The best phone plans for jobseekers

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Being between jobs is rough, especially in these strange times. Your expenses need to be low, and you need to be extra careful with your data.

It might be a time for change and reevaluating your bills, and for making sure you’re getting everything you need while doing it tough.

Which is why it’s important to grab the right phone plan. No matter what you’re doing or how long you’re out of a job, staying connected is essential. You’ll need to keep in contact with your friends and family, and you’ll need to contact people for job listings and interviews.

More than anything, you’ll want to make sure your phone plan is right for you. You don’t want a plan that has too much data or unneeded extras, because then you’ll be overspending – but if you have a plan with too little data, it could become a hassle for when you need to access the internet or your emails.

If you’ve got an unlocked working smartphone, you’ll want to look at plans that are SIM-only, rather than moving to an expensive phone-on-a-plan deal. As long as your current device is working fine, there’s no need to upgrade to a new high-end model (although affordable entry-level phones are available for less than $200 outright).

Keep in mind that if you’re experiencing financial hardship, there’s steps that you can take to get back on track.

Watching your data

Out Of Control Data Costs

If you’re watching your spending, you’ll need to watch your data as well. If you have a home internet connection with unlimited broadband, it’s not that big a deal, but if you’re just relying on your phone’s connection to the internet then you can run through your data quite quickly, especially if you’re accessing Facebook, Twitter and your emails regularly. Every data plan is different, so make sure you get one that’s right for you.

Choosing a plan that’s right for you

Prepaid and postpaid plans are quite different. Prepaid plans require you to pay at the start of a set period, for example, the start of the month, and give you a set allowance of calls, texts, and data that cannot be exceeded until you recharge. Postpaid plans ask you to pay at the end of the month, and usually allow you to go over your plan’s inclusions, as you’re billed for the previous month’s activity (including overages).

Some phone plans go on a month-to-month basis, which might be better for jobseekers, whereas others go year-by-year. Some will also lock you in for a set period, typically ranging between 12 months and two years. Depending on your circumstance, pick the plan that works best for you.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some phone companies are going above and beyond for their clients:

No matter the current economic climate, there’s a selection of plans that may be right for you. All plans feature unlimited standard national calls & texts in Australia, plus varying data inclusions, with a maximum monthly price of $30. This is not to say these are the best plans out there, but it gives you an idea of what you can get for your money.

Cheap prepaid phone plans

The following table shows selected published prepaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Cheap postpaid phone plans

The following table shows selected published postpaid SIM-only plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Image: fizkes / Shutterstock


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