No one likes to be hit with extra fees on their mobile bill at the end of the month. These devices are expensive enough to have as it is without adding on more because you went slightly over your data limit. If you or someone on your plan as a tendency to not keep a close eye on their data use, and you find that you are being hit with overage charges fairly often, you are probably sick of it. There are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t go over your limit, and to ensure that you don’t have to pay more than you were expecting.
The first thing to do is to be aware of how much data usage you have left. Most phones will have some way that you can put a “widget” on your screen that monitors how much data you have used and how much you have left. By knowing where you stand you can better regulate your data usage. You can’t know if you are going over if you don’t know how much you have used, so monitoring it is the first step.
After that, you want to look for ways to reduce how much of your mobile data plan you are using. First and foremost you should connect to WiFi whenever you can. If there is a free WiFi network near you, be sure that you are using it rather than your mobile plan. You don’t get charged for data use if you are connected to a WiFi network, so it is definitely recommended. Secondly, if you can’t connect to a WiFi network at the moment, you can at least monitor how much you are using your data plan. For example, checking Facebook doesn’t use much data, but streaming a movie over Netflix certainly does. Anything that requires an internet connecting and a large amount of downloading or uploading should be saved for when you are using WiFi. If you want to watch a movie on your morning commute, try and download it to your phone before you leave, then watch the stored file instead of streaming it. Doing little things like this will go a long way towards reducing your data usage.
Lastly, in extreme circumstances, you can look into getting a capped contract. These are mobile contracts that cut off your data usage once you have reached your limit. Some mobile companies don’t offer these (since they make more money by you going over your limit) but some do. Talk to your current provider about what options they have, or consider switching to another provider that has them. They are ideal for parents who have kids that keep going over their limit. You can stop them from accidentally going over by capping their contract. They might not thank you, but your wallet will!
There are not many ways to avoid overage charges completely. The best thing you can do is simply be aware of when you are using your data plan, and how much you are using it. By saving the heavier tasks for WiFi, and by limiting the time you spend not connected to WiFi, you should be able to avoid most of the charges.