This is the first post in our ongoing series about saving money. These “money savings tips” are useful for debt reduction, but they’re obviously not limited to people with debt problems. In this part, we focus on communications and different ways to save on phone, cable and internet services. With changes in technology coming fast and furious, many people hesitate to move away from the familiar and into new territory. But with a little investment of time, you could see big savings by limiting your usage and taking advantage of new technologies. Here are a few simple ideas to help you rein in the high cost of communicating.
- Sign Up for Triple Play Packages – A painless way to lower the cost of your cable TV, Internet and telephone service is by purchasing the three services as a bundle from the same company. Not only will you save money, but you’ll have only one bill instead of three, making monthly payments simpler.
- Review Cable Channels – Take a look at all the charges on your cable bill and consider getting rid of some of the services. Try it for a month and see if you really miss those last 500 channels.
- Cable Loyalty Doesn’t Pay – New customers seem to get the best deals with cable companies. Check out the competition in your area and switch companies to reap big savings.
- Consider Hanging up the Home Phone – If your family is like many others today, every member has a cell phone. Dropping your home phone is a great way to save money. At the very least, consider reducing the service to a minimum and have it available for emergencies only.
- Review Your Phone Bill – Check for features that you don’t use; cancel them for savings every month.
- Buy a Refurbished Mobile Phone – Deeply discounted deals on refurbished cell phones can save you hundreds of dollars and eliminate the need to sign a contract just to reap the ‘benefit’ of getting one for free. These phones were purchased new and returned by the customer within the seven day warranty period due to a problem. The phone is overhauled to be just like new and sold as refurbished. You can find great offers for Nokia, Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Blackberry etc.
- Cut Back on Traditional Mail – Connect with family, friends and coworkers via email or text messages to save money on paper, envelopes, ink, printing and postage.
- Pay Bills Online – Save on gas, paper, postage and time by paying your bills online or sign up for automatic payment services for your utilities, mortgage, etc.
- Postal Rates – Letters, postcards and small packages (under 13 oz) can be mailed first class. This rate is much less expensive than parcel or Priority mailing. Media rate is cheapest of all and can be used for printed materials and other types of media: DVD, VHS, cassette tapes, etc.
- Flat Rate or Priority Mail Services – If it fits in the box it’s one flat rate!
- Lower Internet Speed – Unless you rely on Internet speed for work or competitive computer games that require speed, you probably won’t notice the difference between 12 Mbps and 20 Mbps.
- Purchase Refurbished Hardware – If your computer crashes and you have limited funds, buying a refurbished computer or other tech hardware is an economical replacement. Buy from a reputable company and you’ll have the same warranty protections as many brand new purchases.
- Use Open Source software – The price for many popular programs is cost prohibitive for anyone looking to save money. Take advantage of some great free programs that do just about everything the big guns do. Check out Gimp for photos, Open Office for word processing.
* Have problems with debt? Consider a debt consolidation plan…