In tough economic times, belt-tightening is a fact of life. After all, you may be worried that you aren’t putting away enough in savings or you may be concerned about paying down debt. If your income has gone down or a family member is unemployed, you may also be concerned about the state of the economy and about whether you really should be spending as much as you are.
When you try to cut spending, there are a lot of smart ways to reduce your expenses. However, there are also some things that you definitely don’t want to skimp on or cut. One of the main categories that you just can’t compromise on is technology. The fact is that modern technology has become such an integral part of life that you simply just can’t give it up. If you do, you’re going to find yourself lost and barely functioning.
Don’t believe me? Let’s have a look at some of the technology-related bills you shouldn’t cut (and why!).
- Your cable bill. Cable television may be another thing that you consider dropping if you are looking to find more wiggle room in your budget. The reality, however, is that cutting cable can backfire. With nothing to watch at home, it is too easy to get bored and pick up the computer to do a little bit of online shopping. You might also be more inclined to go out and spend money on the movies or other entertainment rather than having a quiet night at home watching TV.
All of this can cost you much more than just keeping cable TV in the first place. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be smart about where you get your table TV. For example, you can do some research to learn why choose Comcast for cable instead of a dish provider, and you’ll likely find that it makes a lot of sense to get your television from Comcast.
- Internet. Remember when it was time for schoolwork and if you couldn’t make it to the library you were completely screwed? Talk about an inconvenience. But luckily, times have changed. Now if your kid comes home and has a history project, you direct him to somewhere like www.history.com and tell them to get to searching. No need to get in the car. No need to mess up your schedule.
But when times get tough, you may be tempted to view the internet as a simple luxury. After all, you have access at work. Your kids have access at school. Can’t you live without it for a few hours a night at home? Big mistake. Get ready to take your kid to the library every other day. And you’re going to realize just how often you need that Wi-Fi when it’s gone.
- Phone bill. I seriously can’t even imagine what life would be like without a cellphone at this point. But surely you aren’t silly enough to cancel your cell. So I’m not even going to focus on that here. Instead, let’s focus on another wild idea that might pop into your brain. You’re going to try and lower that phone bill.
Look, if you can call your phone provider and gripe and complain until they lower the cost, more power to you. However, what you don’t want to happen is start lowering your data plan and lowering your minutes to try and save a buck. This is risky, shaky territory.
Let me explain what’s going to happen (I know, it happened to me). You’re going to convince yourself that you only need 2 gigs of data instead of four. Then you’re going to use 3 and pay extra on your bill. You’re also going to convince yourself you only need 500 minutes instead of 1000. Then you’re going to use 750 instead and wind up paying insane overage costs.
You have to be realistic about your usage. Don’t fall into the line of thinking that you will “curb your usage.” No you won’t. Here’s a resource that can help you cut your phone bill.
A more realistic approach would be to do away with your home phone if you don’t need it. Leave that cellphone alone.
At this point, it’s pretty much impossible to live without modern technology. Try to cut bills elsewhere.
William Jackson is known for his financial savvy. In fact, his friends say he can rub two quarters together and make dollar bills appear. So if you’re looking to learn how to save, he’s the guy you need to be listening to.