After my last post about cable being a luxury and (in most cases) easily replaced with the Internet, a lot of you asked about my thoughts on paying for the Internet.
Well, like our cable bill, our condo HOA fees cover the cost of internet so we’re sort of in a different boat than many of you. However, if our HOA did not cover internet, I would still pay for it.
Although I recognize it as a luxury and that everyone lived perfectly well without it for thousands of years, I think in 2010, having access to the internet is pretty darn necessary. In college, assignments, grades, class lectures, quizzes and much more were all online, so in order to fully participate in the class, you had to have online access. Communication for church activities, assignments, schedules, and meetings are almost always done through email and in order to stay updated you have to have an email account. Similarly, many people who work from home, or run businesses out of their homes, communicate with clients, their co-workers, bosses, and partners via email, web conferencing, and other online networks. These are all reasons that it’s pretty important to have internet access.
In addition to necessity, the internet is also a huge convenience, as far as emailing, googling, paying bills, checking your bank account, and a million other things that could be done without a computer, but are much faster, easier, and cheaper if it saves you a trip to the bank, the doctor, or even just the cost of a postage stamp.
Like I said, I have very little experience with this because our internet comes in a package deal, but here are a few suggestions to reduce the cost of your internet:
- Call your provider and see what your options are – Amber mentioned in a comment that she had to call her cable company and remind them that they did offer a $13 package. Do your research and you’ll probably find that they have very cheap options that they won’t ever bother mentioning during a sales pitch.
- Consider a slower internet option – the faster the internet, the more expensive it will be.
- See if there are providers that offer group rates that you can join with your neighbors.
- Many providers have “bundle” deals. See what you might already be paying for that would suddenly be cheaper if you bundled it in your internet package.
- Also a good reminder, per Leslie, be sure to always read the fine print on the contract to make sure your current awesome rate doesn’t change after 6 months or a year, or that there isn’t a big fee to cancel early.
Finally, if you are not like me (who checks my email every ten minutes) and you feel like you really don’t use the internet that much and it’s not worth paying for, consider using the library, which has free online access. Those who live in a college town, like me, have the option of going on campus and using their free computer labs. Also, many coffee shops and other stores offer free wi-fi to their customers. So if you don’t have internet in your home and don’t want to pay for it, there are other options.
So, readers, is the internet a necessity in your home? And if so, what are you doing to keep that monthly bill budget friendly?