How to Stop the Internet From Putting a Hole in Your Wallet

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How much money do you spend on entertainment every month?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends over $2000 a month on entertainment. If the average household has 4 people in it, that means each of them spend over $500 a month.

You can stretch your entertainment budget much further if you’re willing to tweak a few of your habits and behaviors. It doesn’t require anything rash, just a bit of rearrangement.

Start With Internet Access

Internet access is the core of every household. We need it for work and school. We use it to pay our bills and keep in contact with our loved ones and acquaintances. We can book appointments or go shopping online. Even our electronics need the internet to remain up to date.

Most of our entertainment is bundled up in the internet. Gamers use it to play online. People use it to stream music, movies, run apps and catch up on their favorite television shows. And major cable channels, like HBO, are offering internet-only subscription services.

It’s unsurprising, then, that you’re probably spending well over a hundred dollars a month on the internet. But how is your internet service?

You can save money on your bill by finding an internet provider that gives you fast internet for a good price. In most areas there are usually two or three major providers. In order to compete with each other, they will offer coupons and deals to new customers. Comparison pricing is a great way to save money on your entertainment budget.

The Right Way to Comparison Shop

Normally you would go with whoever offers you the cheapest price, but we’re not recommending that strategy for your internet service. Instead, you need to go with whoever has the best price for the fastest connection.

Figure out what your family’s habits are first. Do you have gamers in the house? Do you use Netflix or Hulu? Do you frequently use social media? The answers to these questions will tell you how fast you need your internet to be.

Gamers and people who stream need faster internet than people who simply use their computers to pay bills or browse social media. This is especially true for people who play games online like World of Warcraft. It’s graphics heavy and requires a great connection. If the internet fails a lot of progress can be lost.

After you figure that out, you can start searching for internet providers who have the connection speed you’re looking for. Expect to pay a little bit more for faster internet. But don’t freak out. Compare that price to the performance: what you’re experiencing now versus what you will experience. You’ll find that it’s worth a few dollars more.

Once you find some good candidates, you can begin looking for coupons and deals for new customers. There are several Verizon FiOS promos being offered as well as promos for other ISPs. Pick at least two so that you can compare them side by side with your current provider.

What to Do Before You Make Your Move

Here are a few questions you should get answered before you decide to pick a different internet service provider:

  • Is my connection private, or will I be sharing it with other people? Most people don’t know this, but they can tell you you’re getting one speed, but it will slow down significantly if you’re sharing it with other households. This causes your connection to crash and makes it impossible to stream or update anything.
  • Do you have certain websites automatically blocked? Some ISPs will block websites that you may visit frequently. Find out if you can still visit these sites before you sign up with them.
  • How long do I have before I can cancel your service without being charged? There should be a period of time where you can try out the service, like 15 or 30 days. If you don’t like the provider you can return their equipment without being charged.
  • How long is the price being offered good for? If you use a coupon code or get a bundle, you may be locked into a contract. Find out how long the price quoted is good for, and how much you’ll have to pay after that period ends.

You can get the answers to these questions either through the provider’s website, or by talking to a customer service agent.

Don’t make a hasty decision. Talk things over with your household before switching ISPs. And don’t sign up for deals without knowing what you’re getting into. The purpose of getting better internet is to enjoy it. You won’t do that if you’re in a contract with a company that you hate.

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