We all love to save a wad. It’s fact. Sometimes, our smartphone bill can be a drain on our pocket and nobody likes giving their hard-earned money away. Here’s a mash-up of how to reduce your phone bill, both pre and post-purchase.

Claim your cashback

Bargain hunters are always looking for a ‘cheap as chips’ deal, so cashback is sure to catch your eye. If the cashback is by redemption, you will need to post a letter to claim it on a regular basis.  Likely to forget? Then choose a deal with automatic cashback instead or a lower line rental.

Searching for a budget phone? Read next Things to consider when buying budget smartphones

VoIP

VoIP is voice over the internet and can be a real money saver when used over a home or a free Wi-Fi connection. Under these circumstances, services offered by the likes of Skype are superb and save your minutes, texts and data for when Wi-Fi isn’t around.

Skype

However, if Skype is used over 3G or 4G it can be a bit of a dog, using up free data allowances or adding additional charges to the phone bill. Check out the typical data consumed below:

Voice calls – 1.5MB per minute / 90MB per hour
Low quality video calls – 4.5MB per minute / 270MB per hour
High quality video calls – 7.5MB per minute / 450MB per hour
HD video calls – 22.5MB per minute / 1.35GB per hour

Unlimited data and fair usage policies

Unlimited data isn’t always unlimited and is often accompanied by fair usage policies. But, no matter whether a tariff has 500MB of free data or 20GB it is essential to know how to make the most of it:

Close apps – These consume data in the background so close them once multi-tasking is over
Email images – Turn off automatic downloading of these if the phone supports the option
Wi-Fi only – Consider only using Wi-Fi by un-checking the Mobile Data box on Android phones or by turning off background app refresh on Apple phones
4G – Be careful when switching from 3G to 4G as those faster browsing speeds can encourage higher data consumption
Onavo Extend – Consider using an app like this which reduces data usage through image compression and by increasing the size of the cache. A bigger cache, for example, means that web page images do not need to downloaded again when revisiting a page

Demystifying data

From browsing Tinder for a new match to posting a Facebook update, here’s what you need to know about how much data is typically used:

Video streaming – 3.75MB per minute
Music streaming – 0.75MB per minute
Downloading one song – 3-10MB
Posting a social update with a photo – 0.35MB
Viewing one web page – 1MB
Browsing the web – 15MB per hour
Checking one app – 1MB
Reading or sending one email – 0.1MB – 0.5MB
Playing online games – 60MB per hour

Get the right tariff

Finally, the last piece of advice is crucial; get the right tariff. Analysing your monthly phone bill is one of the easiest ways to reduce it. If there are tons of excess charges then upgrade it to avoid overspending, if you’re not using as much as you thought, speak to your network about getting your allowance reduced.

SIM only

If you’re already have the perfect mobile phone then consider taking out a SIM only plan as these are a nifty little way to save yourself some dosh.

SIM only