Top Cheap Phone Plans For The Whole Family

Affordable prepaid and postpaid plans for parents, teens and kids

The security of knowing your kids can always reach you is priceless. But if you’re considering a mobile plan for your child, you don’t need to pay a premium to keep the whole family connected.

​There’s a plenty of budget-friendly plans out there that are perfect for kids and teenagers (not to mention mums and dads). If you’re wondering where to start, WhistleOut has picked out some affordable postpaid and prepaid options for your family – and if you’re thinking about sharing your data, WhistleOut’s got that covered too.

Best plans for parents

If you’re an average Aussie phone user, you’re looking for a plan with unlimited calls and texts, plus a decent monthly data allowance. And if you’ve already got your own unlocked phone that you plan to keep, you can get all of the above — and even extras, including international calls and texts — for less than $30 per month.

Below are some of our favourite under-$30 plans with 5GB of monthly data or more. Most of these plans are offered by smaller providers using Optus and Telstra’s 4G networks – so you’ll get big-name coverage, but without the big-name prices.

Need even more data? If you’re looking for a plan with 10GB or more of monthly gigabytes, we’ve found some great options. All plans listed are $40 per month and under, so again, you won’t need to break the bank for decent data.

 Best plans for teens

Prepaid plans are perfect for teens and tweens: you’ll avoid the end-of-the-month shock of a higher than expected bill, plus you can keep tabs on your kid’s mobile use. But if your child is paying for their own plan, it’s also a great way to teach teens the importance of budgeting.

The main thing you’ll need to figure out is how much data your child requires. As most plans now include unlimited talk and text, pricing depends on how many gigabytes your teen is likely to go through.

If you’re hoping to rein in your son or daughter’s phone use, limiting their plan to 2GB each month or less is an affordable way to stay in control. Below are some examples of cheap-as-chips plans, with low-to-average data inclusions.

Older teens may want to use their phones for music streaming, YouTube, and social media. If you’re happy for your kid to go a little wild with data, but still want to stick to a budget, there’s plenty of 5GB to 10GB monthly options that are surprisingly inexpensive.

Best plans for kids

Parents of younger kids can also benefit from the peace of mind of a prepaid plan. If your child is primary school aged, you’re probably just looking for a cheap way to stay in touch during school hours and weekends — so we’ve compiled some low-cost prepaid plans with around 1GB of monthly data, and unlimited calling and texting.

What about data sharing?

If you’d like to keep an even closer eye on your family’s usage — and like the simplicity of one bill for all your household’s mobile phones — several telcos offer ‘data sharing’ plans for families. These allow you to combine multiple services or ‘lines’ into a single plan in order to pool and share data.

Although all monthly data is pooled, other plan features — such as talk and text, MMS, or international calls — aren’t able to be shared between family members. But each individual user will have access to a larger, combined pool of data, which may be more manageable for some families than multiple accounts.

Optus’ Data Pool for Families lets customers combine any amount of postpaid My Plan phone and SIM-only plans into one account. The feature is only available for postpaid users, and any data usage exceeding the monthly pool will be automatically billed at a rate of $10 per gigabyte.

Below are some of the Optus plans you can combine into a family data pool.

Vodafone also allows data sharing on up to ten eligible postpaid plans, five of which can be the below Red or SIM only phone plans. You can also add Vodafone’s new Unlimited Plans to a shared data account, but are only able to share your high-speed unlimited data with other Unlimited plans.

If you’d like to control how many gigabytes your kids use, the My Vodafone app allows parents sharing their data to allocate data amounts for each user. All of your family’s plans will be bundled under a single bill, and any additional data purchased will be added to the shared data pool.

Tara Donnelly is an editor at Australia’s most comprehensive telco comparison site WhistleOut.

* In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.