Do you spend every waking moment on your smartphone? Or do you send a text message once a year and make infrequent calls? Either way the chances are good that you are spending more than you need to on your mobile phone bill. So if you are looking to reduce the cost of owning a mobile phone, here are a few tips to help you save money.
Cancel Your Landline
One easy way to save money every month is to ditch the landline. Increasing numbers of people are favouring mobiles over traditional landlines, and if you much prefer chatting on a mobile to a landline, it is pointless paying for both. Do the maths and see if it makes sense to pay for a landline as well as a mobile. Of course you may need the landline for a broadband connection, but if you do most of your web surfing at work, do you really need a home broadband, and therefore telephone line, connection?
Choose the Right Mobile Phone Contract
Millions of people are on the wrong price plan for their needs. It is easy to get sucked into paying £30+ a month for a flash new handset and contract deal, but unless you want or need the latest handset you may not even need a standard monthly contract deal.
To decide which type of mobile deal is right for you, look at your monthly usage. People who don’t use their phones will be able to reduce their costs on a PAYG tariff or rolling monthly SIM only deal. But even if you are a heavy user, don’t automatically go for the monthly contract deal the network offers you. It might be more than you need – and therefore more expensive.
Shop Around for the Best Price Plan
It is easy to go with whatever price plan you are offered when your existing contract comes to an end. Often your network provider will give you a call towards the end of the contract and offer you a new deal. If you are busy, you might just agree, but if you want to save money, it pays to shop around for the best price plan. Why? Well your usage may have changed for one thing. Perhaps you were using your phone a lot more a year ago and needed trillions of free minutes, but now they go to waste every month. If so, look for a better deal and save money.
Haggle for a Better Deal
Network providers are always willing to negotiate with loyal customers, so don’t assume the advertised prices is set in stone. Keep a note of when your contract is due to expire and then call up your network provider’s customer retention department about a month before to renegotiate terms. Check what other deals are available with other networks and use these as leverage. Don’t accept the first deal they offer you – they can do a lot better than that! Play hardball and be prepared to walk away and you will almost certainly end up with best available deal.
Use Free Apps
There are lots of free apps that can help you reduce your mobile phone bill. Apps such as Skype and WhatsApp are great for people who don’t have a big call allowance, or who have friends and relatives overseas. Instead of paying extra for lots of “free minutes”, go for a cheaper bundle and make internet calls instead. Data tracking apps are also very useful. Exceeding your data allowance can be very costly, so use a data-tracking app to warn you when you are close to your monthly limit.
Less Data and More Wi-Fi
Data is a big cost on most people’s mobile phone bill. If you regularly burn through several gigabytes of data every month and sometimes exceed your limit, switch to free Wi-Fi wherever possible and reap the savings benefit. There are so many free Wi-Fi networks these days that it is possible to move from one to another almost seamlessly. So why pay extra for a higher data allowance when you don’t need to?
Let Your Kids Pay for their Own Mobiles
Kids like to have the latest mobile handsets and prefer not to pay the bill. However, encouraging your kids to pay their way is all about teaching them responsibility, plus they are less likely to go over their monthly allowance if they are picking up the tab. If they can’t afford it, tell them to get a part-time job or give them jobs at home to work off the cost. They will thank you one day!
There are lots of ways to cut costs on a mobile bill, so don’t be too despondent if your monthly bill is more than you can afford. Follow the tips above and see how much money you can save.