These days, having a mobile phone with adequate data, texts and minutes is less luxury and more absolute necessity. Not only do we demand social media everywhere we go, but we also call on maps, lifestyle apps like Airbnb, and trusty old Google!
In this expensive world of mobile phone demands, cutting costs should be as much of a priority to us as the mobile phone itself, and yet so many are paying enormous bills they don’t need to be paying!
In this blog post, I have explored three of the top ways in which you could cut costs on your mobile phone and still have a device that does everything you need – and probably a lot more besides that!
Check every element of your monthly bill
If your monthly bill is totalling more than £10 per month, you need to take a closer look.
Perhaps your monthly bill includes paying off the cost of the handset (in the style of a traditional mobile contract), or alternatively you may be browsing the internet across a series of other countries in an activity known as roaming, which is sure to push your bill high as data use outside of your contracted region comes at an extortionate cost. Or you could simply be paying for a massive data allowance that you may not even need.
Whatever the cause of your high monthly bill, you still may be able to save good money on your monthly bill.
On a SIM-only deal, you essentially keep the mobile phone itself separate from its SIM card – sourcing them both independently and thus getting the best deal possible on each. In turn, you can easily find numerous SIM card deals offering a decent amount of texts, minutes and data for under £10 per month.
Equally, if you are paying for your mobile phone with a contract and are outside your minimum term, you’re essentially paying for a handset which has already been paid off. Paying off a handset over a series of payments will more often than not leave you paying a lot more than you should be, purely by stretching the payment out for longer.
Do your research, go outside of your norm and explore networks and options you may not have considered before. The significant reduction in cost may well be worth your while.
To upgrade or not to upgrade
When our trusty network provider offers us an upgrade as part of our contract, chances are we say yes and jump at the chance of owning the latest iPhone. But do we really need it?
There are plenty of cheaper handsets available in the world of mobile if you shop around a bit, and many offer the exact same core functions as the newest models from Apple and Samsung.
By comparing different deals and handsets in relation to exactly what you use your phone for the most, you are more likely to end up with the phone you actually need rather than the one that will get you the most compliments.
There are a couple of different ways in which you can get your hands on a new mobile handset, and each has its own benefits and downfalls:
Buy the handset outright and purchase a separate SIM card, as discussed earlier.
Essentially, you can pick the handset that you think looks best, and then pair it with the SIM-only deal that suits your needs. Typically, this is the cheapest option that allows you to tailor both the phone and its uses to your own demands. However, the initial expense of purchasing a handset yourself can be pricey and must be allowed for. But with many Chinese brands now hitting the UK market that easily competes with Apple on specs, there are lots of more affordable smartphones available without hefty price tags from brands like Huawei and Xiaomi.
For the SIM part of the deal, you can choose from a 12-month contract, a 30-day contract or even go for a pay as you go deal. If you use a lot of data, then the best deals are usually the ones that tie you in for 12 months, Three are pretty good for this. But if you’re a light user, pay as you go is a great option. It used to mean topping up your phone every month via a voucher, but now most networks offer pay as you bundles that are pre-paid and last 30 days.
Once the 30 days it up then the bundle auto bills you. The great thing is there are no tie-ins and you can change bundle or cancel all together at a moments notice. You’ll need to do some research and figure out which PAYG deal, if any, works best for you. Most of the consumer guides and comparison sites recommend giffgaff who run off the O2 network and are reasonably priced.
Use Alternative Finance
Check out the available finance deals, allowing you to get the handset cost loaned to you under an agreement, then pair it with a cheaper SIM-only deal. While this offer allows you the freedom to choose the handset and SIM deal with a much lower initial cost, the overall cost over the course of your repayments will stack up much higher in the long run.
Do Your Research
Do your research via comparison sites and compare the different contract deals available. Be smart and remind yourself that many contracts and tariffs are offered at highly inflated prices. If you are a good haggler and you have solid grounds on which to ask for a cheaper rate (for example you have completed your comparison and found a better price for the same offering), then employ this skill and get the deal you want!
There is a whole world of mobile phone options out there, and we are not here to say which option is the overall winner – whatever suits your individual needs is what works best for you. What we can say with certainty is that the smarter you are about it, the better deal you are likely to get in the long-run.