How to Save Money by Reducing Mobile Data Usage

Constantly burdened by unexpected monthly charges for mobile data? Maybe it’s about time to reduce your usage. Unless you want to continue paying for excess fees, you should control your data usage and get a flexible internet package.

How much data do you really need?

Use hard facts to determine which mobile data plan is right for you. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Log in to the website of your service provider and check your data usage over the previous months.
  • Choose a plan that’s higher than the amount of data you currently use and make sure it is as close to that number as possible.
  • Use an online data calculator to get a rough estimate of your data usage.

Now that you know how much data you really need, you have to be careful not to exceed your data limit. To maximize your data plan and help you control your data usage, below are useful tips to consider.

1. When Wi-Fi is present, use it.

Whenever possible, use Wi-Fi to save your mobile data. For anything basic like sending emails or internet browsing, using data is fine. But with anything involving music, pictures and videos, use Wi-Fi instead.

Chances are, you’ll have a Wi-Fi connection at home and at work, so use that opportunity to connect to it. Even public places such as cafes and malls offer free Wi-Fi, so why not make use of it? Make it a habit to check if there’s free Wi-Fi available in your location to substantially drop your data usage.

However, take note that public Wi-Fi connections are less secure and prone to data security risks. So when connecting to them, make sure to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from data theft.

2. Avoid uploading and streaming over data.

Every time you upload photos to Twitter, Facebook or any social media platform, take into account that it’s using up your mobile data. If you have a habit of uploading a hundred photos a month, that’s already equal to half of your data gone. You can expect that the data requirement becomes heavier when you stream videos.

In fact, it isn’t just uploading or streaming that gobbles up your data. When you look at videos or photos on social media, your smartphone is actually downloading them. What’s even worse is when you don’t turn off the auto-play on Facebook.

Fortunately, you can turn it off by simply following these steps:


  • Open the Facebook app and go to Settings
  • Go to Videos and turn off “Auto-play Videos”
  • You may also set it to “Wi-Fi only” so that videos only auto-play when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network


  • Go to Facebook Settings
  • Under Video, tap Auto-play
  • Choose “Wi-Fi only” or turn it “Off”

It’s fine to browse through social media. But unless you have unlimited internet, save the uploading and streaming videos for later until you have a Wi-Fi connection.

3. Stop misbehaving apps.

Even if you’re careful about which apps and media to run, your data may go to waste. This is because there are some apps that are using your data in the background. You can stop these apps from misbehaving by following these steps:


  • Go to Settings, then Data Usage, and choose the Mobile tab.
  • In there, you’ll see which apps are consuming most of your data. If you notice an app using data when it shouldn’t be, tap “Restrict background data” to stop it.


  • Go to Settings and tap Cellular.
  • You’ll see a list of different apps and how much data they’re consuming. Swipe the slider to control a specific app from using data.
  • You can also set the app to be active again when you’re already connected to Wi-Fi.

4. Set alerts and limits.

Go to your mobile phone’s settings and find mobile data usage. In there, you’ll see a table showing your data usage for a specific time. Toggle Set mobile data limit and move the red and black lines to set alerts. The red line denotes the edge when your device will turn off mobile data, while the black line triggers the notification for your limit.

Watching your hard-earned money fly off your hands due to your mobile data usage is a serious financial burden. As much as possible, bring the cost of your mobile plan down without sacrificing your convenience. The best way to do this is to remember to turn off your mobile data whenever you’re not using it.


Azhar Abulhamayel is the Head of Marketing – National Segment and High Value at Zain KSA. The company was the first operator in the Middle East to commercially launch the 4G/LTE network. Zain serves +10M customers, has extended its network coverage to 94% of the population, and attracts thousands of new customers daily.