Mobile savings: 10 rules how to keep our mobile phones bills under control
Mobile phones are fun but without your control you will end up paying £100s. I came up with these simple 10 rules for you not to get into the trap of overspending. You can still enjoy all the benefits and services.
Understand your allowance.
When you purchase your fantastic plan you usually focus on how many minutes, texts and how much data is free and this is the key information but make sure you understand:
- how much does the data cost outside your allowance,
- how much does it cost you when retrieving voicemail,
- what text messages are included: some network will charge you 40p for smiling face and set limit on the length of texts
- how much do you have to pay for photo messages
- data roaming costs
Set limit cap on your phone for data but make sure you understand how it works. Many phone will show you data usage combining mobile and wireless. Also use online accounts and apps with your network. Most if not all of the mobile network give them for free to help you to manage your account. There is a lot of features such as setting caps on usage, sending warning messages etc
Switch it off when traveling abroad
I heard so many horror stories about shocking mobile bills when returning from holidays abroad and my advice is switch the phone off. If you can not do it, switch the put it into the aeroplane mode. If you really can not live without it than switch off the mobile data completely and use the phone when you have access to the wireless network. It require some preparation as most of the apps need network all the time. You can change these settings on your phone
Track data use
Make sure you know where and how you can track the mobile data. Usually the settings on your phone will allow you to do it but your online account should give you this. I suggest check it weekly to make sure you understand how you use data. Music apps are very useful now allowing you offline use. Outside allowance data is quite expensive and your fantastic deal for mobile may be doubles or tripled very quickly
Switch off automatic application update and notification services
You do not need automatic updates for all your apps every day. Switch them off in your settings and update manually every time you want. Once I did that I got rid of 10s of notifications every day. Make sure you understand the notification; you do not need notification from news apps unless you are news freak and you do not need notification from you email app unless you want it. Review what you want you phone to notify you wisely. If you have three of you email accounts, twitter and other 6 or 10 social media sites and 5 news apps and 50 apps to send you notifications you will end up deleting them 100 times per day.
Calls to 0800. 0845. 0870. 0808 .0300 etc
Theres is a common misconception that calls to 0800 and other non-geographical numbers are free. That is not always the case so make sure you understand this and your allowance. I always go for the mobile deal that has 0800, 0808, 0845 etc included but I specifically want this. Make sure you check your allowance and talk to your network if in doubt.
Protect your mobile
Make sure that:
- You have appropriate insurance for expensive phones
- You have tracking apps installed and configured. GPS location tracker for iphones is quite good and for Android check Google play store
- You have the PIN in place
- You have your passwords set up on your accounts
Mobile phone deals: 7 steps to get the best mobile deal, be smart and don’t let them beat you up
We all want the latest mobile phone with the best plan at lowest possible cost but when we start shopping our limit on the monthly cost seems to be moving up and up. So I developed this simple checklist you could use before you take the final decision to buy the mobile phone:
- Decide what you need your mobile for. Phone is becoming less of the phone these days but the small computer therefore you will probably need large screen with the good data plan.. Set your fixed requirements from which you will not deviate and those you have more flexibility. Example of the requirements’ list:
- Iphone 6 (at least), due to the larger screen
- Lot’s of data
- Lot’s of texts
- Do not really need minutes but a 1000 would do
- Roaming? not interested (make sure you understand it well)
- Start shopping with the mobile providers’ websites such as Three, Vodafone, Orange, Virgin, O2 etc. You can search for:
- Pay monthly phones. You sign up for 2 years contract and the plan. The cost of the handset (your mobile) will be included in your monthly payment. This is the most popular method of purchasing mobile phone these days as the cost of the phones is spread across your contract and you can afford the better phone.
- Pay as you go: You will pay only for what you used and top up your minutes or data when you run out. This is a good method when you do not want to sign up for the longer commitment. Usually the rates are more expensive but if you are not using your phone extensively this may be an option for you.
- SIM only. This is an interesting option when you already have the mobile or bought it from someone privately. I like this option as contracts are usually shorter than in option 1 and there are usually not cancellation charges. You have to check it on your contract.
- Make sure you read the details about the phone such as:
- is the phone new or refurbished
- What is the RAM in your phone (now you want to look only at min of 8MB with the memory of 32Gb or more. the amount of storage modern apps are using you will need this storage
- Check the battery capacity: You want to go for a minimum of 2500mAh or you will keep charging battery every night or more often.
- Check monthly cost of the plan and the headset and any other charges such as insurance. and cancellation fees.
- Search in comparisons websites and other companies that are selling mobiles on behalf of networks.
- Once you selected the best deal and the mobile phone provider, review the small print and the network provider costs such as:
- cost of 0800, 0870, 0845, 0844, 0300, 0345 etc. /non geographical numbers
- cost of retrieving your voicemail
- cost of calling customer service
- cost of roaming
- can you but the limit on your maximum spending level such as data?
- cost of out of allowance usage / these might be quite expensive
- Once you know all this, check reviews and opinions of other people and see what they think about the phone and the network provider.
Once you have all these details go ahead and make the decision. If you pay above £30 per months for your mobile you are probably paying far too much than what you need.. These is plenty of offers and keep reading this blog as I will be listing more details of latest deals. At the time of writing this post I could recomd the short 30 days rolling contracts of virgin mobile if you already have the phone:
For just £13 you have 5Gb of data, unlimited text and 5000 mins. This is a lot of usage for an average users.
You can check their website as there is plenty of good offers.
Roaming charges: How to avoid roaming mobile charges on holiday in Europe
Using mobile phone abroad has always been the biggest rip off by bog international mobile companies. They are operating globally but the moment you cross the border the opportunity for makings lots of money starts. They charge £5 per 1Mb, extra £3 per phone call or per minute. It can be anything and the charges do not end. so imagine what your bill will look like after using facebook in Spain for a week. Choosing your mobile provider is a key. there is a lot of tricks you can use but choosing the company is the principle choice. You would definitely go for Three as you can buy the very cheap tariff for £10 per month SIM card and have the roaming included for most of the EU countries and others too. you do not actually need to contract and you can only use it for data and make phone calls from Skype or other apps.
I used them and never paid over agreed £15 per month for unlimited data, and a lot of textx and call minutes.. These are the simple tricks you can use when going on holiday:
- Buy Simcard 30 days rolling contract and insert it in your tablet. Use data as per your allowance and make phone calls
- Take your old mobile with you in case you want to use it to call your friends
- Talk to your existing mobile phone provider and ask them if you can temporarily transfer your number
- Facebook will keep you in touch with your friends
- Actually think about Three as your mobile phone provider, they are quite aggressive on getting new customers.There are some good plans.