Opportunities to Save

He’s the UK’s leading money saving expert – a journalist and presenter who has kept millions of pounds in people’s pockets as well as lifting the lid on the threats and dangers we need to be aware of as consumers.

In this month’s column, Martin Lewis looks at how, in a time of rising costs, we can make savings in other places.

There’s so much attention at the moment on the cost of petrol, the cost of our utilities, the rise in inflation, and it all seems like bad news.

Yet sometimes we are all guilty of obsessing over the negative elements whilst failing to recognise good opportunities elsewhere; and if you’re looking for one sector where costs, pretty much consistently over time, have always decreased, then reach into your pocket and take out your trusty mobile phone.

Telecommunications, broadband and connected industries continue to slash prices in what is a consumer-led price war, and the simple truth is many of us are still paying too much for our mobile phone contracts.

So if you’re coughing more than about a tenner a month for your mobile phone contract – and by that I mean calls, texts and data, not the device itself – you’re probably in line to save some money.

It all comes down to looking for the best-priced SIM for your needs because once you find the right deal, it’s really very easy nowadays to grab your PAC code and switch networks.

Now usually when I suggest switching to a different mobile provider, people come back with concern over signal strength for, say, Lebara Mobile or PlusNet or whoever it is offering the best deal on data. The reality though is that the communications network is run by four companies and four companies only – O2, EE, Vodafone and Three.

Every other provider is piggybacking off their signal, so, in effect, it’s the same signal.
So by selecting one of the smaller companies all you’re doing is going with a virtual network, and everything else should remain the same. Obviously, check before you sign up to see if 5G or tethering conditions are available, but beyond those things, it’s the same line.

Another trick is to check to see if you’re paying for data you don’t use. Most people won’t use any more than about 4GB of data per month, and while networks now posture with 100GB bundles and more, the average person in the street won’t get anywhere close to those sorts of numbers.

There are real savings to be made, and over time the money really accumulates. And as I always say too, if you’re serious about switching provider, do it through a cashback website in order to earn even more in the process.

It’s strange that mobile phones are such an integral part of our lives, yet many of us take for granted the competitiveness of the industry and don’t realise where we can be making savings.

In an era of prices rising inexplicably across the board in other elements of our life, the time is now to start working the equation back in our favour, so have a look at your bill, survey the competition and start the conversation!