Teenagers are some of the most tech-savvy people in the world today, and a smartphone is pretty much essential for them. Teens don’t just use their smartphones for staying in touch with family and friends; they can also be an important part of school and learning. Teens who don’t have a smartphone can often be disconnected from their peers and might find it difficult to do certain homework assignments and more. But getting your teenager a smartphone isn’t a cheap experience. The latest tech is getting more and more expensive and with smartphone plans rising in price every year, it’s no surprise that parents are looking for new ways to save on this cost. Thankfully, your teen’s smartphone doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some ideas to consider to reduce the cost.

Get a Refurbished Handset


Despite what the media might say, your teen doesn’t need the latest iPhone. Refurbished handsets that are a couple of years old can be a great alternative since they are still modern enough to make sure that your teen has access to all the top features today, without setting you back over a thousand pounds. Refurbished handsets are also great for the environment so will be an excellent choice for your teen if they are concerned about global warming and climate change. These handsets have typically been used before but are in excellent condition and look and feel pretty much brand new. Depending on the grade, the phone might be pristine or have slight cosmetic damage that can be easily covered with a case.

Hand-Me-Down Handsets


If you or another family member is upgrading your smartphone soon and the old one is still functional, it could be an option to let your teen have that phone and save on the cost of buying a new one. With more and more people upgrading their smartphone handsets every two years, chances are that if yours is due an upgrade soon, your teen can have your current phone when you get a new one. It’s worth looking into if you have the option to upgrade your handset early and your teen needs a phone as soon as possible. Or if you like your current handset and don’t want to change it, consider upgrading to a similar price plan so that your teen can have the new smartphone while you continue using your current one, which will be much cheaper compared to getting a second smartphone and plan for them.

Buy Second-Hand


Another great way to save money on the upfront cost of getting a smartphone for your teen is to look out for second-hand sales. With people upgrading their smartphones on a regular basis as newer models are released, you can often find a lot of handsets for sale on sites like Facebook Marketplace and eBay. If you are going to buy second-hand, it’s a good idea to find a seller who is located close by to you since this gives lets you check the smartphone out before you hand over any cash. Check to make sure that it works with your teen’s SIM card and that all the features like the camera and speakers are working correctly.

SIM-Only Plans


A SIM-only plan can be the best option for your teen if you’ve handed an older handset down to them or are getting a refurbished phone for them. SIM-only deals are ideal since they don’t require a credit check and you’re not tied into a lengthy plan, meaning that you can stop or change the plan whenever you like. Lebara is a great option for teens who are going to be paying their own smartphone plan from their pocket money or a weekend job since their cheap SIM-only deals start at just £5 per month and can be changed on a monthly basis with just a few clicks, depending on how many minutes, texts, and data your teen wants to use. They even offer international minutes with every plan, making it easier for your teen to keep in touch with any friends and family members living overseas. You can check out the cheap SIM-only deals from Lebara via the link.

Usage Cap


To prevent your teen from going over their plan limits and racking up a huge bill without realizing it, it’s a wise idea to put a usage cap in place. This will ensure that it is not possible for your teen to spend more than a certain amount each month if you are paying for their smartphone and plan. Since it’s often easier than we realize to use more minutes or GB of data than we are allocated, a usage cap means that your teen will be notified when they are getting low and will help them manage their use. You can choose to cap it so that your teen cannot go outside of the plan limits at all or set an additional amount that you are willing to spend.

Paying for Their Own Plan


Teenagers are at a critical point in life where they are learning to be an adult, and it’s for this reason that many parents like to start giving their child more financial responsibility during this time. As long as you can find a smartphone plan that is a reasonable enough price for your teen to afford, it’s a great opportunity to teach them more about the value of money and working to pay for what they want or need in life. You could encourage your teen to get some weekend work like helping out in a local shop to earn some money to pay for their smartphone or give them some jobs to do around the house that you’ll pay them for in pocket money. This can be a win-win situation since your teen gets to start earning some money of their own for additional freedom, while you get help with those household jobs you’ve been putting off.

Free Gifts


Another way to make your teenager’s smartphone plan stretch further is to look for offers that include free gifts. Today you can access various phone plans that don’t just include the smartphone itself but might also have an additional item included like headphones, a laptop, or a gaming console. Whether your teen’s birthday is coming up and they’ve been asking for one of these items, or you’re looking for a new computer or set of headphones for yourself, plans with a free gift included can be a great way to make your money stretch further.



Just like everyone, teenagers can sometimes be clumsy and in some cases, accidents can happen. No matter how much you spend on your teen’s smartphone, getting the handset insured can provide you with more peace of mind. To save money on insurance, you might want to consider contents insurance that includes accidental damage to gadgets both inside and outside of the home, or a gadget insurance plan that includes all smartphones, laptops, TVs, PCs, and other devices in the family.

Today, teens are getting smartphones at a much younger age, and there are definitely plenty of uses for them in their lives. If you are worried about the cost of getting your teen their first smartphone, keep these tips in mind.


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