Life brings changes that cause you to re-evaluate your budget. Unfortunately, my husband and I now find ourselves in this position and need to find ways to reduce our monthly spending. After crunching the numbers and eliminating all unnecessary expenses, we are now weighing the options for cutting the cost of our telecom services.
Adjusting the Budget
Sometimes life throws you financial curveballs that require you to reassess things. For us, this curveball came from my husband’s job. His current project is relocating him out of state for a few months. While the company will cover some of the expenses, we will be absorbing some of this financial impact due to budget cuts. So, we need to find ways to stretch our budget to support an additional household.
The good news is that we have time to adjust and find ways to reduce our spending. The bad news is that we have to cut our spending by about $500 a month. While some expenses will decrease while he’s away, it’s clear that we will have to find some way to trim the budget even further.
Finding Ways to Reduce Monthly Spending
When it comes to budget cuts, it’s all about prioritizing your spending. We were both in complete agreement that our retirement goals are still at the top of the list. So, we don’t want to reduce our savings and investment contributions. Therefore, we must find ways to reduce how much we spend.
It can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. So, we laid it all out and began by evaluating our budget categories.
The obvious answer to cut costs is to find the cheapest accommodations possible for him. He plans to split expenses with a coworker which will help. But beyond this, we don’t have many options. We refinanced the house a few years ago and already have the lowest interest rate on the mortgage.
Utilities are another area we have already minimized. We have energy-efficient appliances, set the thermostat to eco-friendly temps, and follow most other tips to reduce energy costs. However, we never looked at our telecom services to see if there were cheaper packages that could save us money.
After combing through our transportation costs for the tenth time, there isn’t much room for improvement here either. We have already eliminated one car payment, reduced insurance costs, and found ways to save on fuel.
Groceries and Household Goods
I’m already a discount shopper and never buy things unless we need them. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I could do to reduce our monthly spending in these areas either. But, maintaining these habits will work to our advantage.
Our healthcare costs are the least of our concerns. Thankfully we are in good health, rarely need doctors’ visits, and have excellent insurance. So, this is another area that is already tapped out.
Memberships and Services
This was another category we flagged for budget cuts. Although we have already combined our current memberships, canceled duplicate services, and eliminated ones we don’t use, it’s time to decide which ones we can live without.
While unfortunate, this is usually where your budget will take the steepest cuts. The good news is that we are spending less and staying in more often. Since we are spending more time at home, I realized just how many streaming services we had. Now, I’m exploring options for cutting the cost of telecom services to save some extra money without sacrificing things we enjoy.
5 Ways of Cutting the Cost of Your Telecom Services
After doing some research and calling around, I found several ways of cutting the cost of our telecom services by nearly $150 a month. Although it isn’t enough to cover the entire difference, it gets us much closer to our budgeting goals. Here’s how I did it.
1. Bundle your telecom services.
Bundling your internet, phone, and TV services can save you a ton of money. In general, it’s cheaper to pay for the service through a single provider than if you purchased each one separately. However, you need to look at the services closely because the add-ons and hidden fees can really add up.
2. Shop around and compare the competition.
If you live in a larger city, you have the benefit of choosing between service providers. More competition for your business results in more savings for you. Call around or go online to compare their packages. You may find exclusive online deals that offer additional discounts or welcome gifts for new customers.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for promotional rates.
Our contract is coming up for renewal in the next few months. After this, we will lose the 20% discount we have received as new customers. In the past, other providers have honored the discount or extended the promotional offer to retain our business. So I figure there is no harm in asking for it again; the worst they can say is no.
And, if the rate goes up, their competitor offers the same discount to new customers. If need be, we can claim the discount from another provider and save money by switching services.
4. Pay for individual services.
Another option we are considering is only paying for the individual services we need. Since we only need internet from this provider, we have talked about getting rid of the TV package and paying for bundled streaming services instead. We currently pay about $114 for our cable package. But, most of our favorite shows and movies are available through various streaming services. If we went this route, it could save us an additional $50 a month.
5. Take advantage of deals through your mobile provider.
Some mobile providers offer 4G coverage that will allow you to connect to several devices. If you aren’t working from home, you could save money by using your smartphone as a hot spot.
However, some providers offer discounts or a free subscription to your favorite streaming services. Verizon customers can get the Disney bundle and a year of Discovery Plus while AT&T subscribers can enjoy ad-free HBO Max. Those who use T-Mobile can choose from different plans that offer a subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime, a free year of Apple TV Plus, and Paramount Plus. If you use any of these providers, make sure you are taking full advantage of these benefits.
Have you found other ways to save on your telecom services? Tell us how in the comments below!
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.