Finding the Best Deal for Our TV Bundle Package

Finding the Best Deal on Our TV Bundle Package

After my husband and I got married last year, we did what most couples do and combined households. As we joined our lives and finances, we also evaluated our monthly expenses. We started by establishing our new budget. Then, we divided the financial responsibilities, set our savings goals, and looked for areas where we could cut back. The most obvious way was to cancel duplicate memberships and services we no longer needed. However, we overlooked a few opportunities to save money with our telecom services. Now that my husband will need to relocate for work, we are looking for more ways to trim the budget. So, I’m wondering if we have the best deal for our TV bundle package or if there are better options for us.

The Current TV Bundle Package

Before we got together, he had two roommates living in the same house. For budgeting purposes, they shared services and streaming memberships. However, anyone who lives in a large household will tell you how frustrating it is when you skimp on your internet speed. With all three of them working from home, streaming, and gaming, they chose a package with greater bandwidth. But now that it was just the two of us, I wasn’t sure if we were paying for more than we needed.

Our current bundle includes TV and internet services, but all streaming services are separate. With the bundle, we have the Ultimate plan with download speeds up to 500Mbps, a 1.25 TB monthly data plan, and 140 channels. The latest bill showed that we pay $83 a month for internet and $114 for TV; with taxes and fees, it’s just more than $210 a month. This price included a $30 discount on the package, which makes it a good deal. Unfortunately, the offer expires in April 2023.

Options in Our Area

Local Providers

Sadly, there are a limited number of service providers in our area. Only two, to be exact. This doesn’t work in our favor or create much competition for pricing and customer service.

Over the years, I’ve used both providers and neither one comes close to satisfactory. Since their prices and quality of service are about the same, I have no loyalty to either one. Therefore, I let the bottom line determine where I go and sometimes switch between the two, depending on who is running the best promotion.

Satellite Services

I’ve also looked into satellite services, but have had bad experiences in the past. Living in the midwest means that we often deal with poor weather conditions. When it gets bad, service gets spotty and is often out for several hours at a time. Since I need reliable internet access to run my business, satellite service isn’t a good option for me.

Mix and Match

The other alternative is to pay for the services individually. We don’t watch many cable TV channels, so we have discussed ditching the extras for local channels only. Additionally, we don’t need a landline since we rely on our cell phones.

While it may seem limited, we would still have plenty of entertainment services. Since we already pay for subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon Prime, we could still watch our favorite TV shows and movies through these streaming services. Looking at our options, we are seriously considering canceling the cable and finding a bundle for our streaming services.

Getting the Best Deal on Your TV Bundle Package

Looking at our current package, it seems like we are getting the best deal available right now. However, that will change when our discount expires. So, if you are looking for ways to get the best deal on your TV bundle package, here are three things you should keep in mind.

1. Bundle your services for better discounts.

Obviously, bundling is one of the best ways to save on your telecom services. As a general rule, you typically pay less for each service when you go through a single provider.

Sometimes, they will also offer promotional deals and discounts to help you save even more. Not only is it good news for your wallet, but telecom companies also love it when you bundle because it boosts revenue for each client and has its users committing to long-term contracts.

However, not all bundles are a bargain. You need to do your due diligence and pay attention to the fine print. Watch out for the fees for add-ons and equipment rentals. These hidden charges may cost you more by nickel and diming you beyond your budget.

2. Check out the competition.

Any true budgeter knows that you should always shop around and compare prices. The same is true when it comes to your telecom services. If you live in larger cities, you will usually find better deals. The bigger the local market, the better the inducement offers will be as well.

Many providers offer great deals and packages to sign up. Plus, you can sometimes find exclusive web offers to save even more. Others offer incentives like prepaid credit cards or discounts when you sign up or pay for services online. Sometimes the savings are so significant, that I’m willing to switch contracts and go through the hassle of changing service providers.

3. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Most people think that rates are set in stone. While there may be standard pricing, there are usually ways that service providers are willing to sweeten the deal to keep your business. So when your contract expires, be ready to have a conversation about your renewal.

When you go into the conversation, keep in mind that there is some room for negotiation. Although they will rarely give you free service, it never hurts to ask for a current promotional rate for new members or that they extend your current deal.

The staunchest savers will also advise you to be willing to walk away. Let your provider know that you will be looking at other options if they can’t honor the rate or offer other discounts. Sometimes threatening to end your service spurs them to find ways to reduce your monthly bill and extend your contract.

