Consumers needing cash now look to TV and communication costs
How to save money
Consumers who are looking to find cash now should look at their television and communication costs. A new survey done by the New York Times shows that the average consumer spends $997 a year on cable TV and internet and another $1,000 on cell phone charges. It’s a new high in the cost of entertainment and communication to the American public. For the first time, people are spending as much on TV and communications as they do on dining out.
For example, the study done by the New York Times showed the example of a family of four regularly spends $400 a month on TV and communication. That number includes texting plans, two annual subscriptions to Xbox Live, DirectTV, Netflix, high-speed internet and Blackberry data transfer. Though this family is on the higher end of the study, there were more people spending higher amounts on entertainment than ever.
The cable bill
For those who don’t want to spend $5,000 a year on entertainment and cell phones, there are ways to cut back. The first thing to look at is the cable or satellite TV. Companies make it hard to settle for smaller packages. They strategically position the better and most popular stations into the higher priced packages. The basic cable package won’t have nearly as many options as one up-grade does. Of course that up-grade can come with anywhere from an additional $10 to $30 a month cost. When it comes to watching TV, there are many other options. For example, www.Hulu.com offers free TV and movies, and www.Netflix.com offers a monthly program that is very reasonable. Both are much more cost efficient than paying a cable company or a direct TV provider. Of course, there also is the totally free option of going to the library and signing out DVDs and CDs.
Cell phone plans
The next way to find savings is to look at the cell phone plan. Even if a contract isn’t up, cell phone companies may still negotiate. Every consumer should look at his or her own needs and then ask for a plan that caters to it. For example, heavy texters may find it advantageous to spend the extra $14.99 cash now for an unlimited texting plan. On the other hand, consumers with family far away will find free long distance more valuable. There are numerous options today in terms of individualizing a cell phone plan, and many offer substantial savings.
Internet usage is another area where consumers are spending a lot of money. Sure the cable company advertises their super high-speed internet connection that lets you download things at the drop of a hat, but is that really necessary? Consumers need to consider how much they really download in any given month. For anyone who isn’t downloading streaming videos, it may surprise them how a basic plan is adequate to serve their internet need. There are also ways to comparison shop with internet usage. Bundles come from some companies and can save a consumer money, while other companies have good introductory charges. It’s good to take advantage of an introductory charge because it gives the consumer a way to figure out if a specific package is sufficient for them.
Saving in today’s economy
Saving in today’s economy isn’t easy. But those looking for cash now have some options. Businesses are highly competitive and know that in order to keep old customers and bring in new ones, they have to create plans that serve the needs of the people. Consumers should all do research and find ways to cut back on costs. With some careful planning, finding savings can be done.