[AD] There are countless ways in which we use our mobile phones these days, and knowing that everything from a quick message to a Youtube video is at the touch of your fingertips is often a reassuring way to justify those high-priced contracts.
However, it is important to recognise when you are spending too much and where you can cut costs to ensure you are only paying for what you really need. These top tips have been put together as a simple aid for you, to help you make the best of any contract.
Top Tips for Saving On Your Phone Bill
The cheapest deal on the surface may not always be best
Some deals can be too good to be true as they are often concealing possible hidden charges and penalties, for example, having to buy internet add-ons when you run out of data and huge costs for overuse. Yes, even a few megabytes over your allowance could cost you, for example Vodafone charge £6.50 for every 250mb of data over!
Work out your usage and go from there when deciding how much data you really need. The sweet spot is looking at your average monthly usage and having a little bit to cover you. Using about 1GB a month? Then 2GB is ample.
Stick within your limits
There is nothing worse than going over your data limit and being slapped with those charges for internet overuse. As well as looking for the best contract with the data allowance you really need (and be realistic here – if you like watching videos on the go then your allowance needs to be high!), make sure you also edit your settings to work with Wi-Fi where possible.
Don’t bother with mobile phone insurance
Coverage in case of an accident is important, but it is easy to overspend on insurance. It is worth checking whether your phone is covered by your home insurance first, and if not consider self-insuring by putting money aside rather than paying an insurance firm.
Think twice about cashback deals
Cashback may seem like an attractive bonus, but often companies do not make it easy to claim and so you will find yourself trawling through monthly bills just to get a few pounds back. Make sure it is worth it, and where possible look for deals with instant cashback rather than redemption deals.
Don’t keep paying the same amount when your contract has ended
Check up on the length of any contract you sign up for, and then ensure they don’t increase their prices each year. Once you are tied to a contract it becomes very easy to forget about it and keep the direct debits leaving your account – how often do you actually check the numbers and look for increases? Stick with shorter contracts and make sure to keep an eye on your accounts and what is leaving them each month.
Travelling outside the EU?
Does the contract allow for overseas usage? If texts and calls abroad are covered, great! If not, you are facing huge costs the second you turn on your data. Check out the overseas allowance and make sure you stick to it. Three is the best for this with their feel at home product which also works in the USA.
Go SIM Only
Could SIM-only work for you? By opting for a SIM-only contract, you really do pay for what you use, thus avoiding extra charges and overuse fees. With this option you can source the phone and contract separately, giving yourself the choice of handset you want and still keeping costs down in the long run – though in this instance you will have to face the initial upfront cost to purchase the handset.
The other good choice is to use a pay as you go SIM (this site has ranked and compared them with giffgaff coming top). This used to mean topping up manually and each time you use your phone some of your credit is used up. But now with bundling the networks offer set amounts of data, minutes and texts that last 30 days. This puts you fully in control as you cannot overspend and there are no tie ins.
Test out the networks
Check out the networks available and see how well they fare in your area. Do they have a good signal where you live? Do they have good customer service reviews generally? These are all important to look at when you are choosing the best contract for you. You might even want to test networks out temporarily first with a pay as you go SIM before tying yourself into a longer deal.
Don’t be afraid to haggle
Haggle! You never know what you can get unless you try, and you may well end up with a discounted monthly charge if you show your loyalty by haggling to stay with the same network. After all, they don’t want you to give your money to another network and so will more than likely accept a lower fee to keep you as a customer.
Use comparison tools and online sites to review the best options according to your needs and usage. uSwitch, Moneysupermarket, Tiger Mobiles etc all have easy to use filters to find deals.
Don’t discount MVNO or smaller networks
Explore the option of smaller networks, as these are often more likely to give you better details in order to win and retain your custom. giffgaff, 1pmobile, Asda and Superdrug are all worth looking into.