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From Editor: This is a guest post by Noreen Ruth
Keeping in touch with family and friends has never been easier. With innovations in communication technology coming fast and furious, opportunities for more people to have cell phones and access to online social networks and services has opened up. But with all those available options, many people find it a daunting task to choose the ones that meet their needs. Don’t let the fear of new technology keep you from communicating whenever and wherever you are and save money at the same time.
If you currently have cable, phone and Internet services, one easy way to cut on the cost of all three is by signing up for a bundled package. When you purchase multiple services from one company, your loyalty will be rewarded with lower rates. In addition, you’ll keep bill paying to a minimum with one statement and payment each month.
When Loyalty Doesn’t Pay
Competing cable companies will offer the customers in their area the terrific savings for switching services. But before you make the move, be sure you know whether you’re getting a great deal. Are you comparing apples to apples? The Internet speed, number of cable channels and unlimited long-distance calls are just three of the factors to consider when choosing a bundled package. Does the bundled rate provide a respectable discount?
Cutting Back on Services
Most people sign up for the highest end package they can afford only to find out that they don’t use most of those services. For instance, most people cannot discern the difference between 12 Mbps and 20 Mbps Internet speeds; so why pay for it? Here are some other downgrades that you may never notice.
# Eliminate Cable Channels – Take a look at your current channel line-up and cut sports or premium packages for a month and see if you really miss them.
# Lower Internet Speed – Unless you rely on Internet speed for work or competitive computer games that require speed, you probably won’t notice the difference between 12 Mbps and 20 Mbps.
# Disconnect the Landline – Dropping your home phone is a great way to save money, but only if family members have access to a cell phone. If you want to maintain it for security reasons, reduce the service to a minimum.
# Cut Phone Services– Check for features that you don’t use; cancel them to reap savings every month.
# Lower Mailing Costs – Pay bills online or by automatic billing systems to save gas, paper, postage and time. Connect with friends and family via email, texting or social networks. Use the Flat Rate or Priority Mail Services of the US Postal Service – if it fits in the box its one flat rate!
Buy Discounted or Refurbished Hardware and Software
Discounted deals on refurbished cell phones and computers can save you hundreds of dollars and eliminate the need to sign a cell phone contract. They were previously owned and returned by the customer within the warranty period, overhauled to be just like new and sold as refurbished. You can find great deals from reputable online technology merchants that include the same warranty protection as many new purchases.
# Use Open Source software – The price for many popular programs is cost prohibitive for anyone looking to save money. Take advantage of some great free programs that do just about everything the big guns do. Check out Gimp for photos, Open Office for word processing.
About the Author: Noreen Ruth writes for several popular finance websites. She is interested in educating consumers about using credit responsibly and about legislative action that will affect their ability to borrow the money they need. She has contributed hundreds of articles to various online sites that provide content to educate consumers on credit card offers, debt consolidation, loans and other finance related topics.
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