Mobile phones are an essential part of life these days; as well as taking phone calls, we use them to send messages, check e-mails and even run businesses. However, to maintain this, it’s important to most of us to have current, well-supported phones – meaning that when the contract is up, it’s usually time to upgrade. But how can you do so without facing the hassle and expense that comes with it?
Optimise your tariff
Call your network provider and ask them for a run-down of your phone usage from the past three or four months, including minutes, text and data. Work out your average and then make sure you’re not paying for more than that, as you could end up wasting hundreds of pounds a year. If you intend to stay with the same provider, it’s a good idea to give them a call before your contract is up and try to negotiate a new plan. You can read more about how to haggle for lower prices here – but don’t be afraid to look elsewhere for a cheaper deal too, as the mobile phone market is getting more and more competitive. If after reviewing your phone usage you find that you’re really not getting the most out of your existing tariff, you might find it more cost-effective to switch onto a pay-as-you-go SIM card instead.
Be smart about your handset
There are plenty of ways to save money on a new handset, regardless of whether you’re on contract or pay-as-you-go. Rather than paying extra per month on a contract for the latest handsets, look around for an option that will cost less over the whole year. It’s a good idea to take a look at refurbished phones, as these are usually just handsets which have been returned within 14 days of purchase, meaning that although they have a second-hand price, they’re as good as when they left the factory. If you have any old handsets, now is the time to think about what you can do with them – there are specific websites that will pay for you to recycle them, or you can trade them in. You might be surprised at how much you can get for some models – especially iPhones – giving you an even bigger budget for your new purchase!