Modern life might be expensive, but modern mobile phone plans don’t have to be. It’s entirely possible, in fact, to have a top-of-the-line handset without having to take out a mortgage to afford it. With a bit of rational thinking, a dash of self-control, and a little bit of magic, it’s entirely possible.
And no, we’re not going to use this as an excuse dive into a big list of all of Dodo’s sensationally-priced mobile plans– we’re just going to give you the advice, plain and simple. What you do with it is entirely up to you (although we’d suggest using it to save a few bucks on your mobile plan…)
1. Hold on to your handset (for as long as it works!)
Of course, mobile companies want you to grab the latest handset as soon as it hits the market. But if your current handset still works fine, you’d be wise to hang on to it and switch to a sim-only plan. Just because an upgrade’s available, doesn’t mean you need it. If you’ve already paid off or purchased your existing handset, going sim-only will typically give you more value and save you a small fortune.
2. Get data-savvy
Getting stung for exceeding your data limit can hurt – but you can help minimise the chances of that happening by setting up data alerts or downloading an app to help you manage and keep track of your data usage. Get smart with Wi-Fi and hotspots, too – if you have Wi-Fi at home and at work, you shouldn’t be using your own data. And when you’re out and about, there are Wi-Fi networks pretty much everywhere now. Use them, save data. Just make sure the connection is legit and secure – not all public Wi-Fi networks are created with safety in mind.
Just because you chew through music and TV shows when you’re away from home, doesn’t mean you need a massive data plan. It just takes a little planning. The major streaming services offer the option to download content, which means you can load up on goodies while you’re on your home Wi-Fi network, and binge to your eyes and ears’ content when you’re out and about.
4. Phone-free time
If you’re an average adult living in modern-day Australia, there’s a good chance you spend a lot of time with your phone. One way to bring your phone bill down is to simply use your phone less. Maybe you decide that from 8pm onwards each night, you’ll turn 3G and Wi-Fi off and only use the phone for phone calls (a novel idea, right?) Or perhaps you decide to ban yourself from social media over the weekend.
Whatever it is, setting yourself some limitations can have the double-positive impact of saving you money while giving you more time to focus on other stuff. Like playing Frisbee, or whatever it is we did before social media.
5. Only pay for what you need
Obvious though it may seem, those flashy smartphone releases are designed with one thing in mind: to tempt you to part with your hard-earned cash. And who knows – perhaps your work, social life or hobbies really do dictate that you need the newest handset and the biggest mobile plan.
But if not, you’d do well to get back to basics. Think about what you really need on a day-to-day basis and remember that the latest smartphone and an overpriced data plan isn’t actually going to improve your life in any meaningful way. A Frisbee, on the other hand, probably will.