SIM-ple budgeting

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What better way to start the New Year than to take control of your finances.

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Ever reached the end of your mobile phone contract but found that you don’t really need to get a new device? A SIM only deal could be for you; since you aren’t buying a new phone, it works out cheaper than a normal mobile contract.

You’ll just pay for the service, so you still get a set allowance of minutes, texts and data, but you won’t pay the monthly charge for a new handset as you’ll just put the SIM into your current one. This could halve your monthly mobile phone bill!

You can even keep your current mobile number: just ask your mobile network to give you the ‘porting authorisation code’, more commonly known as ‘PAC’.  Your provider should be able to talk you through the process of using this code to switch your old number to your new SIM card.

You will need to have an unlocked phone and if you are out of contract your network must do this for free. If you bought your phone on pay-as-you-go you may be charged to unlock it.

And remember: don’t be tempted by the great deals on generous allowances if you don’t need them. Check how much data or minutes you really use, before being sold unlimited everything that will cost you more per month.

You can do this by using Ofcom accredited websites such as www.billmonitor.com or www.ctrlio.com which will give you a detailed bill analysis. You can also check how much data you use on your mobile device by going to: settings > connections > data usage.