Image courtesy of Takao Goto
Image courtesy of Takao Goto

If you have a family and you all have mobile phones they will all cost you money and this could really add up. It can get very expensive if everyone has a smart phone and uses the minutes, texts and data and so it is wise to think of ways that you can reduce the cost.

Children can get carried away with using their phones and not think of how much it costs and so it will be up to you to teach how to use it responsibly. Some parents choose to put them on a contract so they have limited money put in their account each month and once this is gone they will get no more. Although this can help to teach them about budgeting across the month, it can be a problem if they run out of credits and need to contact you in the case of an emergency.

An alternative is to just allow them to have credits for calls and texts and no data. This means that they will only be able to access the internet when they can log into a free wi-fi source. This should help to really keep the cost down. They may not like it, but it will prevent a really big data bill building up.

It is worth looking at the various contracts available and see which is the best value for money. Consider how much you want to pay and see what is available for that money. You need to find out whether they would rather spend money on calls, texts or data so that you know which to select. You also need to consider that the cost of these things may differ or it may be cheaper to get a package. You may like pay as you go but it could be cheaper to have a monthly contract if you spend a lot of money each month so it is worth looking in to.

It is worth making sure that you explain to your child how much you can afford to pay for their phone and that you will not be able to pay any extra. Do not give in and pay them extra money to what you said you were going to as they will keep overspending and take advantage of you.

A good way to make them understand how much work it takes to pay for their phones is to make them work for the money. If they are too young to get a job, then it is a good idea to get them working for you in the house to earn money. You can give them chores to do, get them cooking, cleaning or washing the car and earning the money that it costs to pay for their phone. If they overspend on their phone, then give them extra jobs to do in order to pay for the extra money. If they refuse to do the jobs, then do not pay for the phone credits, they will soon learn and get on with earning the money. This can be hard if they are on a contract, but you can always confiscate the phone until they do the jobs to earn the credits for it.