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AD. Savvy consumers know cost cutting on bills is essential to be a thrifty household. All savvy shoppers compare insurance, utility bills and mortgages before purchasing. This should be no different when looking at the cost of your family’s mobile phone bill.
Most UK households now have two or more devices and households with 2 teenagers can add another two to that. That’s 4 different bills with four different data plans!
The average UK mobile phone bill is £45.60 per month which means, the average annual mobile phone bill for a two-person household is £1094.40. Compared against the average. In comparison to the annual bill for a two-person household it’s clear the cost of mobile phone bills has risen above annual average fuel bills.
Consumers need to do more to understand what they need in their mobile phone plan. Understanding what you need versus what the best deal on the market is will help drive down monthly costs.
The cost of phone plans is made up of three factors:
- The cost of the device
- Monthly minutes and texts
- Monthly data allowance
These cost factors added together to create the cost for the monthly plan. Therefore, the leading handsets like the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 are usually around £60 with no upfront cost. Older devices like the iPhone 6 can be a little as £18 per month. Previous generation models like the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 can now be purchased with no upfront cost for as little as £33 a month.
Use our money saving tips below to reduce your households monthly mobile phone bills.
The cost of the device is built within the plan. Consider who is using the device and do they really need the latest device? Each August and September Apple and Samsung release their latest devices. This is the best time to buy an older generation phone whether you purchase the phone outright, pay a little upfront or blend the cost with your monthly plan.
Over the past 5 years, technology has moved very quickly in mobile devices but the recent launches have not seen such a huge jump. This is when you should decide between considering choosing last years device or this years. If you are not the type of person who just must have the latest because it is the latest, then you can save hundreds of pounds per year.
Most monthly plans come with unlimited calls and texts, so the other major cost is data usage. This is the where UK consumer really needs to wise up.
Below shows the average amount of data the average UK consumer uses per month. Compared with the comparison of the average purchased plan of 16GB of data UK consumers are overpaying.
Understanding your data allowance requirements is simple. Look at your last 3-6 months data usage. You can see this on your device or your online account. With the rise of WIFI hotspots, Work WI-FI and free WI-FI hotspots you shouldn’t need an oversized data plan now. Check out what you can do with 10GB of data below.
Source – www.fonehouse.co.uk
That’s quite a lot of activity you can do on the move so in reality, 10GB of data should be more than ample for most plans.
As the device and the data cost make up most of the cost together, choosing your package really comes down to what you do with your phone and what device you really want or need.
The chart below shows the current best deals based on the phones show. Source – www.moneysupermarket.com. These deals are based on a free handset, the best data above 10GB with unlimited minutes and texts. Total phone cost is based on a 24-month contract.
All latest handsets come with high data allowances. It looks attractive and makes you feel like you get a great deal. When you consider the difference in technology is that deal worth the money? Some would say yes but the savvy shopper should consider if this suits their lifestyle, more importantly, is the cost saving worth going for a previous generation phone based on the difference in technology.
If you take into consideration that a family may have the same the devices the cost implications become clear.
Saving money by choosing the cheaper handset is an obvious choice if you are choosing to be thrifty but keeping your data usage low will ensure your monthly bills can be even cheaper.
Data & Cost Saving Tips
These tips work for everyone and are quick and simple to manage. A few changes can drastically reduce what you need to spend on your monthly plan, thus reducing your monthly tariff.
Every device has multiple apps, all of which must update as and when they need to. Consider optimising your apps so they must be updated manually. This means you will get a notification but you can update when you are within reach of WI-FI. Below are the most common apps installed in the UK and 5 of them often use streaming actions.
As each app updates its worth looking what you have installed on your device. Many consumers download apps on impulse and forget they are there. Don’t get caught out wasting data on apps you don’t need.
Log into Wi-Fi
This may sound obvious as most devices are connected to your home network but consider this. Most venues you enter now have free Wi-Fi, from pubs, café to work you are always in reach of WI-FI. Take the time to log in and you will make some great savings on data usage.
Download and stop streaming
This is perfect for joggers in the park listening to music to parents letting their toddler watch Peppa Pig. Download songs, box sets and movies before leaving the house, WI-FI is unlimited and streaming is a data killer!
Remember your contract dates
When you take a contract for a mobile phone with no upfront cost, the price of the device is in the plan. If you let your contract roll on after the end date, then you keep paying the same amount. Great for the network but not the savvy shopper.
Do you need a new phone?
We’ve touched on this above but getting the latest device or even just a new device comes with a cost. If you are happy with your current handset then cancel your contract (remember the 30 days’ notice) and get yourself onto a sim only plan. You can get a great sim only plan with 10GB of data and unlimited minutes and texts from £10-12 per month depending on the network.
The savvy shopper needs to assess what data they need. Consider their lifestyle including, when and where they use their device. Are they precious on whether they need the latest device? Considering these points will ensure you buy the right deal for you and your family, not the just the best deal around.