Twenty years ago, if someone had said that everyone would one day be walking around with a mini-computer in their pocket, they would have been called crazy. But here we are — it’s 2020 and most of us can’t go a few minutes without checking our phones. While smartphones help us find our way, check things online and stay in touch, there’s one major downfall to them. They are also seriously expensive.
Yes, if you choose to buy your smartphone on a contract deal, you could be paying a hefty amount every single month. Last year, some of the biggest phone networks, O2, Three, and EE 1 saw their prices rise. There’s no doubt that having the latest mobile phone comes at a serious cost. But is it one that you’re willing to keep paying?
If you’re near the end of your contract and thinking of upgrading, you should give it some real thought. Now is the time to think about downgrading your plan and getting a better deal. With that in mind, here are eight signs that you should do just that.
1. You never use all of your data
Do you use the data that you have each month? Of course, some people typically run out of data each time around and end up paying extra for ‘bolt-ons’. However, if this problem has never affected you, it may be worth finding out how much you actually use.
You can ask your network provider to give you this information before you decide to upgrade. For example, you might currently have a plan that gives you 50GB data. If you’re only using around 15GB, there may be a better plan out there for you.
- How to check data usage on iPhone
- How to check data usage on Android
- Or check your current tariff bill / app / account
2. You don’t stream stuff on it
Whether you’re obsessed with Netflix or love to listen to Spotify, streaming content using your mobile data can kill your allowance. Believe it or not, when you open Instagram or Facebook and watch clips on these, you are also streaming content, which could mean that you use your data fast. You shouldn’t be paying over the odds for this pleasure.
If you happen to stream a lot, you should look for a contract that takes this into account. For instance, the Voxi under-30s plan allows you to stream all of the social media content you want without it using up your data. On the other hand, Three has a Go Binge offer that allows you to watch and play as much media as you like, without paying extra for it.
Of course, if you don’t stream stuff, you may not need either of these plans and could downgrade. Consider what you currently use your phone to do and take things from there.
3. You’re not huge on social media
Are you addicted to Facebook? Perhaps you can’t go 30 seconds without looking at Instagram? If you’re a social media lover, having a decent phone plan could help you snap and post as you go about your day-to-day life. However, if you use none of the above, you might find that your phone data usage reflects that. It’s worth checking out ahead of time so that you can figure out if you can save yourself some cash! Simple.
4. Phone calls are a thing of the past
When was the last time you had a long phone call? Can you even remember? Most of the contracts that you get these days allow for ‘unlimited’ calls. That’s great if you plan to talk to your loved ones 24/7 on the phone. However, many of us prefer to text or WhatsApp, which means that this seemingly great deal is hardly worth your time.
Find out how many minutes you currently use before you make your decision. You can ask your network provider if you can get a better deal that includes less talk-time. All you need to do is be clear about the fact that you don’t plan to use your phone to make many calls. Doing so could save you some cash in the long run.
5. You need a digital detox
Want to start living in the real world and not online? A digital detox could be the answer. If you’re tired of logging on every single day, having a break from social media, emails, and more is the way to go. You’re not alone either. 64% of Gen Z say that they are ‘taking a break’ from social media while 34% plan to quit altogether, according to recent research.
If taking a break sounds appealing, you might not need a huge mobile phone contract. When you start taking time away from your phone and the online world, you will typically use less data, texts and minutes. Keep that in mind when selecting your plan.
6. You’re not wowed by the latest devices
Let’s not beat around the bush—the latest devices are pretty snazzy. You’ve got cool features such as facial recognition tech, AR capabilities, superior cameras and more. Some people find all of the above exciting. However, if you’re not feeling butterflies in your tummy, there may be no reason for you to splash the cash. Think about it… is it worth it?
If your current phone is just fine, holding onto it for a while could save you some cash. You probably will benefit by getting a SIM-only contract, in which you pay for your data, texts, and minutes, but don’t pay for a brand new smartphone. Sound good? Speak to your network provider about this option and see whether it will suit you!
Or check these deals:
- Unlimited Data – £10 per month (for 6 months) and then £20 a month
- 10GB for £12 a month | 40GB for £20
- 10GB for £7.50 (first 3 months), then £15 | 100GB for £12.50 (first 3 months), then £25
- 20GB for £15 / 45GB for £20
7. You want to save yourself some cash
Of course, the main reason that you might want to downgrade your mobile phone plan is to save money. If you find that this bill is one of your major monthly expenses, you might want to cut back. Choosing a plan that better suits your lifestyle and usage could mean that you have more money in your bank at the end of the month. What could be better?