Buying a new smartphone – the money mental way

Buying a new smartphone – the money mental way

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New – blog. For today’s blog, I thought I’d talk about buying a new smartphone. Smartphones are ace. I got my first one in 2012 after joining the party a little late and have never looked back since! Initially for me having access to the internet and being able to take photos and videos was a real boon while being on the move. Nowadays I use my smartphone for more and more stuff, like checking emails, recording vlogs and earning hundreds of pounds by doing mystery shopping using my smartphone!

So as I’m sure you can agree having a decent smartphone is pretty critical to me. I need one that can cope with the demands of running a lot of apps concurrently, taking videos, storing a large amount of data (for apps, videos, and photos) and still running smoothly and quickly.

In the past when selecting a smartphone I’ve always signed up to lengthy contracts with phone companies that included a handset as I believed that this was the cheapest way for me to get the phone I need. And like most people I’ve usually ended up breaking my phone before the contract has ended! I’m sure there’s a lot of people who are in a similar position so I was always wondering how mobile phone insurance companies make any money! This led me to start researching the cost of mobile phone handsets to see if there’s a way I could get what I wanted cheaper.

In parallel, I’ve also been doing a lot of mystery shopping of mobile phone stores so I’ve gained a good understanding of current mobile phone deals. To give you an example of the kind of mobile phone deals that are out there at the time of writing if you wanted a flagship iPhone x with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 12gb of data you’ll be looking at paying up an upfront cost of £144.99 and £51.00 a month on Vodafone. Over the course of a 24-month contract that therefore means you’ll be handing over a grand total of £1368.99. And that’s after you’ve haggled hard to get that deal. That’s before you’ve added the cost of mobile phone insurance in of course which is absolutely essential when you’re spending so much money in my opinion! If you already have a mobile phone contract and are just looking for the handset than the cheapest brand new one I’ve come across is currently retailing at Argos for £959.

But there is another way to get the same phone and spend a lot less money in the process by following the money mental way of smartphone buying. The first step in this is to make sure you sign up for a cashback site. I know there’s a lot of stories about cashback sites not paying or taking ages to pay but one website I can highly recommend is topcashback. They do a lot of deals on online purchases and tend to pay much quicker than other cashback websites. If you’re not a member you can sign up by clicking here . So far I’ve earned over £260 from them just by using them to buy things that I was looking to purchase anyway!

Once you’ve signed up to Top Cashback you’ll see loads of cashback offers. But if you focus on the telecoms section you’ll see a section under the category mobile phones called ‘sim only’. Here there are a variety of different offers to get cashback on sim only contracts that give you a sim card which you can slot into your existing or new handset (provided that the handset is unlocked or usable with that network, don’t worry though if it’s locked to another provider as that provider can usually unlock it for you!). If we take a look at some of these deals we can see that currently there’s a deal with Three where on a 12-month sim only contract, paying £15 a month, you can get unlimited texts, calls and 12gb of data. On top of this there’s also £55 cashback! So coupling this deal with purchasing a brand new handset from Argos at the price of £959 and assuming that you paid £15 a month over 24 months (although don’t forget you’re only on a 12 month contract so you can change to a cheaper deal and get more cash back after 12 months!) the total cost before the cashback is applied would be £1319. Already cheaper than taking out a 24-month handset deal. Add in the £55 cashback as well and you’re looking at £1264. A saving of over £100.

But can this be applied to any other model of handset? Well, let’s apply the same logic to the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S8. The best deal I’ve been able to find on an S8 is for £30.00 a month on Vodafone with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 16gb of data and a £65 upfront cost. This gives a total over 24 months of £785 over the 24 months. But using my method a quick search on google has identified a brand new unused handset can be purchased for £400 from appliances direct. Add in the costs of the three sim only deal and you’d be looking at £760. Not a huge saving until you add in the £55 cashback which brings the total cost down to £705!

However, I’m not satisfied at stopping there. I want to see if it’s possible to save even more money by trying to get the handsets for even less money! And that’s where our old friend eBay comes in. A quick search on eBay for a brand new iphone x shows me that I can get a UK model that’s brand new and unopened for £800. A saving of over £150 when compared to buying the same phone from Argos. If I look for an S8 I can get an unused customer return for £370.

If you’re prepared to go for an older model of phone the savings you can make are even more impressive! I currently use a Samsung Galaxy S6 which does everything I could ask of it and more. I bought it refurbished from an eBay auction for the grand total of £104.02. I pay £13 a month to three for my mobile phone contract and I got £55 a month cashback which is currently sitting in my savings account. That means my total cost if I stay with three for 24 months and no price rises occur (if they do and are above the right of inflation I have the right to cancel my contract early and don’t forget it’s only for 12 months anyway!) my total cost will be £152.98. If I’d bought my handset through a mobile phone company then the best total cost for the same period I’ve been able to negotiate was a staggering £720!

The only time the money mental method doesn’t work is when a phone is brand new to market and there aren’t many in the supply chain. So for example, if I wanted the Samsung Galaxy S9 which was launched less than a month ago because of the limited supply of these phones currently and the intense competition amongst mobile phone providers it is possible to get a better deal by going directly to a company such as Carphone Warehouse for this particular smartphone. However, in just 2-3 months you’ll find that it’ll be cheaper to use the money mental method outlined above!

So if you need a new smartphone and smartphone contract and aren’t bothered about a phone that’s been released within the last few weeks than give the money mental method a try and let me know what kind of savings you’ve managed to achieve by commenting below! Just don’t forget to sign up to Top Cashback using my link here

Thanks for reading and have a pleasant day.


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