Once you have taken stock of your in-home entertainment memberships, spend some time thinking about your in-home communication services and whether or not you are using them daily. The upkeep will not only help you maintain your resolve to live below your means, but it will allow you to measure whether the service is worth the cost. Check the following before the end of the month in an effort to get organized.
- Internet: Most of us get our money's worth with Internet service, but do call your provider and the competition to make sure you are getting the best rate. If you never use your Internet at home, but have easy access to a coffee shop or public library (where the Internet is almost always free!) consider turning off your service.
- Home Phone: Does anyone call you on this anymore? Keep it if you have to, or if it gets you a better bundle rate, otherwise consider scrapping it.
To see a couple other services you should reassess,
- Digital Message Center: Do you pay $3-20 a month for a digital message service from your home phone provider? If you mostly use your cell think about getting a digital message device for the one time cost of $17 from a store like Best Buy. They have about 40 minutes of message space.
- Bundle: Has your provider convinced you that you need a "triple play" package that includes digital TV, digital phone, and broadband Internet access? Most bundles cost about $100, usually for a one-year promotional period, and then the fee goes up. Consumer Reports notes it can be hard to compare pricing plans from different providers because of the variations in channel lineups, surcharges for premium channels, and add-on fees. Just make sure you are getting a deal and aren't roped into services you don't need (like the home phone) because that monthly premium will add up over the year.
Photo courtesy of Showtime