How To Save Money On A New Phone - Cost Of Living Hacks

If the cost of living crisis has taught us one thing, it’s that we’re paying far too much for everything these days. Our phones are no exception, with the average monthly phone bill now standing at £38.22, according to Ofcom.

Plus, with some phone providers putting prices up by as much as 14.4% in 2023 alone, the cost of a contract that bundles a handset and sim plan can soon spiral out of control.

As the UK’s newest and best online trading platform for refurbished phones, Doji is on a mission to change this. We sell cheap handsets for a fraction of the cost versus buying new on the high street. All while being better for the planet too! This frees you up to buy a data plan separately for cheaper and that doesn’t lock you in for 24 months like most plans.

In today’s post, we want to share with you our ultimate hacks on saving money when buying a new phone as part of our cost of living series.

If you enjoy this post, we’d appreciate it if you share it with your friends to help spread the word. 

Why A Phone Is An Essential Item In The Cost Of Living Crisis

Owning a smartphone has unfairly been dubbed a ‘luxury’ in the past. 

But with 87% of adults in the UK now owning a smartphone, not having a reliable, working phone could have serious consequences for your finances, not to mention your general wellbeing.

That’s because much of how the modern world works relies on having a phone, or at the very least an internet connection.

Some of the reasons why owning a working reliable smartphone is important (including throughout the cost of living crisis) includes: 

  • 24/7 access to your bank account 
  • Ability to contact energy suppliers/monitor bills through app 
  • Accessing support
  • Arranging job interviews
  • Benefit access/management
  • Checking emails
  • Comparing energy tariffs
  • Keeping in touch with friends and family
  • Medical appointment reminders
  • Registering for government cost of living payments  
  • Online shopping
  • School contact (parents/guardians)

Therefore, with more services moving online, including basic banking services, not having a phone can easily make managing your money, not to mention your life impossible. All of which can make surviving the cost of living crisis much more difficult than it needs to be.

We understand trying to afford a new phone in the current climate can feel stressful. However, we’d like to remove this unhelpful stigma here for what is actually an essential item, especially for those who may be struggling.

Our following tips will hopefully lighten the burden further still. 

Tip #1 - Don’t Buy A New Phone

Say what now?

Nope, we’re not telling you not to get a phone full stop - especially if you need a phone for any of the above reasons. But we are letting you know the usual way of buying a phone from a high street retailer is far more expensive than you realise. Let us explain.

You might have heard about the value of a new car instantly going down as soon as you drive out of the showroom. Or the value of an engagement ring falling as soon as you walk out of the jewellers (even if they don’t say yes!) 😬

We hate to break it to you, but the same instant value drop is also true when you buy a new phone too. Our own research here at Doji shows the value of a new phone drops by 25% the moment you open the box.

What that means for you is that your new phone actually costs you more than you think. Your phone company loves you for the profit, by the way. That’s why they’ll tempt you with offers when your phone is out of contract, so they can keep you hooked. 

Now we’re in a cost of living crisis, it's time to cut ties with this old way of buying a phone so that your money stays where it belongs - in your pocket. 

Tip #2 - Buy A Refurbished Phone 

Did you know you can buy refurbished phones starting from just £70 on Doji? 

Refurbished phones are one of the easiest ways to save money on a new phone, let alone one of the best cost of living hacks. With big names such as Apple, Google and Samsung phones to choose from, you don’t have to miss out on securing a popular handset model either! 

Virgin Media O2 recently did a survey of 2,000 people, which found 9 in 10 people were happy to shop second-hand due to the cost of living crisis. 

Coincidentally, while you can recycle an old phone with Virgin Media, you can’t purchase a preowned phone as you can with Doji. The process couldn’t be easier with us either. Simply browse all smartphones for sale to get started. 

Tip #3 - Trade In Your Old Phone To Cut The Cost Of Your New Phone

It’s estimated there are 55 million unused phones in the UK alone. We bet at least one of those can be found down the back of your sofa! 

Given most old phones can be traded in for cash, it doesn’t bear thinking about how much money is being wasted not doing so. Including by you, if you have any old phones lying around!

Tip #4 - Make Sure You’re On The Cheapest Sim Plan

Once you’ve secured your new phone on Doji for much cheaper than buying new on the high street, it’s time to save money on your sim. 

Similar to energy bills, it’s so easy to stay with the same provider and never switch. Even if this means you could be paying far more than necessary for what you actually use. 

Citizens Advice found that 71% of sim-only plan customers are overpaying by a combined £800 million per year.

Spoiler alert: If you never hit anywhere near your text or call limits, and your data always rolls over each month this is probably you too!

So what can you do about it? Check your current sim plan with your actual needs, and see whether or not your sim provider allows you to scale down your package.

If you’re not tied to a particular provider you might want to switch altogether. Be sure to frequently check that you’re on the cheapest deal, and that you aren’t paying for more than what you actually need. 

