Photo (cc) by Alyssa & Colin
The Wall Street Journal reports…
The average American household spent an estimated $2,160 in 2011 for telephone, cellphone, Internet and telephone services, the most recent data available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is up 21% from 2006 and equal to 4.4% of the family budget.
And since people who don’t use those services much or at all are part of the average, the typical wired user probably spends significantly more – probably $200 to $250 a month. Investing that money with a 5 percent return would yield over $200,000 in 30 years.
You probably can’t ditch all of those services, but you might be able to consolidate. Do you need a home line and a cellphone? If you’re paying for Internet, are your favorite shows online? Maybe you can kill the cable. If you have to have everything, that’s when you should look at bundling services under one provider.
The article takes a hard look at the pros and cons of various options like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and DirecTV. Who’s best depends on what’s important to you, but the article points out that even threatening to switch providers may be enough to score a worthwhile discount.