Ultimately, you have to decide what is most important for your communication needs and choose the package that is right for you. It never hurts to ask for what you want from your service provider. They may surprise you and grant your requests. In the long run, they know a satisfied customer is worth more than the discount.

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Is It Worth Going into Business for Yourself?

Is It Worth Going Into Business for Yourself?

 

Many of us have often contemplated it but never taken the leap into entrepreneurship. For years, my friends and I have sat around and discussed how you could make that happen. But with all the risks and potential losses, it’s hard to leave security and strike out on your own. However, nearly three years ago, life presented me with an opportunity to do just that. When I returned home after years abroad, I decided it was time to make my dream a reality. While it has been one of the greatest challenges of my life, for me, the financial and personal benefits have more than made it worth going into business for yourself.

What Are the Risks of Going into Business for Yourself?

Change is hard for many of us. And, it’s even more terrifying when you have to make life-changing decisions, such as starting a business. No one can deny that there are serious risks involved.

The Financial Risks

First off, there are no guarantees that you will be successful or earn a steady income. If there are significant startup costs, that increases the financial stakes as well. And with a volatile market, it’s risky to attempt any new business venture right now. Furthermore, those who are entering saturated markets will face greater competition and find it even more difficult to achieve success.

The truth is that 20% of all new businesses fail within two years. If you don’t have a solid business plan in place, you could find yourself facing bankruptcy.

The Personal Risks

Any new business owner will tell you the same thing: starting a new business is a huge time investment. Unfortunately, as your business demands more of your time and attention, it could affect your personal life. Maintaining this balance is crucial. However, with so many people depending on me and several other time commitments, I know this will be a never-ending struggle.

The other major concern for me was the potential effect on my mental health. With all the added stress, I wasn’t sure how it would affect my anxiety, especially as my family was dealing with the care of multiple members facing serious medical conditions. Although some don’t calculate these risks into their decision, it has an impact on your productivity, quality of life, and job satisfaction.

Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

The moment I made the decision was when I realized that the benefits would outweigh the risks. I was unhappy in my current field, returning to a place I hadn’t lived in for over a decade, and needed something that gave me flexibility. My job prospects were limited, so I started thinking outside the box. After some debate, it seemed like a good opportunity to finally see if my business idea would hold water. When I assessed my worst-case scenario, I didn’t have much to lose.

My biggest advantage was that online consulting has very little overhead costs. I only spend about 5% of my annual earnings on business expenses. Since I only need my computer and a strong wi-fi signal, I can generate more profit in a shorter amount of time. I have also established a few long-term clients and contracts that offer some stability. As long as I maintain these relationships and continue building my reputation, there will be a steady demand in the future.

However, the greatest benefit has been the improved quality of life. In the beginning, it was stressful. But once I learned how to manage my time and got things running, I have more free time since I have more control and flexibility to set my own schedule. This has allowed me to take care of both my professional needs and my personal relationships since I can be there when they need me. I’m simply happier all around when I don’t have to answer to superiors and can decide how I conduct business. Rather than dreading the workday ahead, I look forward to it. And you really can’t put a price on happiness.

What Is the Deciding Factor for Going into Business for Yourself?

For those who are asking themselves if now is the right time to start a new business, remember, this is not a decision you should make lightly. Discuss it with your family, friends, and your financial advisor to help you assess your idea.

However, the deciding factor will come down to a tough, personal choice. Are you willing to commit your time, energy, and finances to your idea? Because it will require all of them to make it a reality. Therefore, take the time to evaluate whether you have a viable business plan and the capacity to commit the resources needed before you dive in.

Once I made this choice to go all in, everything else fell into place with a cascading effect. It became clear who and what was most important in my life. This set my priorities. And, it helped me to see how going into business for myself would help me achieve my goals. I wanted a career that brought me personal satisfaction and enough income to support myself. Rather than keeping my personal and professional life separated, I began using them to support one another. When I stopped compartmentalizing these aspects of my life, I immediately achieved a better work-life balance and overall satisfaction in life.

Nothing worth having comes easily, and building a successful business doesn’t happen overnight. It will require your blood, sweat, and tears to make it happen. I won’t sugar-coat it and tell you that starting my own business has been a breeze. It has been a lot of long hours and hard work. But now that I see the results, it has been well worth every sacrifice along the way.

Have you made the decision to start your own business? What are your thoughts…was it worth it, or a waste? 

