Over the past couple of years, the hubby and I have slashed costs wherever possible including getting rid of Sky TV, cutting the food budget down by half and making do with what we’ve already got.
One area where we’ve struggled to save money though is on our mobile phones. We’re not paying over the odds by any means but it is one area that we constantly battle with ourselves about, wishing we could save more.
We’re on a monthly contract deal which is tied in for two years – which seems like an eternity when it comes to mobile phones. We did consider getting a pay as you go deal but we didn’t have the money that we needed to buy a new phone each outright. We both use our phones for work and need a certain amount of functionality other than just making calls and sending the odd text. A data plan is a must!
Anyway, our contracts came up for renewal a couple of months ago and we had waited very patiently for two whole years previously until the time came when we were eligible for a free upgrade. During that time, because we didn’t have any insurance (seemed like a waste of money every month); we had to make do with both our old mobiles basically wearing out.
Two year contracts are just too long!
We both had Blackberry smart phones and even though I still think they’re really good phones, two years seems like such a long time when faults start appearing. My mobile kept switching itself off randomly and losing wi-fi access and the hubby’s trackpad completely broke which meant he couldn’t scroll through the various screens.
Luckily, the hubby was able to fix his trackpad himself through watching a YouTube tutorial and by repeatedly turning mine on and off several times a day, I managed to make do until those two years passed. It seemed like such a long time to wait!
Then, the day came when we were able to upgrade our mobiles and it seemed like every contract on the table was for two years. In order to get a contract that wasn’t tied in for so long, we’d have to pay through the nose for it, so again we felt like we needed to go with another two year contract in order to get a reasonable monthly bill.
Offsetting the cost of mobile contracts
One way we managed to claw back a little money in this whole experience was by trading in our old mobiles. We managed to trade ours in as part of our deal this time with our mobile phone provider, but in the past we’ve used sites like Cash in Your Gadgets or eBay to sell our phones.
I must admit we haven’t had much success with selling old phones on eBay though – for some reason, we’ve had bidders pull out several times, maybe that’s a frequent hazard when selling this kind of item? Cash in Your Gadgets was great though for the no hassle factor and free postage too.
We’re really happy with our new mobiles – both of them work very well at the moment of course! But the frugal side of me thinks there must be a better, more cost effective way of getting a decent phone without paying too much money out. I’m wondering what to do when our contract comes up for renewal next time. What would the financially savvy person do? Should we save up to buy a mobile phone outright, possibly second hand and then get a pay as you go SIM card?
My concern from that point of view is that mobile technology is changing all the time. For example, how long would it be before a second hand paid for phone wouldn’t work as it should do? Therefore, should we carry on getting the best value monthly contract?
What do you do with your mobile phone to try to save money?
*Image courtesy of Flickr and modified by Disease Called Debt
By the way, I’m guest posting today over at Shoeaholicnomore! Please head on over to read my post on how to Accelerate Debt Repayment with Multiple Side Hustles.