Cutting mobile phone costs - 5 simple tips!

Check out these tips to help you reduce your monthly mobile costs...

Maeve McLaughlin
by Maeve McLaughlin on 13th September, 2016

Smartphones are a necessity for most of us these days, with the latest data from ComReg showing that the number of voice and data subscribers using 3G/4G networks increased to 4,100,830 in Q2 2016, up by 15.1% compared to Q2 2015.

But while having the latest technology in your pocket is really appealing, mobile phone bills can soon add up - especially if you use a lot of data to download music or stream content on your device.

Follow these tips to cut down on those rising phone costs:

1. If you’re on bill-pay, review your plan

When you sign up, you’ll generally choose a plan which gives you a set amount of calls, texts and data.

Take the time to review your plan - most mobile phone providers will allow you to do this online once you log in - and see where you are over- or under-using it. For example, you might be using very little of your allowance for text messages, but going over and above your call allowance.

Knowing how you use your plan will help you to tweak your usage and stay within the limits - which should mean less surprises when the bill arrives!

2. Be careful with your data allowance

It may sound obvious, but it can be so easy to go over your data allowance if you’re not careful.

Try to use WiFi as much as possible, and make sure you fully close down any apps you’re not using when you’re out and about. Turning off push notifications will also help you to conserve data usage.

3. Consider whether you really need phone insurance

When you signed up for your phone plan, it’s likely you may have also signed up for insurance on your handset. This makes sense - some devices could be worth hundreds, so any loss or damage would be costly.

However, if you are coming towards the end of your phone plan, consider whether you still need this insurance - the monthly costs can really add up and if you’re near the end of a 24-month contract, the handset you have probably wouldn’t be too expensive to replace in the event of an accident.

If you do think you need your insurance, think about changing your insurer. If you signed-up in-store, it’s possible that the plan you’re on is significantly more expensive than one you could get online.

4. Think about an add-on

Are you consistently going over your allocated minutes or data allowance?

Some providers offer add-ons for a few Euro a month, which would give you an extra allocation or minutes or data. It could be a more cost-effective option than paying the additional charge for these calls or downloads each time.

5. Make a switch

Most mobile phone contracts have a minimum term of between 12 and 24 months in length. In a lot of cases, unless you are aware of when this term is up and decide to change your plan, your contract will automatically continue after this date.

If you don’t know when your minimum term is up, contact your provider to check and, once it is, shop around for a new deal.

Review your usage first, and see what kind of a plan you need - for example, maybe you’ll want one with unlimited data allowance, and then think about whether or not you want to change your handset, too.

As you know, most phone providers will offer you certain handsets for free as part of some contracts. Although this represents a saving at the outset, it’s important to note that the monthly costs will be higher if you don’t pay for some, or all, of your handset up front.

It’s also likely that if you opt for a free handset, you’ll be required to sign a 24-month contract. It can be really costly to break these contracts early, so make sure you’re happy with everything before you sign on the dotted line.