How to Keep Phone Costs Down if You Have Kids

11th May 2021

Mobile phones, although a necessity, can be quite a costly endeavour for some families. This is because the latest models can be extremely pricy and there is a lot of status associated with those who have the most exclusive mobile phones, making it seem as if we need the most recent iPhone or Samsung. But this isn’t the case, especially if you have young children, tweens, or teenagers who may not understand the responsibility of having a mobile phone and how to care for one properly.

The benefits of having a mobile phone are plentiful, however. Not only can they allow you to remain in contact with your kids, but they can also increase your kid’s safety. If your children are ever lost, in need of being picked up, or you simply do not know where they are, being able to call them to ensure that they are safe can be a huge relief. Having this extra layer of precaution and safety can help settle your worrying parental mind.

This does not mean you should allow your children to run up very large phone bills, though. Not sure how to keep your phone costs down if you have children or wondering how to sell your iphone 13? The following guide is here to help and offer advice.

Be Up Front with Your Kids

Children do not have a great understanding of the outside world and how it works. They may not even realise how costly a mobile phone is or how much money you or your family make and why such a possession should be seen as a luxury. Therefore, you may need to take your time explaining to them how costly having a mobile phone is, and why they need to be respectful but also cautious with how they use them.

Offering complete transparency can help your children understand your family’s living situation for starters. It could be that you and your partner do not make massive amounts of money or have quite a small income. If this is the case, be upfront with your kids and explain that this is the reason why you have chosen a limited mobile plan and why they may not have the latest model. Hopefully, this level of transparency can help your children understand the importance of keeping the phone safe and keeping within the restrictions you have set, such as not going over the data limit.

Have Rules in Place

Much like everything, you should set rules for your children to follow so that they do not accidentally overstep the line and incur massive costs with their mobile phone. The rules you put in place will be subjective but think long and hard about which ones can save you money in the long run. Furthermore, these rules could also be a way to decide how responsible your child is and whether they can be trusted to have more freedom with their mobile phone and SIM plan later.

Rules you could have include:

  • Mobile phones can only be used for emergencies
  • Mobile phones cannot access the internet (no data plan)
  • Mobile phones are not allowed during the evening (children can use a laptop to message friends or scroll social media)
  • Mobile phones are not to be used to call numbers that incur extra charges
  • Once the minutes, texts and data is used up, there will be no extra monthly top-ups
  • If they break their phone, then they will have to pay for repairs, or the phone remains broken

While rules may seem harsh and your child may fight you on some of them, they can help keep your child in place so that they do not go over your monthly phone costs.

Enforce Your Rules

What if your child breaks the rules or costs you extra money? Of course, accidents happen, and children make mistakes. They may not have realised that the number they went to call would cost them a lot of money or they may have accidentally dropped the phone and the screen has smashed. Whatever the case, you need to still enforce these rules so that your child knows to take extra care of their mobile phone but also learn from them.

If your child breaks some of the rules you have in place, you need to enforce them. Ideally, you will have expressed what will happen if the rules are broken, but if you are unsure of how to enforce your rules, here are a few ideas. You can:

  • Take away their mobile phone
  • Ask them to pay for the additional costs
  • Have them complete chores around the house (if they do not have a part-time job and are unable to pay for the additional costs)

By following through with your rules, it shows that you are being serious and that they cannot do whatever they please with their mobile phones. This is an important life lesson that you should teach your children.

Look for Special Deals on a SIM only Plan

There are numerous SIM only plans on the market, so looking for the best one that suits your needs can be difficult and time-consuming. The best way to decide which SIM only plan is right for you and your needs is to compare SIM only deals from providers like The Lebara SIM only plans are 30 day rolling so that customers can cancel at any time. What’s more, their SIM only plan runs on Vodaphone – an award-winning network so that you can feel safe knowing that you and your family will experience good quality network coverage.

Do Not Buy Them an Expensive Phone

While your child may wish for the latest iPhone, this should not necessarily be the case (even if you can afford them the latest model). This is because you should teach your child the importance of having a luxury phone and check whether they are able to look after their mobile phone in the first place. One rule that you could put in place is that if they prove to you that they can look after their mobile phone and keep it in a good condition, you may allow them to have a fancier mobile phone later, one with all the additional functions and add-ons that they want.

Cap Their Data Costs

Most plans will have a maximum amount of data listed in their contract, and once that person has reached that limit, the data stops and cannot be used anymore. However, you need to double-check that this is the case so that your child does not accidentally incur large phone bills. What’s more, if you have a teenager who may be going abroad with friends or even with you, double-check whether your current SIM plan allows you to use data in that specific country. The last thing you want is to be hit with additional data roaming charges.

Mobile phones, although a luxury, are a necessity in such a digitally dependant world. Teach your child the value of being entrusted with such a mobile phone so that they know that they have to keep costs down but also care for the device.