You don't have to lose out on features in order to cut your monthly phone bill.
With phones now breaking the $1,500 price point, it can be seriously expensive to stay connected while you're on the go. Phone bills of $80 or more a month are standard if you want to enjoy all the features of the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy handsets. You're often paying more for the convenience of carrying Facebook in your pocket than you are for the satisfaction of a hot shower every morning and an air-conditioned house during summer.
If you're looking to cut down on your monthly spending, reducing your phone costs is a good place to start. To get you started, we've put together our top tips for lowering your mobile bill.
Tip one: Be frugal with your inclusions
How much data do you actually use every month? Are you paying for 6GB when you only burn through a couple of hundred megabytes browsing the news headlines during your lunch break? If so, you could cut $10 or more from your monthly bill by downsizing to a plan with a smaller data cap. Since most providers offer unlimited local and national calls on all their plans regardless of data inclusions, you won't have to worry about trimming your call usage.
Tip two: Be mindful of excess fees
If you find yourself regularly blowing through your monthly call or data allowance, you could be throwing a lot of money away on excess usage fees. Most providers charge a steep premium for every megabyte and call beyond your monthly inclusions, and it's all too easy to rack up hundreds of dollars of fees if you're not careful. It can work out cheaper in the long run to upgrade to a more expensive but more inclusive plan. A couple of dollars extra a month could save you hundreds over the course of your contract.
Tip three: Sign up for a longer-term plan
Month-to-month mobile plans are becoming increasingly popular thanks to the freedom of being able to cancel your contract at any time without penalty. However, to compensate for that freedom, many providers charge more for month-to-month plans than they do for 12- or 24-month plans; plus, they charge additional set-up fees. If you know you're not going to be changing plans anytime soon, you can save as much as $30 a month by signing up for a full year instead of taking the month-by-month option.
Tip four: Go SIM-only
If you're happy with your current phone, the simplest way to slash your monthly bill is to sign up for a SIM-only plan, instead of a plan with a new handset. Sure, you won't have the flashiest phone on the block, but you'll be saving upwards of $40 a month compared to many of the latest handset plans, and you'll still receive all the same inclusions.
Tip five: Trade in your old handset
Don't leave old handsets gathering dust in a drawer. All the major mobile providers will gladly take them off your hands, and will convert them into credit that you can use to pay off your current phone bill. Depending on the age of your old handset, you could end up with a couple of hundred dollars of credit to cover future bills.
Tip six: Shop around
If your current provider doesn't offer any suitable cost-cutting measures, it doesn't mean you're stuck with what you're currently paying. Plenty of other providers will have plans that could save you serious cash, so be sure to compare your options using our mobile plan comparison tool below:
- You can now bundle Norton security products with your Vodafone mobile bill
- Optus is giving all Australians 30 days free access to the National Geographic mobile app
- Get a hefty 18GB of mobile data for just $32 a month with Virgin Mobile
- Go big with 18GB of mobile data for just $20 with Vodafone
- Telstra will show off 2Gps 4G at MWC 2018