How Smartphones Rape Your Pockets Every Month

In a contributing piece for, LearnVest listed overpaying on monthly bills for your smartphone as the "sneakiest" way in which you lose money every month, and for good reason.

According to a 2011 study conducted by, which was cited in the article, phone users in the U.S. overpay on their wireless bills by over $336 yearly, with the main cause being an overestimation of just much data will be used monthly on the part of smartphone users.

The rationale behind choosing an unlimited data plan is pretty straightforward. It's a trade that offers a little bit more money in exchange for peace of mind and a lack of need to worry about inducing charges for going over data limits, simply because there isn't one. Seems like a good idea, but tech columnist Rob Pegoraro advises against it.

In an article for USA Today he wrote, "Let me throw out a possibly heretical thought there and say that for most wireless users, unlimited data isn't worth it... if you look at how much data you actually use each month, you may be surprised by how low that number goes. From early March to early April — a period in which I overused my phone at the SXSW Interactive festival in Austin and shared more than 900 megabytes of data with my laptop — I only racked up 2.13 gigabytes."

One might argue that providing a personal account may not be strong enough to validate such an argument, but the facts that Pegoraro cites are convincing.

According to Acatel-lucent, a telecommunications equipment provider, 4G smartphone users only consume approximately 1.4 gigabytes per month, while 3G users only consume around .5 gigabytes per month.

To compare, wireless service providers usually offer 5 gigabytes per month as the highest capped plan before enticing customers to sign up for the unlimited variety.

In layman's terms, we really don't use as much data as we think and, because of that, an opportunity to keep a bit more money in our pockets presents itself.

Most phones, like Androids and iPhones, track your data usage and thus make it easy for you to compare the amount of data you signed up for with the amount that you actually use.

Once checked, you may find that you have the chance to pocket a bit more cash every month and if you're nervous about negotiating for a better contract with your service provider, LearnVest provides you with these tips, complete with a script to use to help you win your money-saving battles.