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The best phones to help you keep costs to a minimum this winter

Saving money and keeping costs to a minimum relies on taking care of the smaller details in our lives. This can span from the energy we use in our homes to the things we do to entertain ourselves during our free time.

Here, we take a look at how you can make smart decisions regarding your mobile phone which can help you keep costs down throughout the winter.

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Courtesy of Intel Free Press via Wikimedia Commons

Choosing a handset

The handset you use can have a surprising impact on your finances for a number of reasons. With so many to choose from, it’s worth spending a little time thinking about which one is right for you and how they could help save you money.

Both basic and smartphone handsets have their advantages when it comes to money saving. Let’s take a look at each in more detail.

Simple handset

The most obvious choice for those looking to keep costs to a minimum is to select a basic and cheap mobile handset. Argos has a selection under £10, or you could go for a classic £10 clam shell phone with the Samsung E1190. Picking up a basic mobile can ensure that you’re kept in the loop socially, without forcing you to spend any more than you need on the handset itself.

Opting for a handset without internet capabilities can also remove a number of temptations. Not only will you be less likely to splash your cash by shopping online but you’ll be saving money each month by bypassing the need to include mobile data in your phone tariff.

Intelligent handset

Spending a little more on a handset and investing in a smartphone might seem counter-intuitive to those looking to reduce their spending but it could actually make things easier. Smartphones today have access to a wide range of apps which are specifically designed to help the user manage their finances.

If you’re somebody who struggles to keep a tab on their spending, a smartphone could be precisely what you’re after. Whether you’re looking into Android, Windows or to newer open-source alternatives like Firefox OS, you can be sure that there are a number of apps out there capable of saving you a fortune in the long run.

An initial investment in a handset could save you a sizeable chunk of cash. There are a number of apps designed to help with specific purchases, as covered by the BBC.

Tariffs

Of course, whichever handset you settle on the real difference in spending comes down to the tariff you choose. A one off payment for a handset is one thing, but the amount you spend each month to keep you phone in action is far more likely to have an impact on your finances so it’s important that you get it just right.

Mobile by Sainsbury’s is currently offering an attractive deal which screams out to those looking to save a bit of money. For a standard £10 top up they’ve increased the data allowance to 500mb, you get unlimited SMS, plus the added bonus of double nectar points when shopping in Sainsbury’s. They’re offering a fuel discount coupon for 11p off a litre of fuel, every time you top up £10 too.

The increased Nectar points included in the deal provide a fine example of how savvy shoppers are able to use their mobile plans to save money across the board. An infographic from Sainsbury’s points out that a family of four taking advantage of this winter deal could accrue enough nectar points over the course of a year to provide them with 225 bottles of washing up liquid, over 1,000 nappies, or 315 litres of milk.

When it’s put into perspective like this, it’s easy to see how much money can be saved.

Value for money deals exist at many different price brackets. Do your research and estimate how much data you will need using a data calculator. Whichever network you go for, remember that it’s important to choose a tariff which is suited to your phone use.

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