Cap It

A new study finds you can likely save money on your cell plan

You’re probably paying more than you need to for your cell phone. That’s the main takeaway from a new report by, a phone trade-in site. The main culprit for your overpaying is that hefty, bloated data plan.

According to the report — which surveyed 1,000 adults about the cost of their phone plans — 41 percent of Americans have an unlimited data plan, while 42 percent have a capped plan. The study found that switching from an unlimited plan to a capped plan could save you some cash. Those that have an unlimited plan spend an average of $83 per month. Meanwhile, those who have a capped plan spend about $61 per month. This is the part where you chime in with something like, “But I need my unlimited data plan, I use it!” However, the report found that’s likely not the case. About 56 percent of consumers use five gigabytes or less per month. That means you’re probably leaving a lot of data — and cash — on the table. You could likely switch to a capped plan and save about $268 per year.

The only way to know if you can switch from an unlimited plan to a capped plan is to analyze your data usage. Once you have a rough idea how much you’re using, try a couple months of cutting back to see if you can do it. To keep data low, use open wi-fi networks whenever possible, download shows and music ahead of time and turn off data on apps you don’t use. If your data monitoring goes well, it’s time to switch to a capped plan. Then take those savings and add them to your emergency fund.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea