Mobile Phones can be a huge drain on your finances particularly if you're on a contract and are always striving for the latest handset. Networks know that you want the latest iPhone or the latest Samsung Galaxy and they use that to their advantage.
These days, only a small part of your monthly payment is actually for your calls, texts and data. The bulk of it is paying off your handset over the length of your contract. This co-incidentally allows the network to sell you another contract for an even newer phone at the end of your current period. Handy for them, expensive for you.
Phone networks make money by selling you things that you don't need. They will oversell you minutes, data and perhaps even more lucratively, handsets that you don't need.
Separate The Handset From The Tariff
If you really want to save money on your mobile phone you have to be willing to get out of that cycle. Separate the handset from the tariff. Networks like GiffGaff with their Goodybag system offer unbeatable value. At the time of writing you can get 500 UK minutes, unlimited texts and 1gb of 4G data for just £12/month.
This means that you'll no longer get a phone as part of your deal, but the money you're saving will more than make up for this. You can either buy a handset outright, or prolong the life of your current handset. Don't let the networks dictate when you need a new phone.
Mobile Phones themselves are getting more and more expensive. An Apple iPhone 6 will cost you over £500, a Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge over £650. But do we really need to spend so much? The recently launched 3rd generation Moto G from Motorola costs just £160 and has been getting rave reviews for a third of the price of an iPhone. Budget smartphones are no longer the sub-standard offerings they once were. They offer a very good experience at a much more acceptable price.
iPhone 6 Comparison
Here's a quick look at options to buy a current iPhone 6 on O2, Vodafone and GiffGaff…
|Upfront Cost||£9.99||-||£539 (direct from Apple)|
|Total Cost over 24 months||£1029.99||£1,296||£827|
Although the Tariffs vary slightly, this is simply a look at the cheapest way to get an iPhone on a couple of Networks. The difference between GiffGaff and Vodafone is a staggering £469. That's a weekend away (or maybe two).
For those that are willing to get out of the cycle, expect savings of around £300+ per year. Not to be sniffed at.
If this is all a bit radical for you and the thought of not having the latest handset is giving you cold sweats then take a look at the excellent Bill Monitor. Bill Monitor analyses your last 3 mobile phone bills and matches you to the perfect contract.