-Fi.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are looking to save additional money, avoid buying phone insurance, because this is basically a gamble that you will lose your phone during the next two years. If you take good care of your phone, you can come out ahead, and if you should break your phone you can always save your old phone or buy a used iPhone online for about the same price as two years of insurance.
  • Consider signing up for Apple Care to extend the iPhone's standard guarantee period.

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