We all love a good freebie, but are they really worth it on your phone deals?

It’s all written in big, black unmissable letters: a new nifty looking phone with a tempting looking piece of tech for a price that doesn’t seem over-inflated or outside of our budget. But stop, take a step back and think for a second before you sign up to anything. What looks cheap might not be the cheapest way of getting what you need- there’s some book-keeping that has to be put in order before you can be certain that you are saving money and your deal is worth having.

Do You Save: Short Answers

There is a short answer here which is good advice generally, but not individually. No doubt you have already guessed, but the deals on offer are set up by the mobile companies trying to gain customers. They have overheads and profit margins to chase, so ultimately their deals are not going to offer us something for nothing. So no we probably don’t save.

However on an individual level the answer could be quite different. A tech bundle might well save me money on my current contract and meet my needs better than what I currently have. As such the best starting point is working out where I am at and how that can be improved on.

Be a Self-Aware Consumer

What is most cost effective depends on you as a phone user and what provides the best service for you. Some people are happy to own the same phone for years without looking to upgrade; others like to own the latest tech; still more find it almost impossible to go two years on a contract without losing, damaging or otherwise being unable to keep hold of their phone. In addition there are those of us for whom mobiles are a last resort, others for whom they are a handy tool and others still who seem to have their phone permanently attached to their ear.

So start here: the first thing to do is to know what you need. Do you actually need a new phone and the tech that comes with it? Does a new device need to be compatible with other devices you own or are you happy for something on a different platform? How much storage are you likely to need and can you expand storage if necessary? How many minutes/ texts do you use and does the deal offer you enough? In order to shop smart and get the best deals us consumers need to think about what we want our new phones and tech to provide. Once this is decided it is easier to work out what will benefit us most

Ways to Save

Let’s take that new found self-awareness and now apply it when looking at that unmissable deal. If what is on offer will leave us financially better off without making us cut back on our current mobile usage then it’s a saving, and if we get something thrown in to sweeten the deal then all the better! If the complete bundle including the tech works out cheaper than our current deal and buying the tech then it is still a saving.

There are two ways that the bundle can bring us value. Either it will enhance our lives and give us something worth keeping or it is something which is not valued by us but which is valued by others and can be sold on. This then can reduce the costs of the package: selling on a tablet for £120 reduces the overall contract costs by £5 a month on a 24 month contract.

Do You Save?

As in everything if we are deal savvy and shop around it is highly likely that we will find a deal that saves us money. However that doesn’t mean that with every deal we definitely will save. Before we make any decisions we need to consider what our needs are and whether our unmissable deal will meet these in a meaningful way. Good advice for life in general is to engage our brains before opening our wallets. This way we can best ensure that we do save money.

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