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Internet can be one of the priciest bills every American household spends monthly. You’ll likely need a solid internet connection if you want to play video games, stream a show, or even work from home.
Since the internet is a necessity at this point, it’s essentially impossible to cut it from your home. Maybe you’re happy with your internet provider, but not your exorbitant bill. Why not see where you can cut costs? We have some great tools to help you save on your next bill.
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1. Reduce Your Internet Speed & Data Usage
There may be a chance that you’re paying for more internet speed than you need. Sure, reducing your data may make you think you can’t play video games or stream your favorite series on Netflix – but that’s not necessarily the case. The average household pays for 950 megabits per second (Mbps) and around 1 terabyte (TB) in data per billing cycle.
While these are high metrics, the average household uses significantly less than what they’re paying for – especially a single household. You’ll most likely be able to have 50 to 100 Mbps download speeds with similar results. Lowering your bill by cutting your speed and data could reduce your monthly bill anywhere from 20% to 80%.
2. Use Your Own Equipment
Want to keep saving on your next internet bill? Buy your own equipment!
You may not know this, but you’re probably spending more each month by renting your provider’s internet equipment. These extra equipment rental charges can add up quickly, costing anywhere between $5 – $25 per month depending on your ISP. So, if you plan to use the same provider for several years, you’re better off buying your own modem and router.
What’s another perk to this? Nearly all internet providers allow you to buy your own equipment. Therefore, you can use the same equipment if you decide to switch internet providers. This concept goes both ways. If you’re renting one provider’s equipment, you will have to pay a monthly rental fee again if you switch and basically start from scratch. In other words, it’s better to front the cost of your own equipment to save more in the long run.
3. Negotiate Your Monthly Bills
Like most people, you have several devices in your home that require an internet connection. All those devices compete for bandwidth, which can drive up your monthly bill. To combat this, you can negotiate to have your monthly bill lowered. It’s easy to do, and usually, the price will immediately be reduced at the end of the negotiating stage. But some things should be considered before you begin negotiating with your internet service provider. Here they are:
- Show willingness to cancel your service (as you may need to),
- Research and compare ISPs and let your current provider know there is a better offer on the market,
- Be clear about what you want, but be realistic,
- Be nice to the customer service rep; understand that they may not have the power to change the price.
We can’t guarantee these tactics will work, but trying out some of these steps during the negotiation process could significantly increase your chances of successfully reducing your internet bill.
Better yet, you can call in during the turn of your contract or promotional period to ensure your new rate is astronomically higher than before – or increased at all.
4. Compare Prices By Shopping Around
There are tons of internet and TV providers in the market. Therefore, it’s smart to shop around and compare prices between providers. If you want to save money on your internet plan, you should look for a plan with unlimited data and low rates.
In terms of timing, it’s best to shop around either when your contract is ending soon or if you don’t have a contract at all with a provider. Keep in mind that most ISPs will offer lower rates for new customers, which tends to last six months to a year. So, while a cheap introductory rate is appealing, you’ll need to check the price after the new-customer contract expires.
5. Bundle Multiple Services
Bundling internet and TV is a great way to save money on your internet bill and enjoy many features that you might not have considered. There’s also the advantage of switching providers whenever you want without having to cancel any services, but this is in the case that you opt in to find a new provider. Bundling can make everything cheaper as well.
Why have several streaming subscriptions when you can bundle the best ones under one plan instead? Most providers have bundles from additional streaming services, cellular services, and high-speed internet. Just keep in mind that not all bundles are created equally. Make sure you check to see what your current provider offers and check out their competitors.
Xfinity is an excellent option if you’re looking to bundle. They offer various packages for internet, tv, phone, security, and more to help you maximize your experience at home.
6. Ask About Promotions & Discounts
Chances are, you’ve seen plenty of online ads and TV commercials from ISPs bragging about their low prices and affordable introductory rates. Although these commercials are usually attention-grabbing and wacky, they wouldn’t be around if they weren’t true. From time to time, ISPs will give discounts or other promotions to present to customers to keep them loyal to their brand.
If you’re hunting around for major discounts, why not wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday rolls around? If not then, plenty of ISPs will have sales during other holidays, such as a Spring Sale, Memorial Day Sale, and the turn of the New Year.
7. Cancel Your Current Data Plan
Sometimes, you might sign up for an “unlimited data plan” thinking you need it. However, unless you’re running a business from home or heavily streaming, it might not be necessary.
So, how much data do you use on average? One great way to get a solid estimate would be to check your phone settings. Most Apple and Android products will provide built-in data tracking.
Once you figure out how much data you use monthly, you can look into the different data plans available to see which fits the average amount you use per month. You might find that you can save anywhere from $10-$30 a month by canceling your data plan.
8. Look for Subsidies
Depending on your location and income, you may have a chance at getting financial assistance – also known as a subsidy in this case subsidy. In partnership with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), some local, federal, and state-wide governments have programs to help families in need get significantly discounted internet.
Your household income will need to be at or below the federal poverty line to participate. If you or someone in your household is on one of the government programs such as Social Security income, Medicaid, SNAP, or any other similar program, there is a chance that you will qualify for assistance.
Another way you can check to see whether you qualify for an internet bill subsidy could include checking out the non-profit EveryoneOn, as they’ll be able to inform you on how to meet the requirements.
9. Opt for Self-Installation
Sometimes providers give customers the option to sign up for a professional installation or perform a self-installation. Professional installations can cost anywhere from $50 – $300 depending on which provider you go with. Whereas, a self-installation is usually free or much cheaper – maybe costing you a small “activation fee” to turn on the lights so to speak.
If you’re comfortable with internet equipment – or at the very least don’t mind reading a manual – you could very well save money on the upfront costs associated with getting new internet service.
10. Use a Mobile Hotspot
A mobile hotspot could be your best friend. They’re very cost-effective, easy to use, and the setup is simple. While mobile hotspots are not exactly the most reliable source of internet, it’s becoming more common in households on a budget.
In fact, as much as “15% of US adults are smartphone-only internet users – that is, they have a smartphone, but do not have a home broadband connection,” according to Pew Research Center. That’s about 50 million people who choose to solely use their smartphones at home rather than subscribe to broadband internet service.
Sure, there are some downsides to having a mobile hotspot, but if you’re constantly on the go or live in a rural area that tends to get little to no connection, then it’s a great option. Hotspots, however, are only worth the price if you frequently use the connection. If you’re seldomly getting online, it may not be the best purchase decision.
While there are plenty of tips and tricks for lowering your internet bill, it’s best to know what will work for you. That will depend on your ISP, when you’re looking to make changes, and how far along you’re in a contract (if you’re in one at all). Just be open to trying out multiple methods. Internet service providers want to keep their customers, so they’ll be willing to provide something to you, such as a lower price to keep you around.
Start the process today by entering in your zip code to compare internet providers and plans available near you.
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