Our broadband, mobile, pay-TV and streaming services are often overlooked as ways to make savings. However, taking the time to audit your bills and subscriptions could quickly save you hundreds of pounds a year.
With that in mind, we’ve joined forces with Nick Baker, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, to help you save money on broadband, mobile, TV and streaming as we enter 2023.
Audit your contracts:
- New year, new savings: The most common mistake when it comes to broadband and mobile bills is falling out of contract. The best deals are usually offered on 12, 18 or 24-month deals so it can be easy to lose track of when they expire. Yet the moment you do – you are almost certainly paying more than you need. According to Uswitch data, customers could save an average of £321 on their pay-monthly mobile contract by holding onto their handset and moving to one of the best value SIM-only deals. Meanwhile, households on an expired broadband package could claw back an average of £162 by switching to a new deal.
- Take stock of what you use: It may be the middle of winter but January is a perfect time to do an early spring clean of your mobile, broadband and streaming services. If you’re paying for 20GB of mobile data a month, but find you’re only using a fraction of that, it’s time to speak to your network provider as you may be able to negotiate your data allowance to save money. Finally, if it’s been a while since you turned on a streaming service, consider pausing or cancelling your subscription to save money. If you’ve signed up to a platform specifically for Christmas viewing, now’s the time to consider if you want to continue.
- Check your extras: Some providers also include streaming services or free trials of up to 12 months as a standard part of their package. For example, TV packages such as those offered by Sky come with Netflix as standard, meaning that you don’t have to double up. And if you already have a Netflix account, you can add it and all your favourites to your Sky account when you sign up.
- Play the field: While it’s tempting to subscribe to multiple TV and streaming services for the volume and variety of content, it’s bad for our wallets. With most services on rolling one-month deals it’s time to get ruthless. Subscribe to one at a time and get your money’s worth from each before moving to the next one.
- Consider a commercial break: Netflix already offers a cheaper ad-supported tier and Disney+ is set to roll out its version to the UK next year. Meanwhile, the likes of All4 and newcomer ITVX rely on ads to offer free services to users. If you’re willing to put up with a few commercials, you could save some money.
- Try before you buy: Before moving to a new streaming service, see if you can take advantage of a free trial first. While Netflix and Disney Plus have stopped offering free trials to new customers, you can still try out some of the other big streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, NOW, Apple TV+ and ITVX (which includes BritBox) for free. You could also use this as a way to binge-watch a specific programme you have been waiting to see.
- Refurbish your phone, replenish your finances: When the time comes to buy a new handset, you can save hundreds by opting for refurbished devices rather than buying them brand new. These nearly-new items come with a guarantee for added peace of mind and are often indistinguishable from full-price models, with some even including mint-condition packaging. Pair it with a low-cost SIM-only deal and you’re good to go.
- Buy at the right time: If you’re buying a brand new phone, the chances are that it will be at its most expensive when it first comes out, with better deals popping up when the next generation flagship is about to be announced. If you time it right, you may be able to get a bargain, especially if you are willing to go for an older model. Retailers are often keen to shift the stock of older models once a next-gen device has come on the market and offer generous discounts to get you to buy. With Samsung set to release the new Galaxy S23 in February, it could be a good time to look at the S22 and its predecessors in the weeks ahead.
For more information on how you can save money on your streaming services, see Nick’s useful guide here.