AD| On average, US residents spend almost four hours a day watching TV, devoting half of their free time to this activity. At the same time, they actively use mobile and home Internet. It is not surprising that a huge amount of money in the family goes to pay for all this. However, there are many ways to save money and reduce these costs.
To do this most effectively, first, you need to explain to all family members how and why your expenses are increasing, or better even show them – use the best photos slideshow software, for example, where you will clearly demonstrate where the money goes.
Here are ways to reduce your cable TV and Internet costs.
1. Ditch the cable
In most American homes, cable TV (with surcharges and all) costs about $100 per month or even more. Ask yourself an honest question: do you really need cable television? And at such a price? After all, we live in the era of the Internet and there is a lot of free entertainment.
If you want live TV, put an antenna and you’ll have for free CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, PBS, and more. Hulu Live, YouTube TV, SlingTV, DirectTV Now, and PlayStation Vue are great cable TV alternatives and are much cheaper cable options. As long as you have access to internet, you can watch anything. You can watch the Buffalo Bills game or any other sports with the press of a button.
In the 1st quarter of 2020, the pandemic resulted in a sharp increase in the number of cut cords. According to Variety, Wall Street analyst firm MoffettNathanson cited a loss of 1.8 million pay-TV subscribers. Ditching the cable saved all these people good money, and you can do the same.
Do you still need a reason to cut the cable TV cord?
2. Talk to your provider
You can try negotiating prices with your ISP. But before you start negotiating, you will need some data that you could operate on. For example, you can check your Internet speed on the free website www.speedtest.net and compare the results with those specified in your contract.
Collect this information and use it for negotiations:
- Current payment amount per month
- Amount paid at registration
- How long have you been a customer
- Any problems related to the operation of the service
- Alternative rates and payment plans in your area
- Special offers or signup bonuses from your ISP
Don’t forget that you are the buyer and you have the right to bargain. ISPs have a vested interest in retaining their customers and may make concessions if you let them know that you are ready to abandon their services in favor of competitors.
3. Combine services
If you can not refuse cable TV, then combine this service with your Internet. If you use different cable TV and internet providers, you can overpay anywhere from $10 to $30 per month. Combining cable TV and Internet service from the same provider can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Comcast’s Xfinity, Spectrum, and Cox have bundled TV and Internet packages for less than $90.
The downside is that cable companies often lure customers with low-cost advertising rates that include bundled services (Internet with TV). Then the promotion ends and they raise the prices, but before you know it, you will pay a lot more than you originally thought. Therefore, be careful and read the fine print of your contract so as not to fall for this bait and not be deceived.
4. Reduce internet speed
Reducing your internet speed can save up to $25 a month for you. Of course, it is unlikely that you will borrow such money from someone, but a tidy sum accumulates in a year.
The level of Internet speed is affected by the number of users and the purpose of its use. For example, older people do not need the same internet speed as younger people. For a small family, email, internet surfing, music, and HD video streaming will be enough for download speeds of 18 Mbps. If you add games, then for three devices, for example, a download speed of 30 Mbps is enough.
If you have a large family that watches streaming TV services like Netflix or plays Twitch games, lowering your speed will result in lower internet quality. Today, when children practically live on the Internet, it is vital to have high-quality Internet in order to maintain at least the illusion of order in the house, since at home we all remain safe, especially against the backdrop of the raging coronavirus.
5. Buy personal equipment
When changing internet providers’ service, they need to return the router and modem. You may not know, but they charge a separate fee for the rental of this equipment. Your bill might say as little as $5-$10 a month for this, but you can find a good router and modem for less than $50 each, or the best streaming device — there are more than enough on the market today.
If you take this step, you will break even in less than a year, the rest is savings. Just make sure your new hardware is compatible with your ISP’s required specifications.
6. Use a mobile hotspot
If you only use the internet to check email, pay bills, and read the news, then a mobile internet hotspot might be enough for you. It is a wireless device that creates a personal WI-FI network through cellular data. Mobile hotspots have traditionally been used by people who are constantly on the go.
A standalone hotspot can be purchased as a separate device, or you can use your smartphone to transmit the signal. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile offer a variety of data plans that can be prepaid or added to your mobile carrier’s plan. Cricket Wireless and FreedomPop are cheaper alternatives, around $10 for 1G.
7. Use local Wi-Fi
If you are really on a budget, many local businesses and establishments (coffee shops, libraries) offer free Wi-Fi. Of course, you may have to ask for a password, but you can save a lot of money per month this way.
However, you need to be careful with public Wi-Fi in terms of network security – as a rule, it is not so reliable, so when you get free Wi-Fi use special software to protect your personal data, especially if you are dealing with financial transactions.
Another sneaky way to save on cable and internet bills is to prepay your bills whenever possible. Many companies offer discounted rates for people who can pay upfront. Contact suppliers directly to find out what they have to offer.
9. State subsidies
In 2016, the US government decided to make internet access a basic human need by designating high-speed internet as a public service.
Lifeline is one of the community subsidy programs that offers at least $9.25 a month to pay your phone or internet bill. Households must have an income of 135% or below the poverty standard, which depends on family size. In 2020, a family of four qualified if their income was $35,370.
I am sure that if you use any of the above tips, you will surely be able to cut down on your cable TV and Internet cost. Once you understand how you can save on these services, you will have no good reason to throw away more money each month than you need.
In the modern world, the consumer has an abundance of choices and this is his advantage. Use it wisely and effectively to get the best service at the lowest prices.