Data plans are pretty expensive. And the more data, the most expensive your plan becomes. The following post shows you how to conserve as much data as possible. By doing so, you’ll be able to be on a cheaper plan because you won’t be wasting any data. This information is even true if you have satellite home internet which comes with data restrictions.
There was actually a time not too long ago where I only had satellite internet at my house. And it had to be shared with four people! Oh and yes, it was limited. We only had 10 gigs per month. That was difficult. That’s not nearly enough for four people. 10 gigs a month on a mobile plan for one person sure, but this was ridiculous. Needless to say, I got pretty good at conserving data. The following post outlines the many, many ways I learned how to save that precious internet juice. Some of the following suggestions are annoying. I’m actually going back and writing this intro. I gotta say, writing about some of these things has given me a headache. But, if saving money is the goal, the less data you buy, the better. Until a few more years go by and unlimited plans are more commonplace.
Now let’s get saving!!!
ALWAYS Use Wifi
Set your device to detect when available wifi is in range. If you’ve been to that location before, make sure it’s set to connect automatically. The worst thing you can do for a limited data plan is not take advantage of free wifi. Free wifi is available nearly everywhere. The only place you really need fast data is when you’re in the middle of nowhere. That or when the pesky proprietor of a place is too cheap to offer free wifi. Or if they require annoyingly difficult login credentials.
Download Videos from Wifi
NEVER view videos on data if you can help it. It’s a massive data-suck. Avoid video calls as well. These often avoidable activities take drain as much as 3MB per second. Download when on wifi and store on the device. You can use this via the YouTube Red app. But it’s a paid app. There are free ways as well of downloading off YouTube.
Stop Apps from Running While Not in Use
Closing apps when you’re done using them can reduce data usage. Many apps, especially those that use GPS, require a lot of data. Even when a device is locked, many still pull data. This is also a big suck on the battery. Close apps when not in use. It may help simplify your life as well. How many apps do you typically have running simultaneously?
Limit Your Notifications
Disable email notifications, push notifications and automatic updates. These are major data and battery hogs. After all, do you really need to be bothered every time something new happens within an app. Sometimes it’s nice to get some peace and quiet. Another reason why being frugal brings more to your life than additional savings.
Monitor Usage Closely
There are many ways to monitor your usage. Mind them. See if you’re running ahead or behind on available data usage for the month. There are many ways to do this. This ahead as well. Will you be going on a road trip soon where you absolutely need data?
Preload Your Data
Just like downloading videos, preloading data is a great way to save on data. Before leaving the house, open all the resources you’ll expect to need. These are things such as restaurant menus, movie theater showtimes and more.
People who manage to save a lot of data (and money) are people who can plan. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Loading your data also helps you get organized for the day ahead. It’s like getting your ducks in a row before you start checking things off.
Ask Yourself if You Really Need to Be Using the Internet
I heard someone say the other day that she hates the internet. I was taken aback. How can someone hate the internet? It affects everyone. It has many, many uses. Saying you hate something like that is like saying you hate something as all-encompassing as information. Sure, you may hate to read about biomechanics but surely there’s some information you like to absorb.
So while everyone should be able to appreciate the internet, ask yourself if maybe you’re spending too much time on it. Are you staying online instead of hanging out with people in person? On a road trip, are you on your phone or admiring the beauty outside your window? Are you using your phone to keep from having to talk with people?
Sometimes it’s nice just to unplug for a little while. It’s probably healthy, don’t you think. If you want to spend less on data, set yourself limits. Say that you can enjoy as much wifi at home as you would like. But when you’re not on wifi, you must be in the physical moment. You must put your phone away and enjoy the 4D experience.
Will Lipovsky is a personal finance freelance writer and internet marketer. His most embarrassing moment has been saying to a Microsoft executive, “I’ll just Google it.” You can get in touch with Will at FirstQuarterFinance.com.