It always amazes me when I overhear conversations between people discussing their mobile phone contracts and I hear “yeah, I got a really good deal. I’m only paying £40 per month.”. What? £40 a month is not a budget mobile!
For me anything over £20 a month is unjustified. I’m not a massively heavy user of my phone compared to some so maybe £40 is good value. Having said that, I must check my phone at least every 30 minutes throughout the day, which I consider to be a lot. But even with this moderate usage of my phone I still manage to keep the cost down to around £15 per month. Here’s how.
My Budget Mobile
First I’ll tackle the phone I use. I have a Motorola Moto G 1st generation (they are now on the fourth!). I bought this budget mobile phone in December 2014 for £129 and have been really happy with it, apart from the lack of physical memory. Other than this though it’s been a reliable phone that enables me to do everything I need to do (call, text, social media, stream tv on demand via chromecast, control the lights in my home and more). Having bought this phone 2 years ago, my monthly phone-only cost works out at £5.38.
Next is my provider. For the past 2 years I have been with Tesco mobile. At first I was unsure about using them as they weren’t one of the better known companies, but following personal recommendations I went ahead and ordered my SIM card. Again, I have been really happy with the service ever since. I can’t recall any instance when the mobile network hasn’t been available or a single problem.
I chose to move to a pay-as-you go tariff when I switched to Tesco mobile simply because I didn’t want to be tied down to a long term contract. The beauty with Tesco mobile is that whatever I top-up each month is then trebled. So when I top-up £10, an additional £20 of free credit is given to me. I use this £20 to cover my call and text costs, although I rarely call anyone and most of my messaging is done using WhatsApp.
For my data, I buy a data bundle using the £10 I topped-up with. The data bundles range in price and size from £5/500mb to £20/8gb. I opt for the £7.50/1gb pack and in order to make sure I don’t run out of mobile data I always connect to wifi networks whenever I can, be it at home, work or the gym.
As my data bundles cost £7.50 and I top up with £10 (the minimum amount), every fourth month I will have a “free” month and won’t have to top-up. This means my monthly usage cost is £7.50 per month.
My final monthly budget mobile total therefore is £12.83 give or take per month. For me, I can’t understand why people are happy to pay more but then, my phone is quite old and I’m not a massive phone user. What do you think? Am I being unrealistic? Let me know in the comments section below.