Four Ways I Cut My Data Usage by Over 75%

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I am a late adopter to technology. I got my first personal smart phone in 2013. So it should come as no surprise that I haven’t yet developed the habits to max out my data. I have a 2GB/month plan and usually use slightly under that limit.

But when I switched service providers and upgraded my phone, my data usage shot up.  Soon I was being warned that I was approaching my limit, just two weeks into the month.  I suspect there’s something wrong with how my new phone sucks up data. But rather than just upgrade my plan to a larger plan, I was proactive and reduced my usage.  Last month, I used 0.3GB of data.  Here’s how I did it.

1. Turn off data.

This is a bit of a “duh” statement but once I found that I was about to go over my limit weeks before the cycle was over, I immediately turned off my data usage.  I only turned it back on when I needed it.

Because I am still scared of going over my limit, I kept this practice, and now my data usage is turned off as a default. This means that my phone always uses available wifi networks when in range.

It’s not too much trouble – I just have to switch it on when I have to use Google Maps. And because I get repaid for any data that is left unused, it saves money.

2. Reduce data usage while on data.

If you don’t want to  would have been a lot more effort to analyze which apps use the most data, and limit their access to data.  Even if you do turn off your data, you can still also do this to save data when it’s turned on.

On my phone, in  the settings tab, I can block certain apps from sending notifications. I can enable or disable certain apps from working. I delete any apps that I don’t use, in case of “phantom” data usage.

Additionally, my phone also has a “data saver” mode. It is always on.

3. Download entertainment onto your phone.

I currently have a playlist of my favorite running songs and at least 30 podcasts downloaded to my phone. So if I get bored or need some entertainment, I don’t have to stream music or zip through social media accounts.

4. Keep yourself locked out

The average person checks their phone 80 times a day. Not only is this really bad for our focus, but it keeps us addicted to our phones, which increases our data usage. I reduced the number of apps that could send me notifications. I also use an app called Keep Me Out that locks me out of my phone for a set amount of time.

What tips do you have to reduce your data usage?

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