Are you considering getting a new phone or switching to a new plan? Great! When it comes to choosing a cell phone and service plan, you have many choices. Cell phones have so many features, and it can easily become overwhelming when deciding what exact features that you want. By breaking down how, where, and when you expect to use your phone, you can find a plan that's right for you.
The first thing to think about is how you are going to use your cell phone. If your main reason for getting a phone is to communicate with friends and family, a plan with just calling or calling and texting might be right for you. Your cell phone plan may have you choose how many minutes you get per month for making and receiving calls. Don't pay for extra minutes if you won't use them, but make sure you have enough so you don't have to pay any overage charges.
If you plan on texting frequently, you may want a plan with unlimited texting at a set rate. If you only plan to text occasionally, you may consider getting a limited text messaging plan. With a limit, you pay a flat rate for a maximum number of monthly texts. If you don't plan on texting at all, don't pay for it! Instead, try a minutes-only plan.
Another thing to consider is how much data you are planning to use. When you access the internet on your phone without being on a wireless network (Wi-Fi), you use data. You likely have Wi-Fi access at home, and many public places have free Wi-Fi that you can use while you are there. Cell phone activities that take up the most data are streaming videos and music. However, any action that requires internet uses data, such as checking emails, going on social media, using GPS, or looking something up on Google. If you primarily use your phone at home on your Wi-Fi network, then you don't need a plan with a bunch of data. However, if you do plan on using your phone when you are out and about where there isn't always Wi-Fi, then you should pick a data plan based on how often you are planning to use it. Going over on your data plan can get very expensive, so it's best to overestimate if you don't plan to check your data usage regularly.
New phones are coming out all the time with more and more features and upgrades. This can be great if you use your phone frequently and would make use of those new features. However, new phones can get very expensive and so will your phone plan. The newest iPhone may not be necessary for your lifestyle, and you don't need to pay for things that you aren't going to use. If you are planning on using your phone for basic functions, like calling or messaging, then you don't need a smartphone. Instead, look at flip phones or other cell phones that don't require a data package. Pre-owned phones are a great option: they function the same, and can save you hundred of dollars.
Don't let the myriad of phone plan options overwhelm you and cause you to spend way more than you need. Take a look at your current lifestyle and be honest about what features you really want and how often you will use them. There is a plan out there for everyone. Pick the one that best suits your needs.