How much money is your phone costing you? No, really, how much? Many of us simply have it on a direct debit so we never truly appreciate the impact it’s having on our bank balance. So it’s time to get real and get in control of your mobile bill.
Are you using what you pay for?
In this age of smartphones, providers are upselling us all over the place. Got an iPhone? You’ll need many gigabytes of download! They promise us. However, most of the time you will be logging into wifi at your home or a friends’, so don’t be fooled into believing you need a big data allowance.
Similarly, you might not use much in the way of talk time, preferring instead to text. Make sure you’re not paying for 500 minutes of calling time. You can always call up your provider to find out how much of your allowances you use.
[photo by espensorvik]
Yes, that’s right, haggle. Something we normally reserve for flea markets and trips to south-east Asia, haggling can actually work with service providers if you do it right – do your research, and get the timing right (at the end of your contract).
If you’ve found a cheaper deal, take it to your provider. If you’re happy with them, explain that you don’t want to leave, but if you can find a better deal elsewhere you’ll be have to. The major brands have special departments to handle such requests – you might walk away with a bargain.
Compare a contract to pay-as-you-go
If you own your handset and are a light mobile phone user, you might be better on a pre-paid system. It means there is no contract commitment. However, if you want a smartphone or are a heavy user you may prefer a contract.
Use money-saving apps
The great thing about smart phones is that you can use the internet to save on calling costs. If you need to call overseas or have a small talk allowance, you can use Skype, ViberPhone or WhatsApp to text or call via the internet. The person on the other end will also need to have the app (or a computer for Skype), but it’s better than big phone bills. Additionally, more and more service providers are providing a Skype option for calling.
Make sure you’re not paying for 0800 numbers
Many of us now only have a mobile phone, and calling 0800, 0808 and 0500 can cost a fortune – despite sometimes being essential. However there is a nifty way to avoid the cost. Visit 0800 Buster for all the details.
These are just some of the ways to cut down the cost of something you need, leaving more money in your pocket for things you really want!
Vivienne Egan is a content writer for business directory Thomson Local.