Our new finance columnist Andy Webb reveals his handy tips that mean Apple’s expensive gadget might not be out of reach after all.

Can you be a savvy spender and have the latest tech?

I’m an iPhone fan but the prices for Apple’s new handsets are just staggering. As revealed last week, the top-end model is as high as £1,549, and even the low-priced option (I hesitate to say ‘cheap’) comes in at £679.

You’re better spending your money elsewhere, right? Well, if your current handset is working perfectly then, yes, hold fire.

But if you need an upgrade or are feeling a little flush then my tip is don’t get it on contract from your network. Although the cost is spread out over two or three years this way, you’ll be hit with a hidden premium and be limited on your choice of SIM deals.

Instead, try to buy the handset outright. Now, I’m assuming you don’t have a grand knocking about to do this, so the best option is to save up. Need it sooner? There are other ways to spread the cost out over a couple of years at 0% — and I’m not talking about BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) services.

You can get an interest-free deal from a handful of retailers, including going direct to Apple. The ‘iPhone Payments’ plan is available in-store and splits payments over 20 months. Bring photo ID. The online version is over 24 months.

Alternatively you could look at a 0% purchase credit card. Financing will be subject to credit checks and you’ll have to clear the full amount before the deal ends to avoid sky-high interest. And of course, only do this if you can afford it.

No right to roam

Sticking with phones, there’s bad news for your bills. ‘Don’t worry,’ the mobile networks said after Brexit, ‘we have no plans to charge you extra to use your phone abroad.’ It didn’t take them long to do a 180.

Three is the latest to announce it’s scrapping free roaming from next May. Vodafone and EE have already revealed similar plans for January and others will no doubt follow. Meanwhile O2 is bringing a ‘fair usage’ cap.

The new terms already apply to people renewing or starting a contract with Vodafone and EE, but new and existing Three customers have until the end of September to get a contract on the old ‘Go Roam’ tariffs.

You’ll lock in fee-free roaming not just in Europe, but a handful of worldwide destinations such as the USA, Vietnam and Chile. And it might be worth existing customers sticking with your current tariff if you’re on a low price.

Deal of the week

You can nab a 12GB SIM-only deal with Three via Quidco or TopCashback that costs just £8 a month. That’s a great price on its own, but factor in £30 cashback and it’s the equivalent of £5.50 a month. Do this before September 30 to avoid extra roaming charges for at least another year.

Where best to stash your cash…

Interest rates have been creeping up in recent months and it’s a good opportunity to get your money in the best account possible. Virgin Money’s M Plus current account pays 2.02% — but only on balances of up to £1,000.

A little-known trick here is that you can open more than one of these — I’ve been told by a couple of followers that they’ve got 14! If you want to keep things simple, then Tandem’s Instant Saver is the top-paying easy-access account.

It offers 0.65%. If you can lock your money away then it has become really competitive on one-year fixes, with best buys changing daily and beginning to push past 1.5%.

Best accounts for all your banking needs

Top interest paying current account

Virgin Money M Plus current account (2.02% AER)

Top paying easy-access account

Tandem Instant Access Saver (0.65% AER)

Top one-year fixed savings account

Atom Bank 1 year Fixed Saver (1.5% AER)

Follow Andy on Twitter and Instagram via @andyclevercash

If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.

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