Streaming services and internet plans seem relatively inexpensive on their own, but these bills can quickly add up. Recent research found that the average American spends almost twice as much on technology bills as they do on monthly utilities. A typical household pays for multiple phone lines, monthly internet, and at least three streaming services–it is unsurprising that users report technology costs as feeling unmanageable. While it may seem challenging to cut these bills, there are simple changes you can make to save big on monthly technology costs.
One easy way to save money on technology services is to cancel unneeded subscriptions. The average American subscribes to at least four streaming services at any given time. By winnowing subscriptions to one or two streaming services, you can make a significant dent in monthly expenditures. Make a list of all the programs each streaming service has, and plan your monthly binge-watching around what one or two providers offer. Most services require no commitment, so it's easy to pause plans from month to month.
Cellular family plans offer great discounts on monthly phone bills. These plans charge a base rate, and each additional line adds a nominal fee. When the base rate is split between multiple adults, this can add up to significant savings. While these plans are termed "family plans," users do not need to be blood relatives to capitalize on these deals. Groups of friends, neighbors, or even coworkers can take advantage of these offers.
Providers offer discounts and special deals for customers who bundle phone, internet, and streaming services. Individual technology bills can add up quickly, and bundling is one of the easiest ways to get instantaneous savings. For example, one company offers a $15 discount when you bundle streaming services with a monthly phone plan. Bundling also simplifies the billing process and makes keeping track of monthly costs more manageable.
Carefully reading the monthly bill is one of the most overlooked ways to save on technology costs. Additional fees and unknown "extras" can hide on a bill when not carefully examined. Some cellular companies automatically add phone insurance to the monthly bill; this has to be manually removed to avoid the fee. Other hidden fees to look for include data overage, accidental charity donations, and administrative fees; most of these fees are easily contested or removed within your personal account settings.
If you really need to save money every month, opting for a basic technology plan is an easy money-saver. This may involve watching commercials while streaming shows or choosing a slower Internet speed, but the savings could be worth it. There are some cellular companies that offer basic talk and text plans for only $15 per month with no contract. While not flashy, this adds up to significant savings.
Some months (like back-to-school season) offer packed calendars but little time for binge-watching. Most streaming services are billed month-to-month and can be paused at any time; this is a great opportunity to take advantage of that feature. Even just pausing one or two streaming services during a busy month can lead to significant savings. Why pay for something that you're not using?
People don't like to haggle, but a little negotiating can go a long way. Oftentimes, a simple call to customer service can lead to a small discount on monthly costs. This is particularly effective with cell phone bills and internet costs. Sometimes companies refuse to negotiate, but canceling a service usually results in an email offering a discount to restart services.
If you're planning on having internet in your home long-term, buying your own router is an easy way to save money. A router can be as cheap as $20, while more sophisticated models can run a few hundred bucks. Internet companies charge an average of $10/month to rent a provided router. Even if your internet commitment is only for 12 months, buying an inexpensive router will save you almost $100 annually.
A missed technology bill can come with hefty late fees. To avoid this, simply opt-in to the autopay feature on the billing website or app. Enter your credit card information and select a monthly payment date that works for you. Then, the company automatically charges the monthly fee to your card, allowing you to effortlessly avoid late fees. Remember to pay off your credit card in full every single month, and the savings will be huge!
Cell phone companies offer many Wi-Fi options when it comes to phone plans. Basic services include limited Wi-Fi and slow speeds, while the most luxurious plans boast 5G and fast downloads. It may be worth the savings to choose a basic Wi-Fi phone service since most parks, restaurants, and public spaces offer free Wi-Fi. Be sure to select a plan that slows down internet speeds instead of charging for overages, and enjoy cheaper monthly phone bills by utilizing public Wi-Fi.