Opting for a SIM-only contract and putting a fixed data cap on spending are two of the ways that customers can reduce the cost of monthly mobile phone bills, according to new advice from comparison website Uswitch.

With household incomes being stretched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, smartphone users can save money by being savvier with their expenses.

With that in mind, mobile expert Ru Bhikha has offered some timely tips and advice.

The first is that SIM-only contracts are a more affordable and accessible option for those who do not want to buy a new handset after the end of a fixed-term deal.

A SIM-only contract still provides the data, minutes and texts that users need like a regular contract, but it does not include a phone, making it easier to find better and cheaper deals.

Smartphone users can also cut costs by opting for a contract that covers only the data that is needed on a monthly basis.

It is possible to find usage patterns via a network provider’s website or in the settings menu of phones.

Paying extra for a data allowance that regularly goes unused is a waste of money.

Another factor that can make mobile costs spiral out of control is unexpected charges, which can lead to a phenomenon known as ‘bill shock’.

Putting a fixed data cap in place will ensure that data limits are not breached.

For those on the lookout for a new handset, refurbished phones are often a cheaper option and can still come with a warranty and accessories.

Finally, users can get more out of their contracts by taking advantage of specific perks and offers that are tied to contracts.