Published on November 23, 2015 11:54 am, by Jen Bakker
For most of us mobile phones are no longer a luxury but a necessity. The most important thing is not to be seduced by a pretty new handset but to make sure you do your homework to get maximum value during your phone’s lifetime.
Here are 8 things to think about before signing on the dotted line.
Don’t go on one before doing your sums. Calculate the cost of the phone over the contract time and compare it to paying outright. Also calculate the cost of your contract over the term against buying the phone outright and going on the same plan as BYO phone for the same term. Most times purchasing outright and going on to a SIM only plan will be cheaper. Remember if anything happens to your phone, you will need to pay out the contract as well as get a new phone…. which brings me to the next point.
#2 Get insurance
Lots of people out there have phones that are worth in excess of $1,000. This is a fair amount to shell out on the spot if something happens. Check your contents policy – often you can add your mobile in at a very low rate.
#3 Work out what you need
Work out what you need before you shop around. If you’re happy to make your calls through Facebook or Skype, and you are a high data user, data is more important than calls. If you text a lot unlimited texts may be your thing.
#4 Check the caps
Know the caps and the charges for going over. For example my plan includes 1.5GB of data, and when I go over, it charges another $10 for the next 1GB. This works for me, but you might prefer to be charged a smaller amount per MB you go over.
#5 Going overseas
Check the value. Taking out your SIM card & putting a SIM card in overseas might be worth the trouble.
#6 Video Streaming
Be aware of video streaming, among other things Netflix, Stan, Presto and YouTube will all chew through your data rapidly. Our top tip for saving your data is to turn off auto streaming of videos on Facebook; you can also change your setting for videos to only be auto played when you are using Wi-Fi.
#7 Use Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi can significantly reduce your data usage. It might be a good time to check your home plan at the same time. Linking to unlimited data usage at home may help you decide how much data you need out of the house.
#8 Keep your old handset
No matter how careful you are accidents happen. You never know when you might need it!
Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.