If you’re still paying $120 per month for cable, Internet and phone service, it’s time to give your budget a 21st-century overhaul. These days there are many high-tech, low-cost alternatives to paying too much for household necessities, from phone service to cable television to heating and cooling. For those who want to save money to invest, making the following changes are a smart and painless way to get more out of your dollar and put more dollars in your pocket.
Cut the Cable Cord
Cut off your cable TV service this instant. You can get the same shows you’re paying for now online for much cheaper, by subscribing to an online video service like Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video or Netflix. And you can access many broadcast programs for free on the web the day after they air on television. As a bonus, you’ll even get access to older TV shows, the latest Hollywood blockbusters, and thoughtful documentaries on topics like inpatient alcohol rehabs and vegan diets.
The era of watercooler TV is over. These days most people don’t even bother to watch the season finale of “American Idol” on their DVR until a few days later, so any fears you have about getting left out of the loop discussing the latest TV show are moot.
Snip the Landline
Years ago many people were hesitant to get rid of their landline because of concerns about emergency services; cell phones didn’t work with 911 the same way a landline did. Those concerns have now been eliminated, and it is no longer necessary to have both a cell phone and a landline, since everyone can reach you on your cell at all times.
Jettison Your Internet Service
This may seem a little extreme, but how much do you really use your broadband service? You can access the web on your laptop for free at thousands of Wifi hotspots around the world, and you can use your phone for most other online needs. By eliminating Internet, landline and cable service, you’ll probably save yourself more than a thousand dollars per year.
Put in a Programmable Thermostat
You’ll knock hundreds off your heating and cooling costs by installing a programmable thermostat that turns down heating or cooling services during the day when everyone’s at work or school, then pumps them back up in the afternoon, when everyone arrives home.
It’s a great way to save money when you go away on vacation, too, so that you’re not heating or cooling the house while you’re gone. You can even find apps for your phone that allow you to control the thermostat remotely, tailoring heating and cooling options to your daily schedule.
About the Author: Katie Elizabeth is a blogger with a strong interest in finance! She is a consultant for many different companies, including a law firm, manufacturers and a marketing agency. View her profile on Google+.