Guest Post from Linda Bailey
For a homeowner, it is easy to add a variety of services without putting much thought into what you actually need to survive. Many of us will wind up with monthly expenses that are well beyond our means. That’s the power of marketing. Companies will make something sound like an incredible deal in order to entice you to subscribe. However, are these deals really worth the extra money you spend per month?
Phone services can cause a great deal of damage to a strict monthly budget. The major companies will try and lock you into a contract over a certain amount of time and will bill you, or possibly take you to court, if you try to back out. If you are trying to get back on your feet, a variety of services exist that will allow you to pay as you go. Prepaid SIM cards for supported phones can be purchased and thrown away once they are exhausted. Programmable minute cards can be used with certain types of services allowing you to add as little as $5 to your usage. This could save a great deal of money if you don’t use the phone often.
Home entertainment is another avenue that many people get caught up in. Companies will make you feel like you’re getting a deal to make as much money as they can. Without exploring your options for finding a better plan, you could be paying far more than you need to. There may be a service available in your area that you are not aware of that can save you even more money.
You may think you need 35MB downstream Internet in order to watch all of your favorite movies or chat with your friends on Facebook, but do you really need that high of bandwidth? Unless you have a family of five that is streaming content simultaneously, high bandwidth services such as these are essentially overkill. Even if there are two or three active gamers in your home, half of that bandwidth should suffice. You could possibly eliminate half of your Internet bill, if not more, by downgrading.
One of the most alluring aspects of rent-to-own locations is the ability to pick up a needed item today and make low monthly or weekly payments over the span of two years to pay it off. One of the problems with this type of service is the amount of money you wind up paying for the specific item. Over the course of those two years, you could have purchased three or even four of the item in question. Unless it’s an emergency and you truly don’t have the money to buy a new appliance, these places can be harmful to your budget. If you want a 62″ LCD television because they are “cool,” then you may need to rethink your strategies. Each of these items you pick up will add to your monthly cost-of-living expenses.
There are plenty of services you pay for that you may not have to. If you are on a tight budget, eliminating as many “creature comforts” as possible can help you live an easier life. Explore your options and find deals that can help you save additional money in the services you wish to keep. You may just find out that you have been spending more than you needed to.
This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @ gmail.com.