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5 Ways to Save Big on Your Next Internet Bill

5 Ways to Save Big on Your Next Internet Bill

People in the United States pay more for home Internet service than people in most other places around the world. Factors such as outdated equipment and monopolized markets contribute to continued rising costs. But it is possible for you to save money and still enjoy the Internet you rely on. These five tactics will help you take control of your Internet service costs and put more money in your wallet every month.

1. Scale Back

Evaluate the Internet usage in your home and determine what kinds of broadband speeds you really need. (Oftentimes, you’re actually paying for a faster Internet speed you don’t even need!) There are online tools to help you gauge what speed best matches your usage. Once you know what speed you really need, it’s easier to change to a smaller, less expensive package.

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Speed probably isn’t the only thing you’re paying for. Go through your bill with a fine-tooth comb and review every fee and charge. If anything looks suspicious or confusing, call your Internet Service Provider and ask about it. Ask which fees can be lowered or removed altogether. You may be surprised what they can do for you.

2. Bundle Services

A la carte services tend to come with a heftier price tag. If you pay for Internet, phone, and television, you can usually save quite a bit by bundling those services together from one provider. Contact your service provider to find out what discounts or packages they offer for combining services. Many service packages come with contracts, so be sure you understand the fine print before signing up.

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3. Ask for a Price Match

When you notice an ISP’s competitor offering a better deal, give your provider a call and talk to them about the possibility of price matching. Companies value customer loyalty, which makes them more willing to negotiate. If you originally signed up for a special rate that’s about to expire, look around at what other companies are offering. Before your bill goes up, call your internet service provider and see if they will match or beat the deal you could get if you left them for a different provider.

4. Get Help

You don’t have to fight a hefty Internet bill on your own. Companies like BillCutterz review your current bill and negotiate with your provider on your behalf. This is a great option for those who don’t want the hassle of switching plans or providers. There is a cost for using BillCutterz, but it’s based on the amount they save you. If they end up reducing your monthly bill by $50, they’ll get $25 per month and you’ll pocket the rest.

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5. Jump Ship

If your ISP won’t budge, it might be time to switch providers or cancel your Internet altogether. This seems drastic, we know, but depending on your Internet needs you may be able to get away with sticking to free local Wi-Fi spots instead of having home service.

If a connection at home is a must, don’t be afraid to take your business elsewhere. Many companies provide introductory offers for new customers and some even offer incentives to switch. Contact all of the ISPs in your area and see which can give you the best deal. Make sure you’re not in a contract with your current provider before signing up with someone else so you can avoid getting hit with a fee for breaking your contract.

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If these five strategies inspired you to start fighting for a lower Internet bill, don’t stop here. Keep looking for other ways to cut costs and reduce your monthly Internet bill. The more you save, the better you’ll feel.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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