We all rely on our phones these days; to keep in contact with our loved ones, to take and store pictures of memorable days and people, and to use for getting online whilst on the go. It wasn’t long ago that mobile phones were only just taking off. Touch screens and even screens which were in colour were new and exciting. Nowadays you’d be hard pushed to find a phone which doesn’t have these features.
Of course, all of this new technology and convenience comes at a price. Many of you reading this will be on a phone contract, where you’ve been given a new phone and you pay a certain amount of money each month in order to use it. You’re likely to have a certain amount of minutes, texts and data as part of the package. Others will be on Pay As You Go (PAYG), which means you use an existing phone and simply pay for the minutes, texts and data you use. There is no ‘better’ way to do it – which option is best for you depends entirely on how much you use your phone each month.
The upside about paying monthly is that you usually get a brand new phone every couple of years – a phone which you may not have been able to afford in the first place. The money that you pay per month for your contract covers not only the minutes, texts and data you use, but also slowly but surely pays off the cost of the phone itself.
These contracts can be perfectly manageable, but it’s always important to double check exactly what you’re getting for your money, as you could be paying rather a lot for very little. If your contract is coming to an end, the best thing you can do is shop around. Try comparing deals on sites like Money Supermarket, or even better, speak to your phone provider’s ‘rentention team’. They should be able to offer you a better deal to stay with them. Keeping customers is very important to all phone companies – say you’re going elsewhere and it’s often surprising what they can do!
Pay As You Go
You may not think that PAYG is a very practical way of running a phone, but a lot has changed since you used to have to top up in a shop with your top up card. If you’ve got a phone which you like and you’re happy to use for a while longer, coming off contract and getting a PAYG SIM card may work out a lot cheaper than you’re used to.
All the main mobile companies offer PAYG SIMs, but there’s an online-only company called GiffGaff which may also meet your needs. They sell ‘Goodybags’ which can be bought with phone credit or online via your card which act just like the minutes, texts and data packages you’d get on a contract. Other mobile companies also offer SIM-only packages, so shop around (MoneySavingExpert has a good, regularly updated section of deals) before making any decisions. You may be surprised at just how much you can save.
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