Streaming entertainment costs money, but you don’t have to give it all up to save. Here are 6 tips for saving money on streaming entertainment that don’t require going without.
1. Consolidate entertainment services
Consolidating your entertainment services is a quick way to save money. There are plenty of companies that offer cable TV, internet, home phone, and cell phone service all in one bundle.
If you’re paying multiple companies for phone, TV, and internet services, consolidating will save you money and you’ll only need to pay one bill. For example, Spectrum Mobile offers entertainment bundles with high speed internet, nationwide Wi-Fi hot spots, and mobile apps for streaming TV, movies, and sports.
If you can stream TV shows on your mobile device, there’s no need to have a separate subscription to cable TV. If you want to watch those shows on a big screen, you can get adapters to connect an HDMI cable to your television.
2. Choose one streaming service and cancel the rest
It’s easy to collect subscription services over the years without realizing how much money you’re actually spending. For example, many people have had Netflix for a long time, but also subscribe to services like Roku and Hulu.
Make a list of your entertainment subscriptions and see if you can eliminate all but one service. If you could only use one service, which would you choose? When you make your decision, cancel all other subscriptions and you’ll have a chunk of freed up cash each month.
If you only watch two movies per month and you’re paying $20/month for a subscription, that’s $10 per movie. You could own every movie you watch for that price. Or, you could pay a couple bucks at the grocery store to rent those movies from RedBox.
3. Perform in-depth price shopping research
Marketers know how to manipulate price points and advertising to make you believe you’re getting a great buy when you may not be getting a deal at all. Price shopping will help you determine where the good deals are, but you can’t just look at prices advertised online. Advertised prices are often standard prices, and if you find a discounted price, you may end up in a contract requiring you to pay more than you want when your deal is over.
Start doing in-depth research while price shopping to discover each company’s standard price, deal price, and what you can expect to pay once your deal period is over.
Choose your entertainment services based on long-term savings rather than short term. For example, you might get a service almost for free for a few months, but after that the price might rise beyond the standard price of a comparable service. When the objective is to save money, short-term savings don’t matter if you’ll have to pay more over time.
4. Use Wi-Fi for streaming as much as possible
Data isn’t free and unlimited data plans have a catch. Once you reach a certain usage with an unlimited data plan, the service provider usually slows down your speed. For streaming video, that won’t work. You can pay extra for more data at the usual speeds, but that isn’t an option when you’re trying to save money.
Get in the habit of using Wi-Fi to stream your videos on mobile even when you’re in your own home. Use as little data as possible from your mobile service provider. Most home internet services come with unlimited data, so there’s no reason to use your mobile data when you can hop onto a Wi-Fi network.
5. Download files while on Wi-Fi to preserve data
What would you do if you tried to stream a movie only to realize you’ve used up all your data downloading files? Just as you should stream movies on Wi-Fi, you should also take care to download files on Wi-Fi. Save as much of your mobile data as possible for those times when you won’t have access to Wi-Fi and you’ll need to rely on your data plan to watch a movie.
6. Connect to hot spots whenever possible
Many businesses provide hot spots for their patrons, but some cable companies offer Wi-Fi hot spots that utilize their customers’ routers. For example, if you’re a Comcast/XFinity subscriber, you’ve got access to millions of hotspots all over the United States.
Downgrade, don’t sacrifice
You don’t need to sacrifice entertainment to save money. Instead, downgrade and consolidate your streaming entertainment services to save money and retain access to entertainment at the same time.