One of the last things you should pay a ton of money for is Internet service. Before companies bundled Internet and cable together, prices were outrageous and consumers were paying more than $100 per month for slow, dial up connections. Taking a few minutes out of your day to find the right Internet service can save you hundreds of dollars per year in monthly charges, installation fees and more.
Compare Deals from Big Name Companies
After major company takeovers, are only about seven different major Internet service providers in the United States. Depending on where you live, you might not have much of a selection for who you buy from.
If you're lucky enough, you live in a major city that offers at least three different major providers. Compare the prices of each provider along with the upload and download speeds, and choose which one works within your budget.
Once you begin dealing with your potential service provider, try to negotiate the price on the phone. Sweet talk the sales representative on the other end into thinking another provider offered you a much lower price. This tactic, while not always successful, will at least give you some insight into whether or not they're willing to budge on pricing in the future.
Avoid Installation Fees
If an Internet provider tries to charge you installation fees, run the other way. Providers make enough money on monthly payments that installation fees are now a thing of the past.
You can also try to negotiate these fees if you discover that you don't have any other options in your city.
Don't Pay for your Router or Modem
Routers and modems have become so disposable that most households get replacement units every year. You shouldn't have to pay to rent a modem or router and, especially if they opt to give you a refurbished model.
If you have a router lying around your apartment, tell the provider that you want to use it instead; this will save you a ton money, and the installer should even be able to help you set it up.
If you plan on purchasing cable T.V. with your Internet, look into entertainment bundles that are offered by the providers. These bundles can often be purchased for around $50 per month and will provide you with as much entertainment as you need.
Watch out for additional add-ons that aren't really necessary. If you already have a subscription of Netflix or another online streaming service, premium cable channels definitely won't be necessary.
Don't Believe the Speed Hype
Companies now offer blazing fast speeds of up to 200 bits per second, which seems like more hype than anything.
If you're living by yourself and you only have one computer and smartphone, you'll do just fine with a plan that offers half that speed at only $20 per month. Large cable companies often slow Internet speeds at the most inconvenient times anyway, so there's really no point in shelling out the extra cash.
Look on Social Media for Deals
If you spend much of your day browsing Facebook, look for cable company promotions for cheap Internet and bundle services. You might be able to latch onto a great deal that lasts for an entire year.
If you've recently graduated from college, you might be able to find sweet deals on Facebook for discounted Internet service, especially if you plan on moving to a new apartment in the near future.
Unconventional Service Providers
If television is not important to you, consider purchasing a monthly WiFi plan from your cell phone company. Most companies offer a very affordable Internet hotspot plan for those who already participate in a data plan.
This option is great for those who only need to use the Internet for browsing and sending emails. A faster connection might be necessary for viewing videos or playing video games online.
Threaten to Cancel Service
While most Internet companies don't force long term contracts on their customers anymore, discounts offered by them usually last for about one year. The companies increase prices after a year of using their services because they think you've likely forgotten about your bill or have put it on auto pay by then.
As tough as it is being a newly graduated professional living from paycheck to paycheck, saving money has to be at the front of your mind. Always track the amount of money you pay each month for Internet and be sure to call in and try to negotiate the price back down to the original amount at the end of the year.
Losing a customer will hurt more than losing the additional monthly charges, so they'll likely keep your rate unchanged for another year or more.