Living in the 21st century, instant communication is easier than ever before. Yet with increased availability comes increased anxieties, especially with the cost of communication being so high. When weighing your cable, internet, and television options, the following tips may be useful.
The price of cable has been rising at four times the inflation rate, putting the average cost of cable at just under $100 per month. That makes cable a large investment, especially for larger or single-parent households. For this reason, a new movement called “cord-cutting” has appeared in the past couple of years. With the emergence of streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, it is entirely possible to watch most of the shows you love without ever paying a cable bill. Hulu Plus is only $7.99 per month and is a great option for the casual television viewers. Sling TV by Dish Network is only $20 a month and offers fandom favorites from AMC, TNT, and ABC Family, among others. In fact, according to Time magazine, it is possible to subscribe to HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access, and Amazon Prime and still pay less than you would for cable. For more information, Cut Cable Today has a wonderful article that breaks down each streaming platform and cable alternative.
Between homework assignments, emails, and research, having the internet is almost essential for productivity. But just because it is essential does not mean it should cost you a fortune. One way to decrease internet costs is to determine how much bandwidth your family really needs. It is a misconception that more bandwidth means faster internet. Another way to save money on internet is to buy and install your own router, which can save you between $5 and $10 each month. Additionally, many people do not think to check whether they qualify for an internet subsidy. In many states, households that make less than $35,000 per year can receive internet access for approximately $9.95 per month. EveryoneOn.org can help you determine what programs are available to you. If you decide to opt out of paying for the internet altogether, many libraries offer internet services for free.
One way to reduce the cost of your landline phone is to switch over to your mobile phone completely. This method unifies your contact information and allows you to stop spending double each month. The increase cellphone usage, however, means that you can expect your mobile bill to increase slightly. Additionally, you may be limited to a certain number of minutes per month, and cellphones are not always as reliable in the case of emergencies. To save money on your cellphone bill, you may want to consider switching to a new plan. Yet before doing so, Mashable suggests evaluating your data and coverage needs to determine exactly how much you should to spend. Additional ways to reduce costs are to split your cellphone bill with other individuals or by changing your insurance plan.
In general, it may be helpful to evaluate your family’s needs and determine your budget before weighing all your technology options. Doing so will help you avoid schemes and unnecessary fees, leading to savings and easier communication down the road.