At 14, Miss Frugal is a pretty typical teenager. She spends lots of time with her friends, isn’t keen on doing homework or keeping her room tidy and is never far from her phone.
Her phone is her pride and joy – it’s a Rose Gold iPhone 6S which is actually better than my phone in a nicer colour. 😉
She loves it because it a Rose Gold iPhone (that’s the fickle teenage side coming out) but she’s immensely proud of it because she bought it herself. She knows that she earned that phone and I genuinely believe that she feels a sense of achievement in handing over the cash to buy it.
The phone itself was bought from one of those shops who buy, sell and offer part exchanges on used phones and other gadgets. She’d been keeping an eye on the costs of the phone she wanted for a few months and saving all of her pocketmoney to go towards buying one. She was a long long way off but it seemed closer when she added in the amount that she was planning on getting from trading her old iPhone 5 in.
She was still only about half way to getting the phone though so she came along with me to a car boot sale and had her own section where she sold her things (and some of mine I suspect). Then she did some odd jobs for her Grandad who paid her over the odds if I’m honest but still, it as money earned. And finally she gathered together just about every other electronic device in her possession (really just her Nintendo DS, her camera) along with a stack of DVDs to trade in along with her old phone.
The trade in value plus the cash she had still came to around £50 less than the cost of the phone so we did pay that amount. It wasn’t me who gave in though it was Mr Frugal as I was at work but he said he couldn’t bear to see how disappointed she looked when everything added together was still less than she needed.
She’s not looked back since then and when other parents have the big phone contracts to pay, I just pay £15 a month through Giff Gaff for unlimited texts and calls and 5GB data (or something like that) which is more than reasonable if you ask me.
I think she did brilliantly well with her phone purchase and if you’re in the market for a new phone for you or the kids then I’d definitely recommend searching for the handset you know you want and buying it outright. It seems like a huge amount to pay because of the lump sum needed but you’re then contract free and have the option to pick and choose the packages that suit you best without being tied into a lengthy and expensive contract. What’s more is that you won’t be credit checked and you’re able to switch networks as you wish.
You can choose to do something like Miss Frugal did and take your old phone into a local store who will offer a trade in or if you have a little more patience then you can find somewhere online who will offer you a similar service, often giving you more money for your phone than if you were to trade it in at a local store. We went down that route simply because Miss Frugal had other things to get rid off but the best prices are available for those who shop around online. In fact, depending on the device and its condition of the phone you want to trade in you may be able to earn £100s, which would take a nice chunk off the cost of your new mobile.
There are lots of companies online who will buy your phone, one of which is Mobile Phones Direct who offer a brilliant trade in system. You simply head to their site, select the new handset you out and inform them about your old handset (its make, model and current working and aesthetic condition etc).
Once you’ve applied for your trade-in, you will be given a trade-in value to use against a new device. You then order the handset and will receive it along with a postage pack for your old device. You will be sent the money for your handset the next working day. How easy is that?
Searching for unlocked handsets is also something worth keeping an eye out for when you’re buying a new phone as you’ll then be able to have your choice of networks without having to faff about getting your phone unlocked. I have to SIMs at the moment – one is EE for in the UK and the other is Three as their charges abroad are so much cheaper than anyone else. Having my phone unlocked means it’s a simple matter of swapping the SIM when I need to.
If you’re happy with your current network and currently have an ongoing contract, it may be possible to upgrade your handset before your contract comes to an end. Simply hop onto your provider’s site and check out the conditions or start chatting to an adviser. I recently called to cancel my contract with EE and got a call later in the day offering me an amazing deal to stay with them on Pay As You Go.
The likes of Three, Vodafone and EE allow you to upgrade up to 60 days before your current contract comes to an end. However, be vigilant as to not fall into this “upgrade trap”. Often, the cheapest deals usually stem from switching provider – particularly so if you’re able to haggle!
We’re now a contract free house hold and I love not having to pay out so much each month.
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