Sunday, 15 January 2012

Mobile Packages: Five Minutes, £60 A Year Better Off

How much do you spend on being easily contactable?

The vast majority of people in the UK have a mobile phone. In fact, there are 1.3 phones per person! There are a whopping 5.9 billion phones worldwide.

How many of us are paying over the odds?
I was on a £15.50 a month SIM only contract, which could be cancelled at any time and gave me 600 minutes and unlimited texts. Yesterday I realised that since I've finished Uni I'm only using 100 minutes or so a month!

It took me five minutes to go online and changed my tariff to a 300 minute, unlimited texts plan for £10.50, a saving of £5 a month or £60 a year! I looked into pay-as-you-go tariffs, but it would've worked out slightly more expensive for me. 

Are you on the best deal for you?
  • Check your bill! - I realised that since I've been home from Uni I've slashed the number of minutes I've needed. Keeping in contact with my family and The Boyfriend used most of my 600 minutes a month contract, but now I see them all the time. Has your situation changed?
  • Would a SIM only contract be better? - When I first had a contract I paid £30 for a 600 minute plan and a lovely touch-screen phone. I broke the phone twice during the contract and gave up fixing it, resorting to a £10 robust mobile that bounced when I dropped it, rather than breaking into tiny pieces... AGAIN! I'm happy with a bog-standard model!
  • What happens if you go over your tariff allowance? - The trick of a mobile phone is to work out exactly what you need it for, how much you use it, and what costs are involved. There can be excessive charges if you go over the allowance in a contract, whereas pay-as-you-go is a standard charge no matter how much or little you use it!
  • Would you be better off on pay-as-you-go? - I still use about 100 minutes a month and a lot of texts, so it would cost me more to be on pay as you go. Work yours out by checking out both contracts AND pay-as-you-go tariffs? Generally if you use more than around 70-100 minutes a month you'd be better off on a contract.
  • Will there be a cancellation charge if you change? - If you find a better deal, you need to consider whether you'll be charged a fee for cancelling your current contract. Depending on how much you'll be saving, it might still be worth it!
  • CUT THE INSURANCE! - I used to pay an extra £9.99 a month on a £30 contract – that's an extra 25% to get it fixed if I drop it. It covers you if someone steals the phone and racks up a huge bill, but you can freeze the phone as soon as you realise it's lost, so chances are this isn't worth the £120 a year.
  • Check your data usage – I don't have a clue what sort of things use data, I just know that you can rack up some hefty charges if you go over your plan. I'll leave you to Google that one for yourself if necessary! :D
I recommend you all go and do this if you haven't looked at your bill in a couple of months. You could save yourself a lot of money, especially if you've had the same contract for many years. Don't pay over the odds – mobile phone companies don't need any more money!!


Meanqueen said...

Wise words, thanks. I am on PAYG, hardly ever make calls on it. Some texts to friends who prefer texting, but only to ask/answer questions which need a quick reply. Just had notice from Tesco that my landline charges are going up. I'll have to look into a cheaper supplier.

Frugal Queen said...

The cheapest thing to do is not have one! I use facebook to keep up with my children and a variety of friends and I still send letters. Life can and does go on without a mobile phone.

Pamela said...

I have a pay as you go dealie that I use for emergencies, etc. since payphones are so rare these days, but I don't use it much.

Bryallen said...

Not having a mobile is a step too far for me. I have to know I can be contacted in an emergency, which are kind of common in my family.. I was not allowed out of the house without one as a teenager.

Bryallen said...

I don't know whether it would be best for me to keep a PAYG phone and a landline or just my contract one when I live away from home.