Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Draw back from data

Smartphone tips

According to the Irish Independent, some Irish consumers may be in line for surprising phone bills, as heavy internet usage on the likes of Facebook and YouTube sends some mobile phone users well over their monthly data limits (at least on billpay), resulting in increased charges per MB used.

So how can you make sure you’re not leaving yourself open to a bigger bill at the end of the month? For starters, always make sure you’re using Wi-Fi when available, and check to see if mobile data is turned off or in the background.

Secondly, updating apps via the Google Play Store, for example, can be data hungry. If you want to curb this, you can head into the Play Store, select settings and either select ‘Do not auto-update apps’ or ‘Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only’.

Preload when you can – apps like YouTube can let you load your videos while on Wi-Fi so that you can watch them later without worry.

Sync or swim – on most phones accounts for apps like Facebook, Twitter etc are set up by default to sync information, so your phone is constantly checking for updates like messages or other notifications. To save data (and battery life) you can turn off auto-sync for a period by going to Settings – Data Usage – Menu and unchecking Auto-sync data.

Finally – do you use Facebook a lot? Consider getting rid of the power-hungry Facebook app and replacing it with a simple shortcut to the mobile site on Chrome. Just open the site in Chrome, open the menu and select ‘Add to Home screen’.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.