Learn how to effectively take control of your mobile data spending
Can you still remember how it was like back when you didn’t have mobile data? Now, you can book a car going to work, update reports, send photos, payments, and packages with the tap of a finger, schedule video conference calls and more. It connects us with our colleagues and helps streamline operations for more efficient day-to-day. It’s come to a point that you can practically run a business using your phone.
But, like any other business expense, it’s something you need to take full charge of. Or before you know it, you’re met with unexpected charges. Or worse, this might have happened to you already, and to avoid it, you’ve shunned mobile data indefinitely.
Fret not, you can gain back control of your mobile data consumption with these steps.
Know your subscribed plan
The first step is always awareness, or quite literally — knowing your limits. Don’t know your data coverage? Easy. Dial *143# or check your bill. Know your plan’s features and make sure it’s optimized for your usage.
Set up your phone accordingly
First off, turn on SurfAlert! It’s a free service that prevents you from unexpected browsing charges. Once on, your browsing will be put on hold and you’ll receive free notifications when you use up your data allocation.
When that’s on, you can also check your phone’s settings. There’s a good chance you can set your data usage limit and align your cut-off and tracking dates.
Next, check which apps you use often. Which ones are the most important to you? Which ones do you spend the most time on? Once you’ve narrowed the list down, check the list on which ones eat up the most data. It’s best to do heavier browsing when you’re using a Wi-Fi connection. Select only the most important apps to use mobile data. Check which ones you need and the ones you don’t.
Downloading a mobile data manager app is a good way to track your data usage and to make sure you don’t exceed your plan. Features include historical reports, real-time data usage reports, notification alarms to avoid excess usage, and more. Most of them are free, too!
Lastly, don’t set your app updates to automatic. Automatic updates drain a huge amount of your mobile data. Set it to manual instead so you can choose when to update, and update only when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
Check to see if your favorite apps have a lite or a data saver option
Good news! Most of your favorite apps come in a lighter, leaner version, these are what we call ‘lite’ or data-saving apps. Examples include Facebook Lite, Messenger Lite, and Instagram Lite. Think of them as the compact, less feature-rich version of your favorite apps, meaning they do the job without much of the bells and whistles. This means that they require less time to download, take up less space on your phone, and more importantly, use up less data to do the work.
It also helps if you develop a healthy habit of data saving. You can start with closing apps that are not in use. Even when idle, these apps can still consume your data.
For Android users, you can do this by opening your phone’s task manager and closing the said apps. For iOS users, just press the home button twice and swap the chosen apps up. Some apps may also consume data when not in use. You can manually turn data usage off for apps, just go to your phone’s settings and apps.
Remember when we mentioned using only the most important apps for mobile data? For the bigger, heavier stuff like streaming (a 30-second SD YouTube video will cost you about 7-8 MB) and uploading image files (including Instagram which sets you back by 2 MB per image), use the Wi-Fi! This way, you’ll get to save your mobile data for the urgent stuff.
The same goes for tethering, too! Make sure you only do it when absolutely necessary, and that you turn it off when you’re done — especially if anyone else around you has access to it.
When in doubt, just dial *143#
Still have questions? Dial *143# to check your mobile internet usage! You can also get quick info on the latest promos, offers, and more on top of managing your data usage.
Lastly, did you know that you can set a spending limit for your line?
Spending Limit is a feature that lets you set the maximum amount you can spend for extra services and products when you’ve exceeded your monthly plan allocation. Essentially, it’s a limit you set for your unbilled usage. When you go over this limit, your outgoing calls, texts, and mobile data will be temporarily turned off until your allocation refreshes.
Need more information? Send us a message here, and we’ll help you out!
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