Many of us could not live without our mobile phones, but would you rather you spent a bit less on yours?
There are a number of ways to reduce the amount you have to pay each month for your phone bill.
The first thing to do is work out how you use your phone.
Get an old bill, or a breakdown of a previous month’s usage, and check how many minutes, messages and how much data you used.
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You can then put that information in a site such as www.whistleout.co.nz and compare the plans available.
In general, if you mostly use your phone for texting, you should be best served by a prepaid option.
You can get unlimited texts, 100 minutes of call time and 500MB of data a month for $16 from Skinny.
You can reduce the number of voice minutes you use by making calls via Facebook or FaceTime audio when you are connected to a wifi network. Facebook messenger, iMessage and WhatsApp are data-based alternatives to texting.
If you make a lot of calls or use a lot of data when you are not connected to a wifi network, you are probably best to take a contract.
Many providers offer unlimited calling and texting to customers on plans. You can text and talk as much as you like with a Spark contract starting at just under $60 a month.
Remember to review your plan regularly to make sure that it is still a good fit for the way you use your phone. Many providers promise to do this but are not proactive about it.
One of the things that could catch you out is data use. If you are on a plan with a limited amount of data but regularly exceed that, it might be worth upgrading to the next level of plan.
With Vodafone, you can take a Red+ Essentials plan for $99.99 a month with 7.5GB of data. If you go over that allowance, you pay $6 per 100MB, $12 per 500MB or $20 per 1GB. But if you pay an extra $30 a month more for your contract, you get an extra 5GB of data.
You can also reduce your data use by only checking your emails and browsing the internet when you are connected to wifi and disabling apps that send push notifications.
Turn off data roaming when you are overseas. Don’t buy phone insurance – your contents insurance should be sufficient to cover anything that happens to your phone.