Money is tight, especially considering all you have to pay for.
You don’t get to opt out of rent, food and other bills, but you can save some money with a few clever tricks. Here are proven ways to lower your internet, streaming and cable bills.
There are, however, some things you don’t need to pay for anymore. Here are five I think you should say goodbye to in 2023.
1. Subscriptions you don’t use
I have a rule in my house: If we’re not currently watching a show on a streaming service, I cancel it. There’s no reason to pay for Netflix when you’re not using it.
App costs can add up, too. With their endless in-app purchases, games can run you a lot of money over time. Ditch them and go old school.
Board games are more popular than ever right now and for good reason. They allow you to connect with people you care about, and everyone has to put down their phones. Bonus: You only have to pay for these types of games once.
My new obsession is Cribbage. It takes a few rounds to wrap your head around the rules, but it gets easier as you go. All you need to play is a pack of cards and a cribbage board. I started with a super inexpensive version. Maybe I’ll upgrade someday if mine wears out.
Here’s my bargain version and a truly beautiful upgrade.
2. Single-use paper towels
I stopped buying paper towels years ago because I was sick of the expense. You don’t need to be as wasteful when you have an excellent supply of kitchen towels or washable paper towel alternatives.
My one exception is drying off meat. I use leftover takeout napkins or bamboo paper towels for that.
3. Shipping for your online purchases
I do most of my online shopping on Amazon, and now I’m annoyed when I have to pay for shipping. Here are a couple of tactics to get past the added cost:
- Retailers like Kohls, Target and Walmart let you place an order on their website and have it shipped to the store nearest you for free. Yes, you have to pick it up, but at least you’re not paying for shipping.
- Go to shopping.google.com and type in what you’re looking for. You can sort by cost, including shipping. Pro tip: Sometimes it’s cheaper to pay for the shipping if the item itself is less expensive at a certain retailer.
4. Cans of compressed air
It’s so satisfying to blow all the dust off your electronics with compressed air, but the cans are expensive and always seem to run out when you’re halfway through the job.
Last year I bought one of those high-powered air blowers, and I love it. I got a corded model because they’re much more powerful than the wireless versions. Given the price of compressed air, this duster didn’t take long to pay for itself.
5. Extended warranties on tech
If you’ve never sprung for the extended warranty on your tech purchases, congrats! You made a wise decision. It’s tempting when you think about something pricey breaking, but in most cases, extended warranties on tech just aren’t worth the money.
These policies generally cover normal wear and tear, defects, and mechanical and electrical breakdowns. Break it yourself and you’re probably out of luck.
Here’s the big gotcha: Most manufacturer defects become apparent shortly after using a device. If it’s something detrimental that could break your gadget, it’ll happen early on. The standard one-year warranty on most products should cover this.
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