Teen and even child cell phone usage continues to be a hot topic. On one hand, parents want to be able to reach their children at any time, and on the other hand, cell phones bring lots of issues to the parenting realm, including the additional cost of having to pay for text and data fees. It’s undeniable that child data usage is a huge concern among many parents.
With kids, it’s no surprise that they go over the data allotment you give them. Considering that kids spend more time online playing games, streaming music, videos and even chatting with friends, it’s easy to see why cellular costs can go exceedingly higher than expected. How exactly can you prevent those insane cellular service fees?
Here are some steps to consider:
Opt for Wi-Fi Enabled Alternatives
Wi-Fi-enabled alternatives provide a cheaper option for texting, calling and browsing. With many great apps which you can use to communicate, send messages, pictures, audio notes and even video messages to friends via Wi-Fi, even while in the air through options such as Gogo In-Flight texting, parents can easily reduce text and data costs, especially when traveling or on vacation.
Reset your Cellular Data Usage Count
Almost every smartphone in the market keeps track of how much cellular data is being used. If you’ve noted a spike in cellular costs of your child’s phone, it’s time you considered resetting the cellular data usage count. This will enable you to keep track of how much data is being used on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
While you don’t want to be the parent that limits everything, including cellular services, having an idea of how much data your child is using will help you better manage costs and even select a more suitable and affordable text/data plan to match those usage patterns.
Buy the Right Text and Data Plan
When choosing a cellular data and text plan for your child, do you consider the options available? Is a prepaid plan better? A prepaid plan can help your child understand the value of money if he or she is required to pay. The good thing about a prepaid plan is you’ll not be surprised by an insane bill at the end of the month.
If you’re opting for a postpaid plan, ask yourself if you’re willing to pay the extra charges if your child exceeds their limit. To choose the right plan, you should compare call, text and data costs and overages, as they often vary between service providers. Also, check the unlimited data and text plans offered by different providers and choose the most cost-effective.
Consider Family Share Plans
Some cellular service providers offer multi-line share plans or family plans to help parents control and monitor their cell phone usage for their kids. These plans offer one of the best ways to prevent insane text and data fees. Considering that these plans allow you to add additional lines to already existing lines for a set fee per phone, everyone, including your kids, will be enjoying text and data from a single shared plan.
Things to Remember
Your child must be 18 years old or above before they can sign any contract, so your kid’s phone will likely be in your name. That means all bills and missed payments are legally your responsibility. Premium content like downloading ringtones and games are also charged at a much higher rate and are not usually covered by cellular plans.
Be aware of allowing a lot of mobile apps to run in the background. Consider disabling automatic notifications on your child’s phone to reduce data usage. Additionally, child safety is key when they’re using a smartphone. Parents should learn how to promote the responsible and safe use of smartphones for kids.