12 Ways To Save Your Data And Avoid Overage Charges | Refresh Financial
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12 Ways To Save Your Data And Avoid Overage Charges

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We’ve all done it: turned off wifi on our phones briefly and forgotten to turn it back on. Perhaps for a week or more, you’ve gone without having wifi on, absentmindedly forgetting you’d turned it off. When you finally realize you’ve had wifi off for all this time and you’ve been using straight data, you feel like a fool and you’ve accumulated a ridiculous amount of overage charges.

Now that Canadian internet service providers have now implemented data caps similar to your mobile coverage, it’s even easier to rack up overage charges because once you're out of phone data, you can't always just use your home internet. If you’re an avid Netflix enthusiast or maybe you love YouTube and podcasts, you’re going to reach your limit fairly quickly, keep going into overage charges and your bill will be astronomical. So, how do we avoid the huge data bills? What methods are there to save on our data? Let’s take a look at a few habits that will keep your bills as low as they can be:

1. Watch your usage

Familiarize yourself with how much data you actually need. Purchase the data package that most suits what you actually use on average.

2. Know your billing month start dates

Knowing when your data resets to zero will help you stay offline until that day if you’re nearing your data cap.

3. Set usage alerts

You can set up alerts with your providers, either by SMS or email. When you are nearing your data allowance for the month, you will alerted so you can make some usage changes until the next billing month.

4. Grab your provider’s app

Most mobile providers offer an app which you can install on your smartphone. These apps allow you to check your data usage. Keep an eye on it, so you can space out your usage and still have some left at the end of the month.

5. Keep wifi on

Whenever you have to turn your wifi off, set a reminder to turn it back on when you do.

6. Always login to public wifi when you can

Yes, even if the public wifi is slow, when you’re having a coffee at Tim Horton’s or staying in a hotel, make sure the first thing you do is sign into the public wifi. Just make sure you don't do anything confidential, like logging into your internet banking while on free networks - just in case.

7. Turn off location services on your phone

Keep location services off for all your apps. You can turn it on as needed, such as when you are getting directions.

8. Turn off mobile data when you’re not using it

When you’re at home or at work or busy doing something where you won’t be able to check your phone, turn cellular data off so your phone isn't using it during your downtime.

9. Download streamable media for offline listening

If you plan to listen to a podcast or watch a movie on the road, turn your data off before you watch it or listen to it to ensure you’re consuming the downloaded offline version.

10. Check all your settings for each individual app you use

Any time you see the option to turn off background processes, do it. For instance, on iOS, the podcasts app is set up by default to download new episodes of podcasts you are subscribed to. You can choose to have new podcast settings only download when wifi is available. Or you can choose to turn automatic downloads off completely and download them manually when you are preparing to listen to them. Each app has its own settings which you can fool around with in your system settings to limit the amount of data they use.

11. Wait until you are on wifi

If you want to upload photos or videos to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or any other social network, wait until you're on wifi. Limit your social media interactions while on data to just textual exchanges.

12. Don’t send images and videos via text message

Wait until you are on wifi for iOS messages users, or send them via Facebook or email once you have a wifi signal. If you’re an avid picture sharer, the data usage for the images you send can add up quickly.

Of course, some months are going to be worse than others and there is nothing you can really do to avoid overage charges, especially if you use your data for work. If you find that you are constantly going over your data cap though, consider purchasing an unlimited data plan, as it will save you money in the long run.

Do you pay close attention to your data usage? How do you save your data? Let us know in the comments!

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