Cut Your Mobile Phone Bill - Tips
If you've got questions about saving money on your mobile bills, then today we're giving you answers. We all want to cut costs and save a little cash these days, so read on to find out where you might be going wrong, and how you can fix the problem...
Why is my mobile bill so high?
That's a tough question. Mobile service costs aren't particularly cheap, especially if you're a bit of a phone addict. However, if you think your bill is unreasonably high, then the chances are that you've made one of the following mistakes: you've chosen the wrong calling plan, or you signed an incentive contract.
Why is the wrong calling plan costing me money?
This is by far the most common mistake that people make when it comes to saving on their mobile bills. Every mobile contract comes with a calling plan, which is a set amount of text messages, calling minutes and mobile data that you can use each month for a set monthly fee. It can be tough to estimate what you're going to need when you sign a contract, which is why so many people get it wrong. As for why it's costing you, let's look at an example. Imagine that your calling plan includes forty calling minutes. If you call for forty minutes in a month you pay your monthly fee, but if you call for five minutes in a month, you still pay the same monthly fee. This means that when a calling plan is too big you're wasting money on services that you're not using. But what if you call for fifty minutes in a month? Then you pay your regular bill, plus premium rates on the extra ten minutes that you used. So a calling plan that's too small is also going to cost you cash.
Can I change my calling plan?
Most operators will let you change your calling plan, though they'll probably charge you a small fee for doing so. It might be worth paying the fee though, if you're going to get good savings by changing your plan.
Why is an incentive contract costing me money?
Operators have two kinds of contracts: incentive and SIM only. Both give you a calling plan, but an incentive contract also gives you a mobile phone, usually for free. However, the phone isn't actually free; instead you'll be paying for it in instalments. Your monthly bill will be higher with an incentive contract than with a SIM only contract, even when both contracts have the same calling plan, because you'll also be paying an instalment on your phone. And when you add up all of your instalments over the course of your contract you'll find that you end up paying more than the retail cost of your phone. This is normal on instalment plans; you pay a little extra for the convenience of not spending all your cash at once. However, a SIM only contract is a better and cheaper long term savings option, and will also give you lower monthly bills.
Can I change my incentive contract?
Unfortunately not, you'll just have to wait it out and sign a SIM only contract next time...
Will web based free txt and calling services save me money?
They will if you use them correctly. Many people use web based free txt and calling services like Skype, WhatsApp and Viber these days. These apps are downloaded for free and then allow you to send free txt messages and make free calls to anyone who has the same app. They will certainly save you on the cost of calling minutes and text messages. But they do use your phone's 3G connection, therefore using up your mobile data allowance. If you're going to rely on these apps then it's a good idea to get an unlimited data plan on your contract and then cut down the number of minutes and texts in your contract to the minimum allowable.
Will a pay as you go plan save me money?
Maybe. It really depends on what kind of customer you are. In general, rates on pay as you go plans are more expensive than on contracts, meaning that average and heavy phone users don't benefit from them. However, light phone users often do benefit from pay as you go plans. With pay as you go plans you only ever pay for services that you actually use. And for light phone users, who rarely use up the big limits included on mobile contracts, this means that they're not wasting money paying for services that they're not using. Another group that often benefits from pay as you go plans are those people who prefer to connect to mobile data over a WiFi connection, rather than a 3G connection. Most contracts include a 3G data plan, and there's no point in paying for that if you're not going to use it.
Does WiFi save me money?
Probably. Using a WiFi connection for mobile internet is faster than using 3G. This is why many people prefer to wait until they're connected to their home WiFi before downloading updates for their phones, for example. The good part about using WiFi is that it does not count towards your monthly data limit at all. You can use as much WiFi as you want. But it's only going to save you money if you're using a free WiFi hot spot, or if you're connected to an unlimited home WiFi connection that you're already paying for anyway. If you're going to pay for WiFi just to use on your phone, it's probably going to be cheaper to get a 3G data plan.
Will switching operators save me money?
Very probably. Usually operators have great deals and special discounts for new customers, so switching operators generally means that you get a better deal. This isn't guaranteed, and of course it depends on which operator you switch to. But with a little research you can probably find an operator that's going to give you a better deal than you have with your current provider.