When you work from home, you typically use more Internet and electricity than the average person. That can lead to a much higher utility bill across the board, but without unlimited Internet, you could accidentally blow hundreds of dollars from fees and a costly plan. To save money as a remote worker, use the following tips to ensure your earned dollars stay in your pocket.
Threaten to leave your current provider
Nothing scares your Internet provider more than threatening to leave because you found another service that offers more for less. On most broadband plans, your providers will be able to compete; it’ll just take a bit of convincing. 9 times out of 10, your Internet provider will beg you to stay by offering another deal that’s either on-par or less expensive than their competitors.
Sign on to a lower-speed plan
While it’s true that you’ll get some of your work done slower, you will save money if you switch over to a lower-cost, lower-speed plan. Homeowners typically don’t need bloated plans, even if they work from home, because most websites require less than 0.5 Mbps to function. Netflix alone only needs 0.5 Mbps as a minimum, meaning text pages will need much less to load.
Leave your current provider anyway
If your current provider can’t offer you the savings you’re looking for, just switch to the provider who’s offering them. Many service providers will use discounts or introductory rates as a way to attract new customers, so take advantage of them. Oftentimes you can save more money on a year's worth of Internet with another company, even with connection and modem rental costs.
Bundle your internet, utilities, and cellphone together
Many electric companies will offer a rock-bottom price for a tethered package because you’ll provide more money to this provider in the end. Don’t just stop at bundling your Internet and cell phone together. Add utilities, like electricity and gas, in on the deal as well. It might be worth it to upgrade your cell phone or Internet plan with the added savings bundling will bring.
Use public WiFi (with a VPN)
Working from home on public WiFi will offer you a lot of savings, but not if you leave your data open to hackers. On public WiFi, your IP address can be seen by anyone who wants to access it, and it’s incredibly easy to do this. Most VPNs will cost less than using the Internet, plus they give you access to geo-restricted websites and streaming sites, like US or Canadian Netflix.
Ask about low-income rebates
Internet providers will gladly offer low-income rebates for those who qualify for them. For example, in NSW, a Seniors Energy Rebate, Medical Energy Rebate, and Life Support Rebate are available for people who are over the age of 65 and have specific medical issues. The Energy Accounts Payment System Scheme, however, is specifically for low-income homes.
Get rid of the extras and add-ons
When you initially signed up for an Internet package, you may have been given all the bells and whistles that you could only afford with a discount. However, once that discount ended, you may have started to pay more than you bargained for. If that’s the case, call your Internet provider and ask them to remove these features. You’ll instantly see your Internet bill become cheaper!
Buy your modem
One of the biggest ways to save on your Internet bill is by buying your modem. Whether you buy it from the company that’s issuing your Internet or from another provider, you will see your bill decrease by $10-$20 a month, depending on your plan. Make sure to be particular about the modem you use because you’ll need to replace it once you decide to upgrade its hardware.