When one thinks about how the cost of living is escalating at a rapid pace, being financially savvy should be on the list of concerns for most of us. With medical aid , school fees, bank charges and food costs rising, buying that dream phone you've been waiting for may come with additional financial burdens you didn't see coming.
Be a smart buyer - do your homework to ensure the mobile data packages on offer are sufficient enough to meet all your communication needs. The only thing that can dampen your spirit now, would be to purchase your dream device and finding out half-way through the month that you are unable to utilize it because it did not have enough data and minutes, says Simo Mkhize, Cell C's Chief Commercial Officer.
Do yourself a favour and explore the package options before buying that shiny device as it will be highly beneficial considering how much you call, text, stream, download and use social media.
Choose the package before the phone. What will each package offer realistically, does it meet your needs and how much will it cost you?
Here are some of the things to consider when selecting a new smartphone
Do you really need a new phone? Sure it's great to show off a shiny new handset, but just because you're using an older device it doesn't automatically make it obsolete. Smartphones are well crafted pieces of technology and you can upgrade the software to the latest release in order to get a decent performance amd enjoy some of the latest features. So how about picking out a new SIM? It certainly saves you on costs - your monthly bills are a lot lower overall -you won't be locked into a plan in which you have to pay off your phone and your freedom of choice is generally bigger.
Once you've decided which handset you'd like, it's likely you'll start checking prices offered by the different service providers. Don't be too quick to head for the deal that offers the best headline price. Instead have a look at everything a service provider is offering. For example, while 'Provider X' may be offering the handset at a cheaper rate per month, the more expensive 'Provider Y' may be offering more data, more SMSes and more call-time than its competitor, meaning that your monthly payments may be cheaper in the long run. Of course, that all depends on what you mainly use your smartphone for, which brings us neatly to...
Are you a heavy data user? Are you likely to use your phone to watch movies, stream music or check out the latest clips on YouTube? Or is most of your data likely to be devoted to you being a social media butterfly on apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp? Depending on whether you use a lot of data on a monthly basis, it's advisable to check exactly how much is offered by your service provider before you sign on the dotted line. The contract price may initially look great, but it's only after you've checked the details of the whole package that you'll know which is the best contract for you.
What eco-system are you on?
When selecting a phone, you should consider the kind of technology that you already have, because you will ultimately want your phone to work seamlessly across your device range. For example, if you own a MacBook, and Apple airplay or other Apple devices, a phone based on IOS would be best for you. If you work on a PC and use primarily Google products like Gmail, then consider and Android device. This allows you to makes sure all your connected devices work well together. It's not essential, but can be useful. So before you sign up to a new package, get savvy on your finances and make sure the package you select is the best one for your individual needs.