Save Money at Home Series: Introduction
After several investing topics, I have decided to return to writing about saving money with a series about “Saving Money at Home.” As many of you know, I have been writing about saving money for over a year now, and believe this would be a great way to give great tips on building smarter spending habits where the most money is spent- at home.
The series will consist of 4 posts:
Part 1 – Save Money on Electronic Bills
With the first decade of the 21st century officially over, most households have subscriptions to technology that they mostly didn’t have twenty years ago- cell phones, Internet (DSL or Cable), and Cable TV. Nowadays, every kid that can walk has their own cell phone line with text messaging bundles.
Slashing bills on Internet, cell phones, and television can add a lot of money to your budget. I have compiled a list of the best ways to save money in this area.
1) Find the ideal cell phone Family Plan:
What do I mean by ideal? This: You can have 1,400 anytime minutes or 2,300 minutes for a family of four and still never talk more than 1,000. Find the lowest minutes your provider offers that is suffice for your family. Check your old phone bill statements – what’s the most you’ve talked in the last year? A little more than this should be your plan’s allowance of minutes.
Compare providers: Verizon offers Unlimited Talk & Text for 2 people at $150 and another $50 for each extra line ($250 for a family of four) while T-Mobile offers the same thing for only $140 for two and $35 for each additional ($210 for a family of four).
Total Savings: $40
2) Do you really need a home phone?
Paying for cell phones for a family of four makes land-lines obsolete, since everyone has their own phone. AT & T”s second most basic home phone service costs $23.99. If you don’t drop them now, they will drop you later. AT&T has already contacted the FCC about discontinuing the service.
Total Savings: $24
3) Cable TV – A relic of the past.
Unless your a true sports fan who has to watch all sports games on a Plasma TV, Cable and Satellite TV are relics of the past. Check out my article on great websites where you can find streaming television, news, and sports for free.
With prices for such services ranging from $40- $60, why not pay $10 to get real streams online?
Total Savings: ~$40
4) Take advantage of competition between Internet providers
That’s right- The Government passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Law for a reason: To increase competition between large companies. In the 1910s and 1920s it was sugar, steel and petroleum. Now, its communications and media. Use this to your advantage… call your Internet provider and tell them about other offers from rival companies (e.g. Call to At & T: “Your 29.99 is too high for basic Internet, Verizon is offering the same service for 19.99, can you lower the price for me?”)… tell them you like them, but want to quit. They will give you a special promotion- I do this every six months and save about 15 bucks a month on my Internet.
Total Savings: $15
5) Inquire about Corporate, Government, and Student Volume Discounts
Another path I have taken using my T-mobile Service. UCLA offered a volume discount for T-mobile. Even the workers there didn’t know about it, but it saves me 15% or roughly $10 off my phone bill. There are larger discounts for larger corporations and groups and you can save a wad of cash if you apply it to a family plan for a cell phone bill.
Total Savings: $10- $25
The Big Picture
Overall Savings: $120- $160 a month.
Add it up and we save… $140 a Month just cutting bills on three popular subscriptions. Most of the money was saved by reducing waste. Even if you follow only a few of these tips, you can still save $100 bucks a month.. or $1,200 a year. Think what you can do with that much money- a 7 day Cruise on Carnival lines is about $800 for two.
I hope you come back for the second part of my series – saving money on general utilities to add to your savings.
In this article, I highlighted some of my personal steps, but I know there are things out there that I’m not aware of. What do you guys do to save money on these bills? Do you think this article was useful? Let’s talk!
2 Comments to “Save Money at Home: Part 1 – Save Money on Electronic Bills”
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