I really loved my wireless provider, y’all. I loved the speed, the coverage, the bells and whistles. What I did not love was the bill. I was on a shared family plan with my parents, and even though that was supposed to save us money, I quietly wept as my bank account was drained each month on the bill’s due date.

When I finally decided to revamp my monthly budget, one of the first things I did was change my wireless providers. This is what I did when I decided to switch.

1. I looked for prepaid providers

Generally speaking, you’re going to be paying less for cellular if you have to pay at the beginning of your billing cycle instead of the end. Some of the Big Four wireless providers have prepaid plans, though there are some providers that *only* offer prepaid.

2. I compared coverage

There’s no point in having a super cheap wireless service if you can’t use it. The provider you choose should have a coverage map or some other indicator of where your cell phone will get 4G, 3G, or no service. Which plan you choose should depend on your region and where you plan to travel. One provider, for example, might be great for someone living in a particular city but have weak coverage in rural areas.

3. I incorporated the price of the phone when deciding to which to choose

The last time I got a cell phone, you could get the previous model iPhone for $99 or even free if you signed up for a two year contract. Now you have to set up installment payments or pay in full a large amount upfront. That’s not money I want to spends. Plus, if you’re buying insurance for the phone, that’s another big cost over the course of a year.

I really needed a new phone when I switched, so I bought a $100 ZTE that had good reviews and opted out of insurance. Even if the phone fell to pieces after the first month, it would still wind up being cheaper for me to get a new phone the next month than pay for the old wireless service!

There were smartphone options that were even more affordable than $100, but the ZTE had the specs I was looking for.

4. I got people to join me

Many pre-paid providers give you great deals if you get multiple people to sign up. I got my parents and my fiance to switch wireless providers, and each of us pay $30 for our bill and have our own data plan (my fiance even has unlimited!)

So who did I decide to go with?

Cricket Wireless. I’m really happy with the service and coverage. There were a few hiccups when I first switched over, mainly because I switched to an Android phone and my number was still associated with iMessage. However, I got that cleared up, the network has been reset, and voice, text and data is working smoothly now. The coverage is not quite as good as my previous provider, but I knew that going in, and I still prefer Cricket over my old provider.

Cricket is usually offering deals if you switch providers, and you are welcome to use my referral code if you would like to get a $25 account credit (and I get an account credit, too!)

There are several great wireless providers out there – just do your research, compare coverage, and have a good idea of what kind of data you’ll be using each month. Hopefully, you’ll be saving money in no time! Happy provider hunting!

This post is my opinion, and no one has sponsored me or otherwise influenced this post. I may earn account credit if you click my referral link.