In this post I cover 2 main ways to massively reduce your mobile phone bill on an ongoing basis.
These combined savings can quickly add up to saving hundreds of pounds a year.
There are then multiple other smaller tips to lower your bill further, in some cases to next to nothing!
As one of our largest household bills, it’s becoming more important to save on our mobile phone bills.
It might not seem so expensive in its own right, but if the average phone bill is £45 month and there are 2 adults in your family, plus any children the total mobile phone bill can become one of your largest household outgoings.
I was previously in the bad habit of just automatically upgrading my phone when my contract expired. It wasn’t until I looked into it that I realised I had been vastly overpaying and almost everyone else I know is too.
Don’t Overpay Past Your Existing Contract End Date
Mobile phone contracts are definitely one bill to be on the ball with, otherwise, you’ll continue paying the original high contract bill that includes the cost of the phone.
A reminder of the contract end date is important, so set one on your phone or make a note in your diary/calendar. I’m particularly fortunate, my daughter seems to know my expiry dates better than me (always on the lookout for her own hand me down upgrade!).
Ideally set yourself a reminder a couple of weeks or so before the contract ends, to give yourself some time to think about what phone model you’d like and how to get the best price. If indeed you need a new handset at all.
Tip 1: How To Save Money on your Mobile Phone Contract
When your contract expires you have 2 options:
- Buy a New Phone
- Go Sim-only with the existing phone (yes this is an option!)
Now what many people do when the existing phone contract is coming to an end, is to focus on upgrading to a new phone.
Whereas actually, when your contract ends this is the opportunity of making the biggest savings. This is because you have the option of going on a SIM-ONLY contact.
A sim-only contract is basically the same contract you have when buying the phone first time around, but this time without any of the burden of paying off the handset (which typically also incurs high rate interest!).
Keep your existing phone in good working order, a typical mobile phone user should be able to pick up a good SIM Only deal for as little as £10 a month.
Expect £10 a month to cover something like
- 1500 minutes of voice calls
- Unlimited text
- 4GB of Data for 4G
Money Savvy Extra Tip: Lose the “must upgrade” or “due an upgrade” mentality. Especially if you can’t yet afford to buy new a handset in full. Consider going Sim-only and saving the payments you would have been making on a contract towards a future phone that you pay for in full.
Choosing the Best Cheap SIM-Only Deal for You
The key to finding the best and cheapest SIM-Only deal for you is to match the tariffs to your mobile phone usage.
This is where the following 2 sites come in real handy
With either of these 2 sites, you can input your phone details and they will monitor your usage and inform you of the cheapest tariff for you.
Tip 2: How to Save Money on your Mobile Phone Handset
Can you buy the handset outright in full? If you can the savings can be huge!
When comes down to it, if you can’t buy the mobile phone handset outright, you can’t afford it.
If you can buy the phone outright, you can certainly buy for a much better price and it will work out much cheaper than buying on a contract.
Did you know mobile phones sold as part of a contract are typically charging you credit card equivalent interest rates? Expect interest charges in the region of 20-30% APR.
So if you go for the latest phone model release you might be paying 30% more than the going rate, for example, £1040 for an £800 handset or £650 for a £500 handset.
Double Whammy: Not only are you paying interest on the phone, but you are also likely to be paying a higher price for the phone in the first place with interest on top.
The best money-saving option is to save up in full for the handset. You could do this via what is known as a sinking fund. This is where you put money by each month in advance so you have enough spare cash when the phone is due to be brought.
Another added bonus would be if you can buy the phone via a cashback link. Saving you even more money.
Once you have the handset, you just need a SIM-only deal.
How I Saved £33 a month!
The last time I purchased a new phone, I purposely chose a 64GB iPhone. It was way more storage memory than any previous phone I have purchased. Lack of storage was the main reason I had always found myself auto upgrading to a new phone. Upon checking when my contract ended I only had 5GB of storage left available.
Storage, in general, is less of an issue now as cloud storage services have improved (and some are free). It’s possible you could store your high memory videos and phones in the cloud (which are basically online computers somewhere, not in the sky as my daughters naturally thought).
Fortunately, my iphone6 was in like-new condition, so it seemed pointless me getting a new one.
So, for the first time, I decided to look into going Sim Only.
My current phone contract ending at the time was:
- £43 a month for 64GB iPhone 6
- Unlimited Minutes
- Unlimited text
- 1 GB of Data
My New Sim-only deal – using the existing phone:
- £10 a month (12-month contract)
- unlimited text
- unlimited Minutes
- 4 GB of data
This was the first time I had gone SIM ONLY. Saving £33 a month!
Best Time to Haggle With Existing Mobile Phone Provider
You can get the best deal with your existing mobile phone provider when your contract is nearing or past its end date.
I’m with Three Mobile, who I have been perfectly happy with service wise. I don’t really want to change numbers or networks, so they were my first point of call to haggle for a good deal.
Upon phoning, I selected the option for “upgrade or cancel contract” and followed by the “thinking of leaving us” option. Hopefully being put through to staff with the aim of retaining customers.
I was immediately offered a Sim-only deal of £12 months as well as them asking me whether that was good enough. I made out that I was unsure and said I was looking for a cheaper mobile phone contract still.
Three mobile asked what I was looking for so I said £9 a month.
To which they came back offering £10 a month on a 12-month contract, noting that this was the best price for 4GB. The assistant supposedly had to clear the offer with his manager.
I did try numerous ways for a better deal and asked why I should pay for 4GB if I rarely use 1GB, but this was the best deal available to me.
Extra Mobile Phone Saving Tips to Reduce bill to £0?
- If you do need a new handset, make sure you sell your old handset as soon as possible to get the best price rather than leave to one side and let it devalue.
- Set a reminder or put a note in your diary/calendar for when your contract ends.
- If you don’t mind switching networks use a comparison site to find the best latest deals.
- Don’t pay for way more data than you need.
- However, don’t buy less data than you need as you may incur extra charges.
- Earn cashback rewards from everyday spending via Airtime Rewards app. Really easy to set up and works passively, so you can set and forget! It’s effectively a form of passive income.
- Earn money referring friends to your mobile network, could earn you from £5 to £80 a time. Practically paying your bill off.
- Here’s my Giff Gaff referral (which at time of writing offered £5 credit payback to me and £5 credit to you.
Can you reduce your monthly bill to £0 combining all these tips?
Break with the norm and literally save yourself hundreds and even thousands of pounds over a few years with just these two simple changes to your mobile phone buying habits:
- Keep your existing phone and get yourself on a Sim-only Contract
- Save up and buy Handset outright
How much have you saved on your mobile phone bill?
I’d love to hear.