MoneyMagpie

Feb 23

9 ways to reduce the cost of your smartphone

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Let’s be honest, cheap isn’t exactly the word that comes to mind when you think of owning a smartphone.

However, there are ways of keeping the cost down.

Read our top tips to reduce the cost of your smartphone and put some cash back in your pocket…

 

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1. Check your contract

18 million Brits have never changed their mobile phone, and many of those people simply aren’t aware that they’re due an upgrade.

So if you’ve been paying £25–30 a month for more than a couple of years then it may be that you’re due a brand-new handset.

Although you’ll get a new phone it’s likely you’ll have to sign up for another contract which will range from 12 months to three years.

This is a bit of a commitment, so make sure it’s worth the money you’ll pay, but it ensures you get a shiny new mobile without paying upfront.

 

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2. Call your provider and get their best deal

reduce the cost of your smartphoneDon’t hang around waiting for your provider to offer you a better deal – you’ll be waiting a long time if you do!

Call up and try haggling with your current provider – you’ve nothing to lose and they may be able to better their offer.

Remember – they need you a lot more than you need them and they’d rather you paid a bit less but stayed with them than you went to one of their competitors.

It’s also worth contacting other networks for a good deal. You don’t owe your mobile provider any loyalty so have a look and see if you can do better elsewhere.

If you do decide to go with another provider, before you switch always check the new network’s coverage in your area. This can be particularly patchy in some rural areas and you don’t want to sign up for three years and discover you can’t use the phone at home!

Don’t put it off! See the latest deals on the websites listed below and then give your provider a call today.

Find out how to make money recycling your mobile here. 

 

 

3. Check your usage

reduce the cost of your smartphoneThe average Brit tends to use only 20-30% of their usage and overspends by £200 per year.

You can check your usage on a site called Billmonitor which then matches the ideal contract for your needs.

 

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4. Consider SIM only

reduce the cost of your smartphonereduce the cost of your smartphoneWhen your contract ends, it might be worth keeping your handset and going SIM only.

If you’re waiting for a new phone to come out, you might be able to get a SIM for £5 a month.

Or SIM-only deals with companies such as Giffgaff offer texts, minutes and data usage for as little as £10-15 a month.

If your heart’s set on an expensive phone such as the new iPhone, it can be more economical to buy the handset and then sign up for a cut-price SIM-only deal rather than entering into a contract with a major network.

It’s definitely worth doing your sums before you sign up.

Find out how to get the best pay as you go deals here.

 

 

5. Be careful when abroad

reduce the cost of your smartphoneA foreign trip can incur all sorts of unexpected charges!

Before you go, contact your mobile provider and check the rates for calls, texts and data usage in the country you’re visiting.

They may also have a special deal for international usage if you can’t altogether avoid using your phone abroad.

You should always ensure that data roaming is switched off in your phone’s settings, otherwise you may get a nasty surprise in your next month’s bill.

If you need to use the internet whilst you’re away, make use of Wi-Fi hotspots – often these are free of charge in hotels, restaurants and cafes.

Apps such as WhatsApp can be used for sending free texts over the internet instead of incurring charges for international text messages.

Find out how to get cheaper phone calls abroad here.

 

 

 

 

6. Shop around for the best insurance deal

reduce the cost of your smartphoneApparently 15% of people have dropped their phone down the toilet!

If you have butter fingers, it’s definitely worth getting your smartphone insured, especially if it’s an expensive model.

Don’t do it through your mobile phone provider, though, there are better deals to be had with Insurance2go.

Also, if you have home insurance, you should be able to add it to that for less than you would with a standalone deal.

You should be able to insure a smartphone for around £20-30 a year.

Remember to buy a case for it too, so it’s protected from scratches and damage (and you’ll get the best price if you want to sell it later).

For more more information on how to choose the best insurance deals click here.

 

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7. Safeguard your phone against your kids

9 ways to reduce the cost of your smartphoneYou’ve probably heard the horror stories – kids racking up bills of thousands of pounds without their parents realising until it’s too late.

Make sure that you’re protected against such purchases.

So-called ‘freemium’ games cost nothing to download but include in-app purchases which are often disguised as pop-ups or notifications on the screen.

Older kids may know they’re not meant to make purchases but younger children will have no idea that they’re spending their parents’ real money – they just like pressing buttons!

First of all, you need to ensure that your phone has a lock – often a four figure code – and that you change it often. (Children are remarkably good at working out the code by watching you put it in).

You also need to ensure that before an in-app purchase can be made, you must provide a password.

Of course the best way to safeguard your phone against your kids is to stop them playing with it.

 

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8. Go paperless

reduce the cost of your smartphone
If your network charges for paper bills, get them online instead.

For example, Vodafone charge £1.54 for paper bills to be sent, so that’s over £18 back in your pocket for very little effort.

 

 

9. Sell your old phone for the best price

reduce the cost of your smartphoneIf you’ve upgraded to a new handset, make sure you get the best deal for your old mobile phone rather than just chucking it in a drawer.

Sometimes your network will offer an amount for the handset, but you might get a better offer on websites such as Envirophone, Mazuma or Top Dollar Mobile.

Our mobile recycling tool compares all these companies to find you the very best price for your phone – take a look here.

Mobile recycling is so simple.

You enter the details about your mobile phone – its model, condition and whether it’s in good working order and the recycling company offers you a price.

If you decide to accept the offer, they post you a jiffy bag to send off the phone in. The postage is normally paid and the whole transaction takes less than a week.

Sometimes older phones, such as the 1980s ‘brick’ handsets, can be collectors’ items, so it’s worth having a look on eBay to see how much they sell for.

 

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