Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Calculating your savings

One of the reasons many people cut the cord and start streaming is to save money. That was my motivation. And I have saved a lot of money by streaming.

Saving money may not be the only reason you would switch to streaming, but if you can in the process, why not? Today, I'm going to look at how to calculate the amount of money you'd save if you switch to streaming.

What Do You Have Today?

You probably have Internet service, and you probably have cable TV. You may have a home phone, also. Why is home phone important? Well, sometimes that's part of your overall package. Comcast/Xfinity offers a package that includes Internet, cable, and phone. If you decide to cut the cord, you still need Internet, but you can easily find replacements for cable, both live streaming and on-demand, but what about phone? Do you want or need your home phone?

Sure, you could keep the phone service through your Internet provider, and that may be the thing to do. Just be aware that most services give discounts if you bundle packages. If you have a three-service package, you probably have a larger discount than a two-service package. Changing your plan may mean the discount isn't as great. You need to watch for that.

So, write down the services (two or three) that you have today, and the total bill, with all fees and taxes included. That's what you're paying for those two (or three) services.

Splitting The Service

Dropping a combo service means you need to replace multiple services.

Internet

To stream, you'll need Internet service. If you have only one Internet Service Provider (ISP) available, then it's easy, though far from ideal. If you have more than one ISP from which to choose, shop around for a service that will meet your needs. 

How fast does your Internet service need to be? If you are a gamer, or have one in the household, get really fast service. If you don't have a gamer in the house, then 25 mbps service will do the job. Get the price for the service you need or want, and write that down.

Phone

Next, if you need a home phone, you need to find a replacement service. If your ISP was your provider, check the price on keeping the service. That would probably be simplest, but not necessarily cheapest.

Look into other services, such as Ooma, Vonage, or others, and get the pricing there. Don't forget to calculate fees and taxes, as almost every service will have those. Write that down.

TV

Finally, the really hard part. You need to determine what services you need. If you already have some services, ignore them, as their cost is the same regardless of any changes you make. Perhaps your existing streaming services are enough. If so, that's awesome. You've saved a lot of money, because this part is $0.

However, if you do want to get a new service, or group of services, figure out those and add up the cost of them all. Write that down.

Compare

If have figured all the services you'll need, and written down the totals, all that remains is to add them up. Compare that number to what you're paying today.

Are you saving money? If not, you may want to re-think a few things. Do you really need the services, including phone or all the streaming services you've selected? If so, then consider if streaming is really for you. It's not for everybody.

If you are saving money, though, you now have an idea of how much you'll save as you enter this phase of your Streaming Lefe.

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