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The Three Ds of Real Estate in the Suburbs

The Three Ds of Real Estate in the Suburbs

There are many reasons people sell their homes. When you have a growing family or decide it’s time to upgrade your lifestyle, you may start looking for a larger house. Conversely, it may be time to downsize as you near retirement. Others get into real estate purely for investment opportunities.

However, the reasons aren’t always happy ones. And, these hardships can make transferring the title more complicated. If you hear someone refer to the three Ds of real estate in the suburbs, they are probably referring to unfortunate circumstances that cause someone to sell a property. Obviously, there are many reasons people sell their homes, but they usually fall under one of these categories.

The Three Ds of Real Estate in the Suburbs

No one wants to deal with the hardships that lead you to sell your home. However, major transitions in life present new opportunities as well as the need to make important decisions.

1. Death

It’s never easy to lose a loved one. It’s even harder to make difficult financial decisions when dealing with emotional turmoil. However, it doesn’t change the fact that someone has to make decisions to settle the estate. Unfortunately, a highly stressful and emotional situation can worsen when people don’t agree on how to proceed.

Dealing with valuable assets, such as real estate, can be a cumbersome and complex process for the beneficiaries. And, the more beneficiaries there are, the more convoluted it becomes. Oftentimes, families choose to sell the property after their loved ones pass. Some prefer not to move in because they have their own homes or don’t have the financial resources to maintain the property. Others simply don’t want the hassle of finding renters or the added expense of property taxes, mortgage payments, and homeowners insurance.

Settling someone’s affairs after death is much easier when there is a will in place and your loved one’s final wishes are very clear. It can provide a guide through the grief. Moreover, it removes the responsibility of making decisions and the likelihood of infighting among family members.

It takes time to settle the estate. So if you are the buyer, it will be cleaner to wait until the probate is complete. It’s better to protect your investment and guarantee the seller has the authority to complete the sale. Once the title passes to the personal representative who is handling the estate, you can move forward with the sale. While it may take longer, it makes for a smoother process with fewer complications.

2. Divorce

With half of all marriages ending in divorce, there’s a reason it’s included in the three Ds of real estate in the suburbs. Following a divorce, it may not be possible to maintain the property on a single income. Other couples simply want a fresh start. So if one party doesn’t take possession of the property, most people choose to sell and split the profit.

According to most lawyers and those who have dealt with divorce, it’s best to make a clean break and move on. Legal advisors will tell you not to attempt to share the asset, even if the divorce is amicable.

Additionally, it’s best to leave the emotion out of it so you come to a faster and easier resolution. Letting your anger or resentment get the better of you will drive up your legal fees, drag out a difficult process, and undermine your profit margin on the sale.

From a buyer’s perspective, divorce presents the opportunity to make a good investment, especially if the owners are motivated to sell.

3. Debt

The last of the three Ds of real estate in the suburbs is something we have all faced. At some point in your life, you will likely find yourself in debt. This may come in the form of student loans to pay for school, a mortgage on a home, or high-interest credit card debt.

Sadly, some people never seem to find their way out from under it. When it becomes too overwhelming, sometimes the only solution is to sell your home. People tap into their equity to help pay down their debts and reduce their monthly expenses.

If you try to sell your home, any debts associated with the property will come to light during probate. The title search will reveal liens from the IRS, creditors, mortgage companies, or child support agencies. All these debts must be paid off before you can go through with the sale. Otherwise, you will face another D for default.

Those who owe more than the value of their property will likely have their home go into foreclosure. In this case, the bank or lender takes possession of the property, then sells it to recoup some of the money. Many times, properties sell well below their assessed value. While this is great for buyers, it usually only covers a portion of the total debt.

Navigating Difficult Financial Decisions

No matter how hard you try, things don’t always work out the way you plan. The key is understanding that some things are beyond your control. People die, marriages end, and economic situations change. However, just because you suffer a setback doesn’t mean you are unsuccessful or a bad person. If you have reached one of these difficult crossroads, the only way out is through.

Those looking to buy property will also have a considerable amount of red tape during the process. While I can only speak from my perspective, I prefer expert advice to help navigate stressful financial decisions that will affect my future.

Although painful, these experiences offer us wisdom and opportunities to grow. Unfortunately, the lesson doesn’t always come before the decision. Therefore, it’s always best to seek out advice when you need guidance. Your financial advisor can help you navigate these difficult decisions, no matter which of the three Ds of real estate in the suburbs you are facing.

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