MY MONEY

Three sneaky mobile phone charges to avoid

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We're living in an ever-connected world, and the little power-packed mobile phones we carry in our pockets aren't the prehistoric communication devices we knew just five years ago.

Unfortunately, the innovative capabilities of our new handsets have also led to their rapid monetisation - and here are three of the ways you may be paying through the teeth without even realising it.

An extra payment every year

Some providers have recently announced they'll be changing the payment periods on their plans from every 31 days to every 28.

mobile phone traps

While initially this might not seem like a big deal, over the course of a year this means you'll be forking out another repayment than you've had to previously.

Luckily, this isn't the case for all providers, so if you do your homework early you might just find a better offer before you receive that extra bill.

Also, if you've been with your current provider for some time, you might be eligible for a discounted plan or maybe a beefier data allowance. Worst case scenario is you just look for a provider with a better plan.

Ad-serving data

Ever started using a new game on the train home, only to receive a text message a few hours later telling you that you've been bumped up to the next data bracket (and charged accordingly)?

It may be the case that your app is one that uses your mobile connecting to serve ads during its use.

The good news is that this can be avoided in future - simply dive into your mobile data settings and turn off mobile data for the offending app. While you're there, turn it off for any services that don't need the web as part of their everyday functioning. You may just be surprised at the difference you notice in data consumption.

Experience-boosting megabytes

Unless you're with a provider notorious for dodgy data service, most of us experience pretty good connectivity most of the time.

Perhaps you spend a good deal of your time connected to home or work wifi - whatever the case, it's always nice to flick through an online publication with ease and fluidity.

What is not so nice is when your phone sneakily uses your mobile data at the same time as being connected to wifi.

While the intentions - to give you the most seamless browsing experience - might be a valid one, it's not as satisfying as knowing you're not paying for both your wifi and unnecessary data usage. Again, you'll be able to find the fix in your mobile data settings.

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Bessie Hassan is a money expert at Finder.
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