So you’ve saved up your money, broken into your piggy bank, and put together the cash to buy a brand new mobile phone. But it’s not just the handset itself you might need to buy – there are a few other costs that you might not have thought about when you get a new phone or take out a new contract. Here are eight expenses you’ll want to save some budget for.
And psst… Why not sell or recycle your old phone, and use the cash you get to help swallow the costs?
1. Upfront costs on plans
Most pay-monthly contract plans ask for an upfront payment on your new phone. It’s far, far less than buying the whole phone outright – usually somewhere between £10 and £100 – but still something to bear in mind. Look out for plans with a ‘free’ handset if your budget can’t stretch right now.
2. More data
Getting a better phone means you’ll use it more, which means you’ll use more data. And a higher res screen means higher quality video, which means it’ll use more data. Oh, and a better camera means higher quality photos, which means you’ll use more data to upload them… you get the idea.
Yes, getting a new phone generally means you’ll end up using more data than before, especially if you’re upgrading. Remember that when you’re picking out a plan – it’s better to choose one with a slightly higher allowance and pay a little more, than it is to get a lower allowance and pay a lot more for add-ons when you go over.
Don’t risk breaking or losing a brand new phone without an insurance plan. This is an expense you won’t want to skip – and the more new, expensive, or high-end your phone is, the more you’ll have to pay for even the most basic insurance.
4. Contract crossovers
Switching networks? Watch out – there may be a period when your old and new contracts cross over and you end up paying for them both. Awkward.
It’s easy to avoid that though, or at least reduce the cost a lot. Cancel your current plan, get an end date, then arrange your new one to begin a day or two before then. Do make sure you’re out of your contract’s minimum terms before cancelling, though, or you’ll have even more fees to pay.
5. New phone case
Don’t forget about those funky mobile accessories! When you get a new phone, there’s a high chance it’ll be a different shape from your old one, and that means you’ll need a new case for it. These can cost anything from a fiver for a basic one, right up to £20+ for a really top-quality, super-protective one.
6. New charging cables
While we’re at it, a new phone may also mean a new charging cable. Androids and iPhones both use different types of cable, and some fancy new Androids even come sporting the USB Type-C connection.
Sure, you’ll always get a fresh cable in the box – but it’s good to have a spare.
7. New headphones
The latest trend in smartphones, at least high-end ones, is kind of an annoying one: the abolition of the headphone jack. We’ve seen it in the iPhone 7, and you can bet we’ll see it even more in the coming months.
If you don’t want to be fiddling around with adaptors, you’ll need to splash out on new, compatible headphones. Thankfully you can get Bluetooth ones for less than £20 these days.
8. Re-buying your apps
This’ll apply to you if you’re switching between iOS and Android phones.
An app that you paid for in Apple’s App Store can be downloaded again on another iPhone – you won’t need to pay for it again. The same goes for Androids and apps from the Google Play Store. However… an app you bought for your Android will need to be re-bought if you want it on your iPhone, and vice versa.
That’s only a couple of quid per paid app, but add it to the cost of your new headphones, your new case, your insurance… If you’re not careful, you could be out of pocket more than you expect.