Reducing monthly bills like pay TV, internet and cell phone service can help you reach your financial goals faster!
When I was working to pay off my mortgage during my mid-20s, I increased my income and cut my spending to make it happen in only two years. I found that cutting my expenses was a lot easier than hustling to make more money.
I was going through my bills just recently when I realized that I pay less than $100 a month for TV, internet and cell phone service.
My $100/month pay TV, internet and cell phone bundle
The average household pays more than $100 a month for pay TV alone, so there are a lot of people reading this article who may be paying more than $200 for that trio of services.
Read on to see if you could cut those bills in half by making a few simple changes…
Pay TV: Sling for
Clark Howard brought me on the radio show a few weeks ago to talk about streaming services and asked about the last time I had cable TV. I honestly couldn’t remember, but I think it was about 10 years ago.
Since then, I’ve relied on a $30 digital antenna to receive my local ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS and independent channels.
I’ve supplemented free over-the-air TV with Netflix and Hulu at times, but I don’t keep those services year-round. I currently pay $20 a month for Sling’s live TV streaming service, which includes CNN, HGTV, ESPN and about 30 other networks.
The fewer channels I have to flip through, the less time I spend sitting in front of the television — and that’s a good thing!
JULY 2018 UPDATE: Sling TV has increased the price of its Orange bundle to $25/month. I’ve switched to AT&T WatchTV, a $15/month streaming service that doesn’t include sports or local channels.
Internet: Xfinity Internet Plus for $62/month
Since I rely on streaming services for video content and do a good amount of working from home, fast and reliable internet service is a must.
I recently called Comcast to renegotiate my Xfinity bill after a 12-month promotional rate expired. I was paying $60 a month for internet service and a few local TV channels, which I never really took advantage of because I use my antenna.
When I called Comcast, they said it’s actually cheaper to have the basic TV/internet bundle than internet service alone.
After the promotional rate expired, my bill was set to increase to about $85 a month, but I called Comcast’s retention department (they call it Customer Solutions) and provided them with a competing offer from AT&T that’s been advertised on TV.
I was put on a brief hold until the customer service representative came back and extended my $60 plan for another year.
Before you call the retention department, go to SpeedTest.net and see if you’re getting the internet speed that you’re paying for. If not, you could use that as part of your negotiation strategy.
I also signed up for Trim to help me negotiate Comcast bill credits when there are service interruptions. Read more here.
Cell phone: Xfinity Mobile for $15/month
In September 2017, I said goodbye to my $60 a month cell phone bill with Sprint and switched to Xfinity Mobile. My bill has been $12 per month before taxes and fees ever since.
Xfinity Mobile runs on Verizon’s #1 network and relies on millions of hotspots to keep data usage under control.
I can’t believe that it’s true, but I’ve used less than 1 GB of data most months since I made the move to Xfinity Mobile. The service has two data options: $12 per GB or $45 a month for unlimited.
There’s even a way to have a $0 cell phone bill (before taxes and fees) with Xfinity Mobile! I proved that it’s possible earlier this year.
Grand total: $97 a month
My pay TV, internet and cell phone bills add up to $97 a month! I can’t say that I look forward to paying any bills, but it’s a lot easier when I know that I’m not paying more than I have to.
If you can reduce your set of monthly bills from $200 to $100 like me, that’s an extra $1,200 a year in your savings account.
I was playing around with Personal Capital’s retirement tools the other day and was surprised at just how close I am to reaching my goals. My plan is to “semi-retire” in a few years — and I know it can happen if I continue to increase my income and reduce my expenses.