How to Use Your Data Allowance Efficiently
Friday, 4th September 2020
Image of woman biting bank card looking at mobile compressed
Unless you’ve managed to negotiate a deal with a tonne of data included, you’ll likely use much – if not all – of your allowance every month.
It’s not uncommon. After all, people use their mobile to play games, check social media, make purchases, even book flights and pay bills.
In 2019, the average person used 3GB of data every month, so says 3G UK. But with the introduction of 5G, all those apps that we cannot live without, and the impact of the coronavirus, it’s safe to say that our data usage will increase in the coming years.
Providers understand this and now offer a range of data allowance options. From 1GB a month which gives you 40 minutes of browsing online or on social media daily to 100Mb which allows you to spend a mammoth 100 hours streaming HD videos, there’s truly a plan for everyone!
But for those of us who cannot afford a contract with 100Mb of data every month, using data allowances efficiently is important.
Want to learn how you can avoid going over your data allowance every month and avoid expensive mobile phone bills? Take a couple of minutes to read our handy guide.
Use Wi-Fi wherever possible
How often do you see people out and about, their fingers gliding around their mobile phone, their brain soaking up the content? Often? We’re guessing so.
It’s so easy to send an email, reply to a WhatsApp, message a friend on Facebook, buy that book on Amazon or see how many people are bidding on that item you’ve listed on eBay. Sounds convenient, right? There is a downside. If you’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network, you’re using your data allowance.
Now, here’s the trick. In your Settings, turn off Mobile Data wherever you can connect to a Wi-Fi network. If you get into the habit of this when at home, you won’t burn through your data allowance and be left with a whopping bill at the end of the month!
Turn off push notifications
Turning off push notifications is a simple but effective way to save your data. Why? Some apps use data to send notifications to your device. Surely if you don’t use these apps, then you shouldn’t have them eating away at your data allowance, right?
Turning off these push notifications is easy. If you have an iPhone go to Settings > Notifications and select the apps that you rarely use. For android, select Settings > Apps & notifications. Under ‘Recently Sent’, you’ll find a list of apps that have recently sent notifications. Turn these off.
Restrict Background Data
Did you know that reloading background data and updating your social media and news feed takes the biggest bite out of your data allowance? Well, it does.
Having updated apps may be convenient but the continuous, updated refreshes eats up your data allowance and battery.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to save both your data allowance and your battery. To restrict background activity on an iPhone open Settings > General > Background App Refresh and select Wi-Fi or Off. If you have an android phone go to Settings > Data Usage and tap on the app and disable Background data.
Change your social media settings
Scrolling through your social media may be a great way to save time, but it devours your data allowance. Why? Social media has an abundance of video content.
Facebook and Instagram videos are set to auto-play by default. This means that you’ll always be using data... even when videos are buffering!
To stop videos automatically playing on Facebook go to Menu > Settings & Privacy > Settings > Media and Contacts > Videos and Photos and set auto-play to either On Wi-Fi Connections Only or Never Auto-play Videos. To stop videos auto-playing on Instagram go to Menu > Settings > Mobile Data Use > Use Less Data.
Never worry about a huge mobile phone bill again!
It’s easy to use your data efficiently if you have a little know-how. Follow our fool-proof guide and you’ll never have to worry about getting a huge mobile phone bill again!
Remember, there’s another way to use your data efficiently... keep an eye on your usage! Most networks have their own apps with a data monitoring function. It’s as easy as opening an app and scrolling down its features!