How much money I've spent on mobile calls / text / data in the last year

by @edent | # # | 3 comments | Read ~170 times.

A couple of months into the pandemic, I realised that I was vastly overpaying for my mobile usage. I was paying £10/month for unlimited calls, texts, and 8GB data. That's a pretty reasonable price, but I was sat at home all day on WiFi - so I had no need for data. I don't send SMS any more - all my friends and family are on Signal / WhatsApp / Telegram etc. And, it turns out those services also do free video and voice calls. So why was I paying for stuff I didn't need?

So I switched to a £6/mo deal. That got me unlimited calls / texts and 2GB data. I figured that would be a sensible compromise. But, after a month, it became clear that I wasn't likely to make any use of that data. No going out for me!

So I switched again to a different provider. Same price - £6 - but less data. Again, after a couple of months, I realised that I wasn't using any data and barely any phone calls. So I switched to PAYG, loaded up a small bit of credit to see how much I'd use.

I also set up SIP. I paid a tenner for some calling credit. I can now call landlines at a cheaper rate than my mobile provider!

And, it has been... fine. In the last year, I've sent half a dozen texts. Mostly free spam reports. And a couple to a friend who doesn't use a smartphone. A little bit of data when I couldn't find WiFi when out-and-about. That's it.

Total spend in the last 12 months

July 2020: £6 contract.
Sept 2020: £6 PAYG bundle
Oct 2020: £6 PAYG bundle
Nov 2020: £10 SIP
Mar 2021: £10 PAYG credit

Thirty-eight quid a year. I remember when I used to spend that per month!

I've got about £3 credit left on my PAYG SIM and £6 on my SIP account. That should last me another couple of months.

As the world opens up again, I'm wondering how / if I'll change this. I don't need cellular voice / text - but I still want data when out of WiFi coverage.

My current provider, GiffGaff, charges 10p per MB, or £6/mo for 500MB, or £10 for 9GB. With other providers, it looks like the £6-£10 range gets about 2GB-15GB. Vectone offer 1GB for £3, and there is even a SIM which has 250MB free each month.

So I guess I now have some options:

  1. Stick with PAYG data. And try not to use more than 60MB when out of the house. Probably impossible - even given the ubiquity of WiFi.
  2. Use RWG's free 250MB per month. Might be tight.
  3. Cough up a few quid per month and restrict myself to a couple of hundred MB. I think this should be doable - but might require extra spending if I get stuck somewhere boring.
  4. Find a new provider with a more generous allowance and resign myself to paying a lot more than I'm used to.

So, gentle reader, which would you choose?

3 thoughts on “How much money I've spent on mobile calls / text / data in the last year

  1. Guy says:

    PAYG with Giffgaff, get a non-recurring goodybag with a couple of GB of data if you find yourself somewhere boring?

  2. rjc says:

    I’m with iD Mobile (Carphone Warehouse’s own MVNO) who use Three’s network. For £6pm I get 2GB of data – it’s a 1 month rolling contract with a data roll-over (I currently have 4.5GB to use this month). I usually upgrade to a higher tier when I go on holiday, and then downgrade to the lowest one again after a month.

  3. Rob says:

    Potentially you could buy a data only SIM card. For example https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/224518697527 is £45 for 24GB valid for 24 months (so 1GB for £2). But I’m not entirely sure that allows incoming calls, or outgoing texts. Also it is difficult to know if this will still be a suitable amount of data for the next 2 years

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