If I’ve learned one thing from paying off nearly $90,000 of debt, it’s that I rarely regret going with the cheaper option.
In the last few months, I’ve consistently chosen the cheaper option when presented with a few choices.
- I chose to live in a smaller, less nice apartment to save money.
- I chose to sell my SUV in favor of walking or taking the bus.
- I chose a moissanite stone instead of a diamond for my engagement ring.
Continuing with that trend it’s only natural that I forgo paying for internet. I thought it would be tough but it’s actually pretty painless.
My apartment offers crappy WiFi but it works for me.
Here is how I manage beyond that:
I walk to places with free WiFi
Whenever I want to use the internet for a long period of time, I put my laptop in my bag and walk to a coffee shop. I sit there for a few hours and I get stuff done.
I’ve found I’m much more productive when my time online is time boxed and I’m addicted to coffee so I don’t mind the expense of the caffeine.
I used to procrastinate getting my grad school homework done, for example, but now I can’t procrastinate unless I want to sit there all day.
So many places have free WiFi. You likely have an abundance of grocery stores, bookstores, and coffee shops within a walk or short drive from your place. Take advantage of them and save.
I have a supportive partner
My fiancé is used to my ways by now and he’s very supportive of the plan to never get internet beyond what we have for free in the apartment.
He also uses the data on his personal phone or he goes to Starbucks when the signal is weak.
I go old school for entertainment
There are these discs that come in plastic boxes that contain all of the old movies and T.V. shows you’ll find on Netflix. They’re great!! You may have heard of them? 😉
In all seriousness, I’ve been without a Netflix binge for 8 weeks and I’m completely fine.
We’ve started going through our old DVD collection and haven’t run out of content to watch yet. I also have an HDTV antenna that I bought for cheap on Amazon and we get 40+ channels including ABC, NBC, and local channels.
I focus on us
We also *gasp* talk to each other now instead of googling away on our computers in silence with terrible posture. (I’m still working on the posture!)
We pay more attention to our dog too instead of leaving him curled up on his doggy bed while we watch one more episode of True Blood.
It’s been a good change for us.
I remember the savings
We’ve estimated that we’ll probably save around $960 a year by forgoing better internet.
We’ll potentially save more if we think about the online shopping that will be avoided, the lack of Netflix and other streaming subscriptions that we used to pay for, and also the value of all the time we would spend googling down a rabbit hole.
$960 is almost 20% of an IRA contribution right there and that money will grow over time.
Related: How I Saved $26,000 in 7 Months
Would you ever go without internet? Any tips on how to reduce spending on internet?
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NZ Muse says
I love having one phone for work and personal! It would drive me crazy carry around 2.
Mobile data is crazy expensive here so I would NEVER be without home internet.
I used to carry around two and it was so annoying. At first I was worried about having one phone in case I would text the wrong person or something and it’s been fine.
NZ Muse says
(should probably clarify that point – as in yes my phone charges are paid for by work but my cap is very low – data charges are insane in NZ)
Oh Wow!! That’s too bad. Data can be really expensive or not so expensive depending on the plan.
Biglaw Investor says
Wow, Julie. This is definitely hardcore! Great to see how you’ve been handling it. Just goes to show that anything is possible as long as you really want it. I assume you’ve done the math on the phone data plan vs. home internet. I’ve been experimenting with reducing my phone data with the idea that maybe I don’t really need it (I’ve found if you turn off the data but leave the wifi on, it’s surprisingly not that big of a deal most of the time).
I know I’m getting more hardcore with time!! Never thought it would be that way. I still spend quite a bit I just like choosing what on. Turning off phone data is a great idea. I did that for awhile but needed it for maps. I live on that app.
Gwen @ Fiery Millennials says
You are my hero. I’m way too addicted to technology/internet to get rid of my internet, especially now that I have a 2 GB data cap on my phone. Back when I was an intern, I had an unlimited Verizon plan and used that as my internet for the summer. I used a LOT of data! And I don’t even have Netflix!
Haha I know I’m always scared to look at the monthly bill at work but so far I’ve been under the average usage!
Matt @ The Resume Gap says
I went two years without home internet right after college, and it saved me a ton of money. Cell phones didn’t have tethering capability then, but I did have a wireless internet card in my work laptop that I could use for web surfing now and then. It wasn’t fast, but I could live with it considering how much money I was saving. I also used a neighbor’s wifi for a while in exchange for an occasional six-pack of beer. This is the supposedly “hardcore” stuff that people think they couldn’t do without, but it’s really not so bad. Way to go!
Thanks! Yeah it’s really not so bad. With the options I have, paying for internet just seems redundant now. Good for you for figuring that out right after college!
Good for you! $960 is no small accomplishment. I’m not sure we could do it in my house; the kids would call for a mutiny. I think the Internet has become the backbone of almost all of our entertainment – Netflix, etc. We’d probably skip regular TV or the landline before we give that up!
Haha! It’s really the Game of Thrones that I miss!
Stefan - The Millennial Budget says
Wow talk about breaking the mold! I could not imagine life without internet as I stream all my shows online and do all my blog work at home but it definitely makes you use your time better! I will admit that I am addicted so props to you! Hope it all works out
Thanks! There are definitely times that we feel inconvenienced but I think it’s worth it in the long run. I’m trying to be all about intentional spending now.
Finance Solver says
Do you feel like saving the $960 is worth it? I used the public wifi at the public library the other day but I felt that the network was so insecure and was terrified of working on my blog on it. The wifi had no password to log into, which couldn’t have made me safe. I’ve been worried a lot about security because my previous company that I worked for got hacked. Would love to hear your thoughts!
I use my personal hotspot on my phone so I’m not as worried about security. The $960 is not worth it individually but it adds up when you combine all of the other little cuts we’ve made.
Jon @ Be Net Worthy says
Wow, that is pretty amazing to go without the internet these days, especially since you run a blog!! If I tried to cancel our internet service I would have a mutiny on my hands from all fronts.
From my wife who is on constantly to get things done and runs a small business from home, but mostly from my 14 and 16-year-old kids! Life for them seems to exist MOSTLY online – crazy.
Good for you!
I can’t imagine the data charges you would get on their phones!! 🙂
Steve Reed says
My wife would leave me if she didn’t have internet. Korean culture. I did talk AT&T into giving me $30 promotion internet for the 4th straight year…
That is pretty amazing! What’s your secret?