Finance

How to Reduce the Cost of Your Mobile Phone

A mobile phone is something that many people have. It can be cheap to run if you only keep it for emergencies and us ‘pay-as-you-go’. However, many people are on contracts for their phones and use them for all their calls, texts and using the Internet. This is when it can get expensive and it is worth knowing how you can make sure that these costs do not go out of hand.

Phone cost

The cost of the phone is the first thing to think about. It might be included in your contract or it may not be. Either way you will be paying for it and you need to make sure that you will be getting good value for money. It can be tempting to look at their offers and try to get the latest phone. Everyone wants the latest one of course, but it may not actually be much better. It may have lots of additional features but they may not even be things that you will use. Carefully compare them and consider whether it is really worth getting the latest phone that is really expensive compared with an older model that is cheaper and does virtually the same thing. The latest phone will be out of date as soon as the next one starts being worked on, which is before the latest one is released.

Calls, text and data costs

The cost of the calls, texts and data is also expensive. Often it can be cheaper to use a landline, even though you have to pay line rental as the calls are so much cheaper. You may get ‘free’ calls on your mobile but these are paid for in your contract and so may actually be a lot dearer. It is therefore well worth adding up what you would pay for a landline and home broadband package and compare it to the costs of a mobile phone, data and calls package. It might be cheaper to get a very basic pay as you go phone and just use broadband at home and a landline as much as you can. It depends how often you send texts and use your phone outside of the home.

Compare packages

It is well worth comparing different packages frequently. You will know that there are a selection of different companies that do provide mobile phone deals and they will vary in what they offer and how much they charge. This means that it is a good idea to keep looking to see whether you can get a better deal. Even your own supplier may change what they offer and have some better deals for you so it is always worth having a look around.

Do not try to be the best

It can be tempting to try to be better than your friends and get the latest phone or go with the most trendy provider but if you want to save money then changing can be a really worthwhile thing to do. If you calculate how much you could save in a month and then a year, it may help you to decide that perhaps getting something cheaper could make a significant difference and you could use the saved money to pay off debt, cover the cost of bills or even to save up for a holiday.

Reduce your usage

Using your phone less may be able to save you money too. If you have a pay as you go, you will pay for every text and call, so try to keep them short and use alternatives such as email or a landline if you can. If you have a contract then you may use the phone a lot because you have free minutes However, if you can cut down how much you use it, you will be able to change to a contract where there are less free minutes and it is therefore cheaper. Look at your bills and you will be able to see how much time you are using on your phone and how many texts you are sending as well as your data use. This will enable you to see whether you use everything you are entitled to or whether you could move onto a cheaper contract. You may need to cut down a bit, but this may be possible, depending on how you use your phone.

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General

How Drivers can Save Money

If you own a car you will be aware of how much it costs to run one. Even if you do not own your own car but drive, you will still be aware of some of the costs of driving. There are ways that you can keep the costs of driving down and it is worth considering them to see whether you can save some money or at the very least limit your need for a loan in order to service your car.

Insurance

The first thing to consider is insurance. It is much cheaper to pay insurance in a yearly lump sum than to pay it monthly. Obviously it may not be easy to find a lump sum of money when your insurance renewal is due, but it could be worth planning for it. You will have some idea of how much it is likely to be and so you could save up money towards it so that when it is due you can pay it in one block and not have to pay extra. You could put the money that you have saved towards the next lump sum payment.

It is worth comparing costs of insurance every year. Even if you have signed up to the cheapest company, you may find that once a year has passed there will be another company that is cheaper. Obviously you should only go with the cheapest if it provides the right insurance cover for you. Often the very cheapest companies will then charge for additional things such as legal cover, courtesy car when yours is being repaired or things like this so make sure that you check it carefully and only get the insurance policy if it really is cheaper and suits you.

Having a higher excess could help you to have a lower premium as well. This is the amount of money that you pay out before a claim is paid. It is worth having a high excess if you can afford to because if you make claims your premium will go up or the cost of protecting your no claims will go up and so you could end up paying out a lot more compared with the cost of a small claim.

Fuel

Fuel can also be very expensive and so it is wise to compare prices and try to fill up at the cheapest place. However, if you have to travel a significant distance to fill up, then it could be better to pay a bit more as you will not be using fuel to get there. You might be able to work out the cost of a journey so you can calculate whether it is worth travelling to get a lower price. Try not to use unnecessary fuel at any time. So if you can walk then do so. It can be quicker and more convenient to use a car, but walking is much cheaper.

Servicing/repairs/MOT/valet

If you own a car then you will be paying out for MOT’s, tyres, services, repairs and valets. However, you can save money on these as well. You could valet your own car and this will save you a lot of money. You could also service it yourself. There are plenty of videos online where you can learn how to do this and you will be able to have a go. Do not be tempted to just not bother with a service though as there are some things which should be checked regularly. You might be able to do repairs yourself if you buy cheap parts online or you could find a garage that will be happy to source second hand parts and do repairs cheaply. If you make sure the car is ready to pass an MOT you will not have to pay for a test and then a retest after repairs have taken place.

Find a car that is cheap to run

It is worth trying to find a car that is cheap to run and reliable, Small cars tend to be more fuel efficient but if you can also find one that is reliable then it will last you a long time and will hopefully not need repairing so often. Small cars are usually cheaper to insure and tax as well, which means that you will save money there too. There is lots to think about but hopefully some information that you can use in order to spend less on your car.

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