Why I’m Not Upgrading My Phone Contract

In times gone by I remember desperately waiting for my phone contract to come to an end so I could upgrade to the latest phone, with the better camera and bigger screen. The last few weeks of waiting were always the worst. Like, can’t I pay extra and upgrade NOW?!

This time is different. I can upgrade in March, but I’m not going to. Why? I’ve thought long and hard about this first world problem and here are my reasons for not upgrading:

Phone upgrades aren’t as exciting as they used to be

Sorry tech lovers. Going from a phone with no camera to a phone with a camera was BIG. Going from a phone with a keyboard to a touch screen was BIG. Going from an 8MP camera to a 12MP camera is not big. Going from a phone without Siri to a phone with Siri is just annoying. Who even uses it?

Maybe upgrades would be more appreciated and more beneficial if we upgraded on a less frequent basis.


My current contract with Vodafone is 24 months long costing £48.50 per month. That means when my contract comes to an end I will have spent £1164.00 over the last two years. CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY MONEY. That’s the same as working full time for 4 weeks on the UK’s living wage, just for a phone.

Current Contract: 24 months x £48.50 = £1164.00

To reduce costs, I plan on getting an equivalent sim only contract for £17 a month. That works out at £408 for 24 months, which means I will save £756 over two years. I will keep my current phone and if I do need to upgrade, I will buy a second hand one or an outdated new phone, which will cost significantly less than the £756 difference.

Sim Only Contract: 24 months x £17.00 = £408.00

Don’t get me wrong, my original phone contract did serve a purpose. That purpose was to spread the cost of a new phone over 24 months, making it affordable for me.

The process of automatically upgrading at the end of every contract is the problem. A problem that is costing us excessive money and time, which could be spent with more care and more consideration. Our phones aren’t nearly as crucial as we like to think they are and this just adds to the lunacy of our upgrade culture.


  1. February 22, 2017 / 9:33 am

    Even on a sim only contract, £17 a month is loads! I pay £7 a month with EE for my sim and get 1.5GB data, unlimited texts and 2000 minutes with free calls to 5 magic numbers (that you specify!) Fight for a better deal! Alice xxx


    • February 22, 2017 / 9:57 am

      Hi Alice. Thank you for your comment. £7 a month does sound like a great deal, although I have had a look at the EE website and the cheapest Pay Monthly Sim Only is £9.99 a month with just 250MB of data. The cheapest Pay As You Go Sim is £5.00 a month with just 150MB of data. Where did you find your deal? Thanks!

      • Katy
        March 7, 2017 / 7:33 am

        Ring them up – they love to do a deal for you! I got the cheapest 9.99 contract and they gave me an extra 5GB of data per month because my broadband was with them and then said I could have the plan with 75% off! So £7.50 for 6.25GB a month – I’ll never get through all that! Good luck ?

        • March 8, 2017 / 6:07 pm

          Hey Katy, thank you for you comment. Very useful advice! It just shows there is A LOT of money to be saved.

  2. Alex
    February 22, 2017 / 9:54 am

    This is exactly what I did! My phone is now nearly 3 years old and I’m just starting to have problems with it. But if I do want a new handset, I worked out that using Apple’s finance, I can get a brand new iPhone for £24/month which added together with my contract is still less than I was paying this time last year!

  3. March 14, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    Oh wowza that is a hella lotta money right there! I think I am spending around the same on my phone, eep! I need to be a bit more conscious about this kinda spending, there is definitely a way to save money here! Immy x


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