Australians love to stay in touch but we are paying big money to stay connected with our mobiles and our broadband at home – about $9 billion a year to be precise. So how do you know if you’re paying too much?
Comparison site Finder.com.au surveyed more than 2000 Australians to check their spending habits for their mobile and home Internet accounts.
The study revealed that Australian adults pay an average of $44 per month for their mobile phone plan which is down from $48 in 2017.
This means we spend $770 million a month on mobile plan payments which works out at a cool $9 billion per year.
And less customers are bundling a handset into the contract. Today about a quarter (26 per cent) are on a phone and plan contract. Last year this figure was 36 per cent.
“These days we’re hanging onto the same phone for much longer. While there will always be those who refresh regularly, or who have to have the latest and greatest phone, many of us are happy hanging onto an older model,” says Finder’s Alex Kidman.
“Back in the day, new handsets were quite pricey, and unless you had a bit of cash, bundles were the only way to get the newest phone.”
Australians are finding much better value with SIM-only plans when they own their own device.
Finder’s research shows that 74 per cent of Australian mobile users BYO phone with 40 per cent on a post-paid SIM-only and 34 per cent on pre-paid.
In 2017, there were 64 per cent of BYO mobile users with a 30 per cent (post-paid) and 34 per cent (pre-paid) split.
High-end smartphones today cost upwards of $1000 but there are several affordable entry level and mid-tier devices.
“Competition is fierce among telcos and mobile plan pricing is changing so quickly that being tied down for 24 months isn’t your best bet if you want to save,” Kidman says.
“Plan hopping takes a little more time, but if you want to limit your mobile spending, it does work.
“If you’ve finished repaying your handset but you’re happy to hold onto to that phone, it’s definitely time to switch plans at the very least. The deal you were on two years ago will be much cheaper today.”
The average pre-paid spend for a customer is $31 – less than half that of an average bundle contract.
And it’s no surprise that Gen Y spend the most on phone plans with an average of $52 compared to just $36 for baby boomers.
But are you paying too much for your mobile plan? Here are some tips to help you work it out.
1. YOUR CONTRACT EXPIRED
If your contract has finished you’re still paying your regular monthly payments at the same amount which means, if you are on a phone plus SIM plan, you’re paying extra for a phone you now own. Time to get a new contract.
2. YOU DON’T HAVE UNLIMITED TEXTS AND CALLS
If you don’t have unlimited calls and texts your plan is pretty old. Data is the main differentiator for plans nowadays.
3. YOU NEVER EXCEED YOUR DATA LIMIT
If you’re not going anywhere near your data allowance then you’re paying for data you’ll never use. Look a plan with less data that will be cheaper.
4. YOU”VE BEEN WITH THE SAME TELCO FOR YEARS
Loyalty is great but it could also be costing you money. Shop around and if you find a better deal you can always port your number quickly and easily.