In Singapore, one of the most common expenses that we face each month is our mobile bill.
Based on statistics reported by IDA, there are 8.3 million mobile subscription plans (both prepaid and postpaid) in Singapore as of June 2016. That is a pretty remarkable number, especially when you consider the fact that our population (inclusive of young children and babies) is only about 5.5 million.
If almost everyone in Singapore has a mobile plan, that means we could all save more money each month by opting for a plan that costs less. For the average user in Singapore, how much savings would that be?
Staying Connected Through Your Phone
To start off, we want to be clear that we are not going to suggest anything too extreme such as switching off your mobile data and only using free WiFi.
We want to be practical. As we are living in a country that is reliant on connectivity, we all need to stay connected to our family members, friends and colleagues wherever we go. Nobody should aspire to be a desert nomad like Ben Kenobi from Star Wars just so they can save money on their mobile plans. There are much better ways of doing so.
Introducing Our Friend, Michelle. She Owns An iPhone 6
We would like to introduce you to our friend, Michelle. Michelle currently owns an iPhone 6 bought in 2014, which has been serving her well since.
Similar to most Singaporeans, her phone is with her 24/7 and she relies on it for communication, social media and entertainment. Apps that she uses regularly include WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and of course, Pokémon Go. She also uses it to check her work email and to download attachments whenever she is working out of the office.
Michelle’s data consumption each month is slightly more than 4GB. Her current mobile plan is sized for that usage. Her mobile contract is expiring and she is looking for a plan that would allow her to save the most money. Which plan should she choose?
Read Also: How Much Mobile Data Does Pokémon Go Uses?
How Much Is Michelle Currently Paying?
|To ensure that she has sufficient mobile data to cover her internet usage each month, Michelle wants a plan that allows her to use up to 5GB each month.
Here is a look at handset subsidy plans across the different telco providers in Singapore.
|Mobile Plan||Data Allowance||Monthly Cost|
|2GB + 2GB (DataX2 @ $5.90) + 2GB (Free Singtel WiFi) = 6GB
2GB + 4GB (DataX3 @ $9.90) + 2GB (Free Singtel WiFi) = 8GB
|StarHub||4G 3||3GB + 3GB (StarHub Plus 3 @ $6) = 6GB||$48.90|
|M1||Lite +||3GB + 2GB (Upsized Data @ $5.90) = 5GB||$47.90|
For M1, users can choose to upsize their data plan and get 5GB of data, 200 minutes talktime and 1000 SMS at $47.90.
For StarHub, users can get a total of 6GB, 150 minutes and 1000 SMS for $48.90 each month.
We can see that the prices across telcos are rather competitive, with only slight differences (e.g. talktime, data allowance) between the telcos. Based on the monthly cost above, we can expect Michelle to spend about $48 each month.
How Much Does The SIM Only Plan Cost?
Michelle is happy with her current phone and decides that she does not need to spend money on the new iPhone 7. This helps her save about $718, which is what she would have to pay for the iPhone 7 (128GB) after the phone subsidy.
Instead, Michelle could opt for a Singtel SIM Only Plan. For just $25.35 a month, Michelle will enjoy unlimited Singtel WiFi and a total of 5GB = 3GB (starter pack) + 2GB (1-for-1 data add-on deal) of mobile data. Immediately, she saves about $23 each month.
To enjoy more perks, Michelle can opt to sign up for the Singtel SIM Only Plan for 12 months. With that, she will enjoy an additional 150 minutes talktime and 500 SMS.
Source: Singtel SIM Only Plan
How Much Money Will Michelle Save Over 24 Months?
By opting for a Singtel SIM Only Plan, Michelle will save about 50% each month on her mobile plan. How much does that add up to after 2 years?
|Savings (24 Months)||$562.80|
|Savings From Not Buying A New iPhone||$718|
In two years, Michelle would have saved $1280.80 inclusive of the amount that she did not spend for the iPhone 7. That equates to saving an extra $53 each month, which is pretty impressive when you consider the fact that her mobile data consumption remains similar.
More Data Flexibility
If Michelle needs more than 5GB, she can also choose to customise her plan by adding mobile data at $5.35/GB. If she signs up for 12 months, she gets 1-for-1 data add-ons and have it doubled! In other words, she can enjoy up to 9GB of mobile data for just $30.70/month through the Singtel SIM Only Plan.
Source: Singtel SIM Only Plan
Singtel SIM Only – A Simple Way To Save Money
There are many benefits to saving more. Spending less means having lower expenditure each month, which translates into more financial flexibility to pursue other opportunities without being tied down by financial obligations.
Saving more also means you are able to invest more. This investment can go towards your retirement, or some other life goals such as starting a business, or furthering your education.
And while there are other money saving methods that we can employ, not all of them are as easy as simply choosing a cheaper mobile plan that doesn’t require you to compromise on your current mobile usage.
This article was written in collaboration with Singtel. All views expressed in the article are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg