Most of us are paying over the odds for our mobile phones, but with little effort, it’s possible to make significant savings while still having the best phone and tariff for you.
Know when your contract ends
Make a note of when your contract ends to avoid overpaying. Shop around for a cheaper deal and look for contracts under 24-month contracts to benefit from any price falls or deals when they come up. Use unshackled.com to check best SIM-only deals or uSwitch.com or Confused.com for the cheapest contracts.
Buy your phone and SIM separately
Pay As You Go (PAYG) gives you freedom and choice, while a contract will lock you in. With PAYG there’s nowhere to hide extra charges and after the handset is paid off, all you need pay is your airtime costs.
Choose the right phone
They are so many high-performing phones it can be difficult to choose. Which you go for will depend on whether you want to use your mobile to chat or as a Kindle or music player with a good-quality camera.
If you, or someone you know, struggle with using a mobile, Fuss Free Phones (0800 845 6789, quoting YFF6 for Yours exclusive savers) offers a pre-pay complete phone service plus a mobile with large displays and buttons. For something in between a basic phone and high-end smartphones, try the user-friendly Motorola Moto G4.
If you must have the latest iPhone, waiting six weeks after launch when contract phone prices drop by around 14 per cent and SIM-free phones by 5 per cent, says MoneySuperMarket.com.
Check how much data you use
Data is the information you are either sending or receiving when you’re online web browsing or emailing. You could actually be paying too much for data you don’t use, so check your monthly usage by downloading your network’s app. Once you have this, picking a contract that’s right for you should be easier.
Cap your data usage
Most phones have a function in their Settings tab to notify you once you’ve used up an amount of data. Many network providers let you select a data cap and will text you once you've gone past it.
Sell your old mobile
If you’ve old mobiles at home check if you can make money out of them using websites such as SellMyMobile.com.
How to avoid a big mobile bill while abroad
Before you go:
• Ask your network provider for an international bolt-on so you can call, text and surf without excessive roaming charges
• Reset your data tracker via your phone’s ‘Settings’ to log the data you use abroad
• Put a passcode on the handset and SIM card to make it difficult for thieves to use it.
When you’re abroad:
• Keep your phone on airplane mode and use Wi-Fi hotspots
• Turn all sync and all push notifications off in your phone’s application settings
• Avoid sending/receiving photos as this uses the most data
• If you own a dual SIM phone, buy a local PAYG SIM when you land
• Use Wi-Fi friendly communications such as Whatsapp, Facetime or Viber
• On June 15 2017, the European Union abolished all roaming charges but it’s uncertain if this will continue once we leave the EU. Find out more about using your phone in EU countries.
Words Sarah Jagger, Yours money editor