If you’re one of the millions of Americans who lost income due to the pandemic, you’re probably looking for ways to cut costs and lower your monthly spending. Internet is a big expense for most families, costing up to $100 per month on average. Whether you have Verizon, MetroNet Internet, GotW3, AT&T, Spectrum, or any provider, Here are five tips that can help you reduce your internet bill and keep more money in your pocket.
1. Buy your own router
An easy way to shave a couple bucks off your monthly cable bill is to buy your own router.
Most cable companies charge customers $5 to $10 per month just to rent a router, which is a pretty bad deal considering it only costs about $50 to purchase one outright. Just make sure the router you buy is compatible with your internet service provider so you don’t get stuck with a device you can’t use.
2. Cut the cord or bundle and save
Another way to save big on your internet bill is to cancel your cable subscription. Expanded basic packages cost nearly $65 per month, so you could save hundreds of dollars every year just by getting rid of cable.
Giving up your cable plan doesn’t mean you have to go without TV. You can use an antenna to watch the news and your favorite primetime shows. If you want access to premium content, you can get a Hulu or Netflix subscription for a fraction of what you were paying for cable.
Not ready to cut the cord just yet? You can still save about $15 per month by bundling your internet and cable with the same service provider.
3. Negotiate your bill
Billshark estimates that Americans could save $50 billion per year by negotiating their internet, cable, and phone bills. But if you want to get a discount, you’ll need a littleleverage. Research competitors in your area to see what rates and promotions they’re offering. If your provider doesn’t match their rates, you can threaten to switch.
Another negotiation tactic is to mention issues that you’ve had with your service, such as your internet speeds falling short of what the company advertised. You can check your internet speed by going to speedtest.net.
If you don’t feel comfortable haggling or don’t have the time to wait on hold for customer service, you can hire someone else to negotiate your bill for you. Companies like BillCutterz will try to get you a discount and charge you a portion of the savings if they’re successful.
4. See if you qualify for subsidies
If your income is low enough, you may qualify for subsidies that will get you a more affordable internet connection. An FCC program called Lifeline provides a subsidy of at least $9.25 per month that you can put toward your phone or internet bill. To be eligible for the program, your household income must be 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines for your state.
To learn more about Lifeline and other similar programs, visit EveryoneOn.org.
5. Downgrade your plan
Unless you like to stream Ultra HD TV, you probably don’t need the highest speed plan your provider offers. Try downgrading to a cheaper plan with lower speeds for a month and see if it works for your family.
Internet can cost $100 or more per month and be a big drain on your monthly budget. But with these tips, you should be able to lower your bill so you have a little more financial breathing room.