Tip #5 - Don’t Waste Money On Costly Phone Accessories Or Extras

The global mobile phone accessories market is expected to be worth $413 billion by 2023. This figure is based on sales of products such as phone cases, screen protectors, pop sockets, portable chargers, headphones, portable chargers and selfie sticks.

It’s always fun to accessorise your phone. But to save money, we’d always consider what you actually need to avoid buying pointless gadgets you’ll never use. 

Likewise, anything you do really need for your phone such as a screen protector can often be found cheaper if you shop around.

Also be wary of other costly extras at the checkout when you buy a phone. Some providers will try to tempt you with bundles of smartwatches or tablets. But once again, if you don’t have a direct need for these things, you will be spending more money on a phone without even realising it. 

In a cost of living crisis when prices are unpredictable, every increased bill will only add more pressure. So keep savvy with what you spend on your phone, even down to opting for the cheapest postage costs where possible.

Tip #6 - Avoid Paid Apps Or Subscriptions On Your Phone

Don’t undo all your hard work once you’ve secured a cheap phone by purchasing costly apps, in-app purchases or subscriptions.

It’s not just you to consider either, especially if any kids have access to your phone. Over the years, there have been numerous stories of children running up large bills, including one 6-year-old who spent £3,200 on an iPhone game.

That is a stress we can promise you don’t need, especially in a cost of living crisis. 

Quick Fire Cost Of Living Hacks For Your Phone

  • Check the cost of a refurbished phone compared with buying new, especially since you can select a refurbished phone in mint/very good condition. 
  • Consider phone models other than the latest handsets, especially if you’ll still get everything you need out of the phone.
  • Don’t buy phones on Facebook or eBay - only purchase refurbished phones that have had extensive quality checks as you’ll find here at Doji. This will also help you to avoid scams. 
  • Self-employed? HMRC allows the full cost of a phone as a taxable expense, so long as the phone is registered and paid for in the name of your company. 
  • Some phone networks will not count social media use as part of your data - this is a cheaper way to make calls, send videos or general messages.
  • Travelling internationally? Buy a local sim when you get there, or check out Sim Corner with either option usually working out £££s cheaper than roaming charges. 

In Summary: How To Buy A Smartphone For Less

Thinking about the cost of a new phone can be overwhelming. But by shopping smarter, it is possible to find cheap mobile deals including right here on Doji!

Once you’ve secured your handset, make sure you are on the cheapest sim plan. This includes ensuring you aren’t paying over the odds for what you actually need, which is extremely common.

Finally, keep an eye on ongoing expenses related to your phone. Don’t pay for anything you don’t absolutely need, and shop around for anything you do need. Keep your cards and apps password protected. 

Learn more about how to cope with the cost of living crisis here.

Cheap Mobile Phones FAQs

We’ve answered some of the most common questions on all things cheap mobile phones below, to help you save money during the cost of living crisis and beyond.

If you need any more help with buying a phone on Doji please drop us a message or check out our help articles.

You can also find out more about Doji on Instagram or Facebook

How To Find Cheap Mobile Phone Deals

In terms of finding a cheap handset, buying a refurbished phone (such as here on Doji) is always going to offer a far better deal. This includes on all big names including Apple, Google and Samsung phones. Once you have a cheap handset, you simply need to match this with a sim plan that meets your limit needs, rather than paying too much for your plan as is often the case. 

What’s A Good Cheap Phone?

Why don’t you tell us this, by having a browse of the Doji smartphone marketplace?! Our prices start at around £70 and we sell all popular smartphone handsets including the iPhone 14, iPhone 13, iPhone SE (2020), Samsung S22 5G and more. 

P.S: If you’re willing to opt for a slightly older phone with a lower grading, you can find even cheaper phone deals on Doji. All handsets undergo a 52-point grading check so you’ll always know exactly what you are buying. 

Is It A Good Idea To Buy A Phone On Facebook Marketplace Or eBay?

As a general rule, we do not recommend buying phones on the likes of Facebook and eBay. That’s because there’s no way of knowing whether the phone works. In addition, there have been instances of the seller reporting the phone as ‘stolen’, so that the phone suddenly stops working for the buyer. In some cases, the phones are actually stolen goods too.

Combating such issues for customers is one of the reasons Doji even exists. We fully verify the phone and grade it before it is sold to you, so that you don’t experience the same unacceptable problems when buying a second hand phone.

Read more: Is Buying A Phone On eBay Safe?

Is Doji Legit?

Absolutely! Doji is a UK based company founded in 2019, and we’re on a mission to become the #1 online marketplace for refurbished tech. You can learn more about Doji here.

Doji - Browse Cheap Mobile Phones For Sale UK

End the Googling for ‘cheap mobile phones for sale without contract UK’, as you’re in the best place for that right here on Doji.Scroll up, click on our ‘Doji’ logo to go straight to our homepage. Here you can shop all the latest and best refurbished smartphones for a fantastic price.

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