Saving on Mobile Phones

By: Ian Ball

Pay-As-You-Go Basics
The basics of a pay-as-you-go plan are simple. You purchase a mobile phone, possibly at a discount, and commit to a service provider. The mobile phone you selected may make your service choice for you as some brands of mobile phones only receive service on certain networks.

The network pay-as-you-go plans have a set cost per minute, text message or picture message. Voice mail may also cost a certain amount per minute of use. Peak minutes are more expensive than nights and weekends, and prices vary when you call to other phones in the same network, to different networks or to landlines. The more often you use your mobile phone, the more you will spend. There is no cap on spending and bonus offers are few and far between.

Mobile Phone Use
For some mobile phone users, the mobile phone is only used in emergencies and this plan may actually represent some savings over contracts. For many others, however, a standard monthly contract would offer much more than they might expect.

Even using your mobile phone for only occasional brief conversations can add up quickly. Checking voicemail costs almost as much as making an actual call and each minute you're on the phone during peak hours, your wallet is bleeding 30-40p.

Contract Savings
Standard contracts roll all of these minutes together along with text messages for a set amount. The set monthly amount may seem higher than you are willing to spend on monthly service, but when compared to how much you actually spend on a pay-as-you-go plan, your monthly charges may be comparable. That is not including the minutes you'd like to use your mobile phone, but don't.

Many mobile phone users on a pay-as-you-go plan would like to use their phones for more than quick calls. They are hesitant to do so, however, as they know exactly how much each of those calls is costing them. Mobile phones represent convenience, yet the mobile phones cause many users more stress as they mentally calculate exactly how long they have been on hold and what that call is costing them.

A contract that often comes with a great number of bonus minutes or even greater flexibility of use, such as T-Mobile Flext plans, give users some wiggle room. Sure you may not use all of the minutes you're allotted each month, but you pay less per minute for the ones you do use. And you have the flexibility to make or take calls without a mental timer ticking off the minutes and money you're spending.

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Cell Phones
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