Struggling to make ends meet? The following five tips will send your phone, Internet, and cable bills through the floor:
Rely on the Internet
Depending on what shows you watch and how often you watch them, you may not need a cable connection at all. Websites like Netflix and Hulu offer a wide range of programs for subscriptions that are several times cheaper than cable service. You can also buy individual episodes of your favorite shows on Youtube á la carte.
Use the Library
Don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you to give up TV and movies in favor of books. In addition to lending books, most libraries will also let you borrow movies, video games, and TV episodes. Most libraries offer membership for free or for a small fee, so as long as you turn in all your DVDs on time, you’ll be able to see all your favorite movies at a fraction of the cost of cable.
Eliminate Long-Distance Calls
Although few are willing to scrap phone service entirely, you can eliminate the long-distance phone fees by using online services like Skype or FaceTime. Whenever you have to talk with someone outside of your town, ask if they’d be willing to have a video conference instead of a phone call. Odds are, they’ll consider the ability to talk face-to-face an upgrade.
Combine Your Policies
If you aren’t willing to give up any one service, you can still lower your bill by grouping the services together. Don’t purchase cable, Internet, and phone service from separate companies. Instead, find a company that will sell you all three services at a discount. Just make sure that the discount doesn’t go away after the first few months of use.
Consumers often overlook the easiest way to lower their bills: ask your providers to lower them! Call up your cable, Internet, and phone providers and explain to them that you appreciate their service, but would like to know if you could get a discount on your bills. Companies value loyal customers, and they usually make high enough profits to afford lowering prices for the few who are bold enough to ask. Odds are, they’ll give you the discount.
At $9.99 per month for the first year of service, Vonage is one of the most affordable phone service providers on the market.