It was about 18 months ago I decided to venture off piste in the world of mobile phones and ditch a contract phone and go SIM only. I’d found increasingly that contracts were getting longer, heading towards 2 years or 18 months at best, and when the pace of technology is moving so quickly, for example there was comfortably under a year between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the S4, it seemed daft to be stuck with a subsidised contract handset that would be two or three iterations out of date by the time it came to swap it. Even if I wanted to do it early, some networks might get a bit funny if I decided to sell my mobile whilst still under contract to fund the next one.
So I switched to Three’s SIM only rolling 1 month contract and overall it’s been pretty damn good. I pay an extra £4 a month for their completely unlimited data, and until last month it even allowed me to tether with no problem- tethering is basically letting other wifi devices piggyback on to your phones 3G connection- even though that wasn’t strictly in my contract terms. It stopped last month which is a bother but since I pay £13 a month, I can’t exactly complain. Previously, whilst under contract, I was paying £35 a month for an iPhone 3GS, with fairly limited data and minutes. Who sends texts nowadays? I certainly don’t and I still had to pay £99 for the iPhone as an “upgrade” at the time.
So when I got my SIM only deal I shopped around until I found a Motorola Atrix on a deal of the day site for £99. It was a Tegra 2 based device with a fairly good screen- not up there with the £500 megaphones but certainly a good phone and a lot better than the cheap budget devices. It was a two week wait for delivery but it was worth it and I haven’t really looked back.
Part of my How to Budget guide involves looking at your monthly fixed costs and seeing what can be altered or reduced. Reducing our mobile phone outgoings from about £50 a month for the pair of us to £18 has saved us over £30 a month, and that is well over £360 a year. In fact, it only took 3 months for my phone to pay for itself and after that it was pure savings all the way. Obviously if I wanted a £500 megaphone it would take about a year and a half of the savings to cover the cost but I can’t see me walking around with a top of the range device. I’m the sort of person who will having the next tier down as it offers better bangs per buck. Do I think I really need an 8 core mobile phone right now? Probably not!