We all have one, they’ve become a part of our every day lives, but many of us are paying over the odds for our mobile phones. With some contracts charging as much as £70 a month for the latest models, we could be shelling out more on our mobiles than our gas and electricity bills. Here are some tips to slash the cost.
Pay-as-you-go or a monthly contract?
This will depend on you and how much you use your phone. It often seems like a contract is the cheapest option as you don’t have to pay the large sum for the phone itself upfront. However you may end up paying more in the long run this way.
If you use your phone regularly then a contract is likely to be the better option for you. You will be able to choose the best plan for you according to your daily or weekly usage, ensuring you have enough minutes, texts and data to last you for the month. Having said this be wary that you aren’t paying for add-ons you don’t need.
If you’re someone who rarely uses their phone, then pay-as-you-go could be the option for you. This way you only pay for the calls, texts and data you use, so you won’t be paying for more than you need. Although you’ll have to splash out on the mobile initially, it will save you in the long run.
Do you really need the latest model?
Although it is often very difficult to resist buying the newest smartphones, it is worth shopping around for cheaper alternatives. Many of the latest models can cost up to and beyond £700, a ridiculous amount for many of us.
Do your research and read reviews and you’ll find that there are a lot of cheaper phones out there capable of doing the same things as your brand new smartphone. You’ll also save a small fortune!
Do you need insurance?
With mobile phones becoming smarter every year, meaning the cost of a handset constantly on the rise, insurance deals for our mobiles is now big business. Some networks will charge up to £15 a month to insure your phone, adding up to hundreds of pounds a year on top of your phone bill.
To add insult to injury, some policies will exclude cover for theft or loss and only provide cover in certain circumstances. So it is important to read the small print if you do get insurance.
It’s important to consider the value of your phone if you own it or the contract repayments if you don’t. It might be worth self-insuring – putting money aside yourself to build a fund to replace your phone if you ever need to.
Alternatively, if you have to get insurance, don’t feel like you have to take out the insurance with your phone provider. This is often much more expensive and doesn’t always provide the most comprehensive cover. Many third party insurers can provide cheaper, better protection.
Struggling to pay your phone bills?
If you find that you’re struggling to pay your phone bills it’s best to talk to someone at your supplier. They will be able to help you out by moving you onto a cheaper tariff or by changing your contract to make it more affordable.
Missing payments and ignoring the problem will only make things worse and land you in deeper debt.
Should you stay or switch supplier?
If you find that your contract is ending, you are in a powerful position. It is worth ringing your supplier and telling them that you’re thinking about switching provider. They will try hard to keep you and you should be able to get a better package than your current deal.
Ask for the best package they can offer you and make a note of the minutes, texts and data. They should offer you deals and discounts to try and keep you on board, but don’t be pressured into accepting right away. It is worth browsing comparison sites to see what else is out there before you make your final decision.