Are you spending too much money on phone bills? You are not alone. As our daily reliance on technology increases, so do the costs and it’s not helped by sneaky providers who are happy to let you continue paying the same amount long after your contract has ended!
Whether you are coming to the end of your mobile phone contract or looking to change your service provider, we have some useful tips to help you save money when it comes to your phone bills.
Opt for A SIM-Only Contract
SIM-only mobile phone contracts are designed to allow you to pay a set monthly fee and receive a fixed number of calls, minutes as well as data. Much like a phone contract we see advertised all the time, but there’s no ‘free’ handset included.
SIM-only plans are an ideal choice when your mobile contract has ended, and you just want to continue using your current phone.
A big chunk of SIM-only deals run on a one-month contract basis too meaning there are no catches and no ties to a single network.
You have the freedom to switch at one month’s notice if you come across a better deal. Shop around the comparison sites to locate the best SIM-only deal as most networks offer them. I think giffgaff is probably the best right now for price and coverage.
Pay-As-You-Go or Pay Monthly? Which is better?
Historically pay as you go meant you pay for what you use in calls, texts and data (pay-as-you-go), whereas a contract was where you pay for a set fee that is inclusive of a variety of services (pay monthly).
However, most networks now offer pre-paid bundles that work like a contract. All you do is pre-pay for a bundle each month and this gives you a set amount of data, minutes and texts. Most networks and the MVNO’s like giffgaff and Asda are now offering these types of deals, and they are very flexible as there are no tie-ins.
They’re also very cheap too, the comparison site Tiger Mobiles currently has an EE bundle sim for £1 a month that comes with 100 minutes, 200 texts and 10 Mb of data. Ok, that won’t be for everyone but for an elderly relative who only has a phone for an emergency and sending a few text messages this sort of deal is perfect.
The best choice for you is based on how many times you use your mobile phone and what you use it for. Pay-as-you-go bundles can be a cheaper option if you rarely use your mobile phone. On the other hand, if you use your phone often, it may be cheaper to opt for a monthly fee.
Avoid Going Over Your Allowance
Having a simple way to monitor your usage can help in preventing unexpected increases in your phone bill, or exceeding your allowances and needing to buy an add-on which are overpriced.
Most mobile networks have apps that allow users to check their usage and there are some nice apps for keeping track like My Data Manager. Inside the settings of Android and iOS, there are options to monitor your usage and set data limits too. Setting data limits can help you save data, and eventually more money.
Use Wi-Fi whenever you have access to it to lower the amount of mobile data you use, and also watch out for apps that use excess data such as YouTube and auto-playing videos on found on Facebook and other apps. If you are running low minutes, you can use Wi-Fi calling on apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Skype.
Do Not Let Your Kids Run up Your Phone Bills
There are many apps and games out there that are “free-to-play”, but they come with some “in-app” purchases. This simply means that downloading these apps and games may not cost any money, but you may be charged for features once you start to use them.
To avoid being charged huge bills, keep a close eye on what your kids are downloading and playing. Also, remember to read the small print that comes with in-game purchases.
Stay or Switch?
When your mobile contract is ending, if you tell them you are leaving your current provider will usually try hard to ensure you stay with them.
You should take advantage of this and give them a call to ask about the best package they can give you. But before you do that, find some deals elsewhere that you can tell them about and so that you know what prices are available.
When you do warn your current network that you may switch, it is highly likely that you’ll be sent to the retention department.
They will try to convince you to stay, and will very likely offer you deals and discounts.
If you are offered a great deal, it might be best to remain where you are, but if they can’t beat the deals you have found elsewhere then don’t be scared to leave, taking your number to a new provider is very easy and just requires a PAC code.
Think Hard On Whether You Really Require Insurance
Mobile phones can be really costly particularly if you are shopping for the newest iPhone so insurance might seem like a valid idea, right?
While it may seem like a good idea, it can also be money wasted, and you may not receive all the cover you actually require.
Ensure you read the small print carefully if you opt to get insurance as you could be facing strict policies and constraints.
I personally prefer self-insuring the device, just put away a bit of money per month that’s ring-fenced purely for mobile expenses. If you buy a good case and take good care of the phone it makes paying for insurance relatively pointless.
What tips do you have for saving on phone bills? Let me know in the comments
Disclosure: Collaborative post