If you have more services than you use in your bundle, it might be time to cut back. Saving money by paying for things you never use is not saving you anything at all. There is a good chance you can find the services that you really need and cut out the services you don't need at a lower price than you get through a bundled service. Very few people fit into the one-size-fits-all cookie cutter mold that bundles are made for.
What is a Bundle?
Bundled bill packages are usually offered by companies that provide several different types of services. The most common bundles are sold by cable companies which allow customers to combine their internet service, phone service and cable service into a single package. Insurance companies that offer different kinds of policies also tend to offer bundle packages for customers who need more than one type of insurance coverage. Most bundles are advertised to have low introductory rates, but their prices usually go up after the first year of service.
Good Things About Bundling
There are some advantages to bundling your bills together. It can be convenient to pay a single bill for several services each month. You won't have to worry about missing a bill and you can call the same company for questions about several different problems. Buying a bundle is also faster and easier than shopping for each service separately. The introductory pricing on bundle packages can be incredibly low, which can save you a substantial amount of money during the posted introductory period. Make sure you are aware of the regular price and can afford it once the introductory period is over.
Downsides to Bundled Bills
While it is faster to shop for a bundle of services rather than individual services, the packages offered by many vendors can be confusing when you try to compare them directly. Some promotional offers also include additional purchases that might not be obvious in their ads. For example, you might be offered an excellent rate on internet service but you have to spend additional money up front to buy the modem that is needed to receive that internet service. Some bundle agreements require contract agreements of up to two full years, with hefty cancellation fees for those who decide to switch services during the contract agreement. Read the fine print carefully before you agree to a bundle, especially if the pricing seems too good to be true. Bundled service deals tend to change constantly to try to attract new customers. It is not uncommon to see an introductory rate that is far lower than they offered you a few months after you sign your contract. Since you are already a customer, you don't qualify for the new rate until your current agreement is over. Watching the rates fluctuate can be frustrating, especially if you could have saved money by waiting a month or two.
Consider Cable Usage Compared to Cost
One of the biggest reasons to think twice about bundled services is that you might end up paying for something that you hardly ever use. Cable television bundles usually require you to purchase one of the larger programming packages in order to receive the best deal. You might receive hundreds of cable channels, but do you really watch a lot of TV? There is no reason to pay for a bundle that includes several television stations that contain programming you aren't even remotely interested in. You could save money by purchasing a smaller cable package and the internet service separately from different providers.
Less Expensive Alternatives
Many people have stopped paying for cable service altogether. Online streaming services provide access to current television programs and recent feature films for a fraction of the price of a cable subscription. If you buy a fast internet service, you can use that to find most of the programming you would watch on a typical cable network. Netflix and Hulu both offer access to cable and local network programming for less than $10 per month. Many television networks also post videos of their recent programs on their own websites.
Do You Still Use the Landline?
Landlines are quickly becoming obsolete. Many landline subscribers are cutting their subscription because they love the convenience and competitive pricing of cell phones. If your services are purchased through a bundle, you might be paying for a landline service that you hardly use anymore. It is easy to forget that the landline is included in your monthly service bill because it has always been such a common part of your everyday life. Think about how often you really use your phone and cut the service if you realize that it would not make a big difference in your life if you lose it.
This article provided by GeneralInsuranceAgency.com, dedicated to helping you save money on your insurance and other bills. Remember that bundling your home, car and sometimes other types of insurance is almost always the best move.