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…
- Check your contract
- Call your provider and get their best deal
- Check your usage
- Consider SIM only
- Be careful when abroad
- Shop around for an insurance deal
- Safeguard your phone against your kids
- Go paperless
- Sell your old phone for the best price
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.
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.
You can check your usage on a site called Billmonitor which then matches the ideal contract for your needs.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.