How to Save Money With Your Phone

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on August 21, 2014, How To Guides

In today’s day and age we’re all looking to save a little cash, and your mobile phone is a great way to do that. Today we’re looking at all the ways you mobile can help you save money, so get reading and then get the pounds rolling in!

The Basic Stuff

Okay, we’ve divided this up into three basic sections. First we’ll look at saving cash when buying your mobile, then saving cash when using your mobile, and finally we’ll hit on apps that can help you save cash just in general. So however you’re looking to save money, they’ll be something here for you.

Saving Money on Your Phone Itself

Alrighty, there are plenty of ways that you can save cash and still get an awesome phone. The most common way of doing this is to sign an incentive contract with a mobile operator, which generally saves you a few pounds over just buying a phone and then getting a service plan. You can save even more by opting for a refurbished phone rather than a new one. A refurbished phone has usually been sold and then returned, but it’s been completely checked out by the experts and should be as good as new. You’ll save a fair amount by choosing refurbished, and most UK mobile operators sell these models, and some will even let you get one on an incentive contract so you save even more money. Not bad.

Saving Money When Using Your Phone

Once you’ve got your cool new mobile you’ll want to look into saving money on monthly mobile bills, and there are several ways to do this. The first thing that you need to do is ensure that the calling plan you’re getting from your network is right for you. The wrong size of calling plan (whether too big or too small) can end up costing you a ton. Why? Because if your plan is too small you’ll have to pay extra for using your phone more, and if your plan is too big you’ll be paying for minutes or texts or data that you don’t even use. Don’t know which plan is right for you? Either check out your old mobile bills (which should list your average usage), or opt for an operator like Vodafone or Virgin that will let you change the terms of your calling plan after a few months of service.

Now, we’re going to tell you something kind of obvious, WiFi is usually free. Either that, or you’re already paying for your home WiFi network, so it’s an understood expense. This is important because you can get away with paying less for mobile data simply by using WiFi instead of 3G or 4G. Set your mobile to automatically switch to your WiFi network every time you walk through the door, and definitely set any updates to occur by WiFi only. WiFi connections will usually get you faster downloads anyway, and you’ll save by not using your data contract.

On top of that, consider downloading apps that will let you have free calls and messaging using WiFi rather than your phone contract. Skype gives you free calling and messaging to other Skype user. Similarly WhatsApp and Viber are both chat services that let you send free messages, and Viber also lets you call. All these apps are free to download for Android and iPhone, and will definitely save you money on your monthly bills. All you need to do is persuade all your friends and family to download the same free app as you have, and you’ll be able to pretty much use your phone for zero cash.

Using Your Phone to Save Cash

Finally, you can utilise phone apps to help you save money in everyday life. Most of these apps are free, and whilst some might only save you pennies, eventually those pennies will add up to pounds. We’ve listed some of the best money saving apps below.

Key Ring

Key Ring

Key Ring is a sweet little app that helps you save cash in all kinds of ways. Essentially this app is for storing all your loyalty card info, so you don’t need to carry around all your cards for different shops. But not only will you save money by using your pre-stored cards, but you’ll also be able to search for coupons to save you money, keep a shopping list and you’ll even get exclusive deals that are for Key Ring users only. Sweet. The app is free and can be used on iPhones or Androids.

Mint Personal Finance

Mint Personal Finance

Mint.com is already a popular website that allows users to design budgets and then tracks and monitors spending. Mint Personal Finance is the mint.com mobile app, and you’ll be able to link you accounts to the app to keep track of what’s going in and out of the bank as well as set monthly and yearly budgets. You’ll get reminders when you’re getting close to your limits, as well as bill reminders and a warning of fees that might be hidden in transactions. Mint Personal Finance is the premier budgeting app and is so easy to use even a beginner can do it. It’s free and available for iOS, Android and Windows.

Groupon

Groupon

Groupon is already pretty well known, but it’s worth mentioning again here. This app will let you comparison shop to get the best prices, but it will also give you special discounts on items and services. If you choose a Groupon coupon then you won’t even need to print it out, since the mobile app gives you an instant code to use. Not all their deals are great, and you should shop carefully, but you can get some pretty hefty discounts by shopping through Groupon. Just make sure that you don’t get tempted into buying something that you don’t really need. Groupon is free and available for iPhone and Android.

RedLaser

Red Laser

RedLaser is a smart and simple comparison shopping app, but is unique in that it’s designed for physical shoppers rather than online shoppers. You use the app to scan the barcode of a product that you’re interested in and then you’ll get a list of other retailers in the area that sell the same product and the prices they charge, letting you find the cheapest deal. You can even buy some items through the app itself immediately and then go pick them up at the physical store. RedLaser is free and designed for Android and iPhone.

Skyscanner

Skyscanner

Finally, if you’re a frequent traveller, then Skyscanner is a must have app. The site basically scans all available offers to get you the cheapest deals on flights, car rental and hotel rooms as well. It’s simple to use, and directs you to the appropriate web page to book your flight, car or room through your phone’s internet browser. Skyscanner is free, available through iTunes and Google Play, and is sure to get you the cheapest travel deals around.