After taxes, housing, health insurance, food and cars, the next big budget item for the family is typically telecommunications and entertainment. For young adults, TV and internet bills can rival the cost of any one of these big essential categories, and it seems impossible to cut back without cutting the cord altogether. Fortunately, it is possible to save on TV and internet costs. Here are six tips for saving money on your TV and internet bills.
Cut What You Don’t Use
Review your Amazon Prime subscription. You may find the regular monthly charge for unlimited Kindle books, audio books or extra channels isn’t worth it anymore. You can cancel these add-ons without impacting your ability to use these services. And don’t forget to look for free trials you tried out but never canceled after you decided you didn’t like them. Also look at your cable bill. Are you paying extra for HBO, Showtime or sports channels? Consider canceling these add on channels, especially if they are duplicated by any online streaming option you have.
Is this worth the effort? Yes, since a couple of $5 a month add-ons equals twenty dollars or more per month plus tax you can easily cut, totaling more than $240 per year.
You can save a significant portion on your TV and internet bills if you select from the telecommunication provider’s TV and internet packages. Bundles with basic cable channels and internet are often close in price to an internet only package.
Pay for Your Modem and Router
Pay for your own modem and router instead of renting them, or buy the modem from the telecom. The monthly cost of this line item typically pays for itself in a year or two. The return on investment is faster if you’re charged sales tax and other telecommunication taxes on the total phone and internet bill. The only concern is that many providers won’t offer service if you own the hardware.
Check Your Bandwidth and Fix It In House
Check out your internet speed. If your internet speed meets your needs, you don’t need to pay more for greater bandwidth. If your speed isn’t what the telecom service provided, call them up for troubleshooting instead of paying more for more bandwidth. Don’t forget to check your home network for bandwidth hogs, whether it is a gaming console constantly trying to update or someone using your home Wi-Fi without permission.
If you keep running into digital traffic jams at home, consider checking for interference, such as from wireless gaming remotes next to the wireless router for your computer. If you are constantly downloading large files, consider shifting downloads to times when others aren’t on the network instead of paying for more bandwidth. There’s no point in paying for more bandwidth if the congestion is solved by moving the game station, changing system settings or putting a booster on the Wi-Fi.
Know Your Bandwidth Needs and Plan
If you understand your bandwidth needs, you can pick an internet plan that provides the bandwidth you need without constraining you. If you have a phone plan with data caps and keep exceeding them, the overage charges will be horrendous. You’ll save money over the long run by upgrading to a more expensive plan with higher data caps.
Go to the Library
You can borrow movies and audiobooks from the library along with books. Many libraries allow you to download eBooks, too. You could save a significant amount each month by borrowing a few movies instead of paying for them on demand online or through the cable service. And, if your family keeps paying for pay per view, contact your telecom service to disable that feature.
All of these things will help you to save the amount of money you are spending on TV and internet each month.