Many of us are guilty of spending too much time on our smartphones. But have you ever considered whether you’re spending too much money on your smartphone too?
From in-app purchases to buying extra data, there are many hidden costs to be wary of as a smartphone user. Here are just a few rules for spending less money on your phone.
Settle for an older model
Some of us are obsessed with owning the latest smartphone model. Such models are often very expensive – especially elite versions. For instance, 2019’s iPhone 11 Pro Max retailed initially at $1,450!
Prices of each model often drop after three months and then continue to drop every year afterwards. For this reason, it’s much more economical to settle for an older model. In many cases, you could pay half the price of a new model for a model that’s three or four years old.
If you’re the type of person that likes to own the newest model, consider whether you really need all the latest features. Buying an older phone could have its advantages beyond being cheaper. Any bugs or faults that came with the initial phone are likely to have been ironed out. You could also find that repairs are easier and cheaper if your phone breaks.
Choose the right data plan
Many modern phone contracts come with unlimited free calls and texts. Often the big variable is how much data you want. A high data plan tends to me more expensive, however you’re less likely to run out of data (which means you won’t have to purchase extra data – a cost that can often work out more expensive when done repeatedly).
The biggest data killers tend to be activities such as streaming videos on the go or streaming music. If you often use your smartphone in this way – and you regularly run out of data – it could be worth opting for a higher data plan. Alternatively, you can try and find ways to use less data such as disabling auto-play videos, lowering the quality of videos on YouTube and downloading music onto your phone to stream offline.
If you find that you rarely ever use up all of your data, it could be worth opting for a low data plan. The likes of SMARTY even have data plans that allow you to get money back on any data that you don’t use. There are also plans that roll over your data to the next month.
Determine whether you really need insurance
Insurance can help to pay for repairs and replacements if you lose or break your phone. If you’ve got clumsy tendencies and are always managing to break your phone, insurance could be a worthwhile purchase. However, for the majority of us, it can often be a waste of money.
Insurance can increase your monthly phone bill by as much as 15%. Sometimes certain damage isn’t even covered by this insurance, so you could break your phone and still have to pay for a new one out of your own pocket.
In case the worst does happen, make sure that all your information is backed up on the cloud. This way, it can easily be retrieved. You’ll have to shell out on a new phone, but your information will be safe. After all, for many of us it’s not the phone that is of value but the information that is on it.
Pay your contract on time
Try not to get into a bad habit of failing to pay your phone contract on time. If you continuously fall behind on payments, you’ll build up late fees which can add up and lead to huge payments each month. You could also damage your credit score, which could even affect your ability to take out future phone contracts.
Stick to free apps
It’s possible to also spend lots of money buying apps. Some of these apps may only cost a few dollars, but this can still add up each month if you’re constantly downloading new apps.
Fortunately, there are many free apps out there. Try to stick to these apps where possible. For instance, don’t spend money on a fancy spirit measure app when there could be one out there for free.
Say no to in-app purchases
You also need to be careful of in-app purchases. Many ‘free-to-play’ game apps hook people in with the assumption that they are free, but often you cannot win some of these games without paying for extras and add-ons.
It’s possible to disable in-app purchases on some smartphones. This could help prevent you getting tempted into making in-app purchases.