Cut the cost of your mobile phone bill

Many of us are looking to save money right now, as budgets are stretched to cope with reduced household incomes.

One tip to save money in your everyday life is to look at the everyday things you use and pay for each month and see if there is room for improvement.

One answer to saving cash may be sitting in your bag or pocket – as while mobile phones tend to be seen as an ‘essential’ part of everyday life nowadays, they don’t need to cost us as much as they often do. Smartphones offer us everything from entertainment on a commute to step-by-step directions to save us getting lost. How we ever lived without them, we’ll never know. But the trap with our mobile phones is, it’s very easy to let the cost spiral out of control if we don’t keep an eye on them.

A comparison website mobile phone expert, Ru Bhikha, has some tips for saving money on your mobile bill.

1. Consider going SIM-only
If you’re nearing the end of your contract and are happy with your handset, it could be worth going SIM-only.

A SIM-only deal covers just the mobile service, meaning you’ll get a fixed allowance of minutes, texts and data.

These often work out cheaper – and you may even find deals that have a better data allowance.

2. Review your contract
By knowing exactly how many minutes, texts and how much data you are paying for each month can allow you to look at what you actually use and tailor the contract to match. If you find yourself always close to the text limit but with heaps of minutes left over at the end of the month maybe you can switch to a plan with fewer minutes for a lower cost.

Even if you can’t change your contract yet, knowing what you have available can let you know if you need to reduce the length of your calls, the number of texts you send or the amount of information you’re downloading.

You’ll also gain the leverage you need to go out and look for a better deal and save money.

3. Know how much data you need
Calculating how much you need can feel impossible, but there are tricks to figure this out.

One route is to log into your account on your network’s website to check your usage.

Another is to measure how much mobile data the apps on your phone are using, via the ‘Settings’ menu. If at the end of the month, you’re still left with lots of unused data, you could be paying for a data allowance that is too generous for your needs.

On the other hand, if you’re going over your limit, you could be paying a lot for those extra megabytes used.

Selecting a contract with the capability to put a fixed data cap in place means you will receive a notification if you reach your data limit, so you won’t overspend unknowingly. You could also look into asking your mobile provider to place a cap on your data.

4. Limit background data usage
Even if you don’t use the internet when you’re out and about, your apps might still be using it in the background. Sneaky, we know.

Go into your settings and look over the ‘Mobile Data Usage’ and ‘Background App Refresh’ of each app and turn off the ones you don’t really use. Making this quick flip means you’ll know they aren’t running in the background and draining your data (and your battery) while you’re minding your own business.

If you have an iPhone, make sure ‘Wifi Assist’ is turned off. This means the phone won’t use mobile data when wifi connectivity is poor.

5. Consider a refurbished phone
These phones can be cheaper due to being pre-owned. They may be an old model, have developed a fault previously or just be unwanted.

Their condition may vary, but they should have been checked to ensure they are fully working. They often come with a warranty, as well as a charging cable. You may not receive all the accessories that you’d get with a new phone, however.

6. Check out other perks
A phone package can give you more than you’d expect – for example free streaming services for certain fixed time periods could come in handy for film buffs.

For those who love travel, there are various international network roaming perks available, which may be worth consideration in the future even if you’re currently staying put due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So, think beyond the handset model and look at where else you stand to save money.

How much do you spend on your phone bill each month? Are you on a contract or pay as you go? Did you already know any of these tips?

– With PA

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