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Reducing Your Digital Costs

July 13, 2014
Plain English Version

reducing digitalWe have become addicted to being online and in touch. Collecting, streaming and downloading movies, music, TV shows and photos is simple. But is it cheap?

You need to know what services you are paying for and what services you are getting. Experts suggest that you conduct an audit of your digital life.

Open your cable, Internet and cellphone bills. Check all the services that you are paying for.

Most people are paying between $150 and $200 a month for their cable package. When you start adding HBO, Showtime and other costly services to the package, the bill skyrockets.


People pay more for TiVo or other DVR services. They are paying for Netflix and Amazon Prime. Add in iTunes purchases. How about the cost of Xbox live gold?

Now add it all up.If it seems too high, begin to think about cutting back. Many people are finding less use for basic cable. An internet-connected TV will let you watch many things.

Sports are a problem. ESPN and other sports channels are really only available through cable.

Try cutting back on movie services. You probably don’t need Amazon, Netflix and iTunes.

Music is less costly. There are free versions of Spotify and Pandora. Your own digital collection of music might satisfy most of your needs.

If you have big collections of movies and photos you may want to store them. Dropbox charges $10 a month for 100 gigabytes of storage. Google Drive offers 100 gigabytes of storage for just $2 a month.

Mobile phones are another growing cost. Most plans charge between $70 and $100 a month. Compare providers to get the best deal. Look for cheaper texting plans. Look at a messaging service called WhatsApp.

Lastly, check all your bills and credit card statements. Look for duplicate services and services you meant to cancel. What apps are you spending money on every month?

It is time to do an audit!

Source: The New York Times   July 9, 2014

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