With the cost of living crisis affecting households across the UK, many are looking for ways to cut back on everyday spending and household bills. In this article, we look at ways to save money on your broadband and TV bills. Additional money-saving tips and cost of living help can be found in our articles, 'How to save money on your household bills' and 'Cost of Living guide'.
How to save money on your broadband
Broadband is now an integral part of the way we connect with the world and is quickly becoming one of the most important utility bills we pay. With new providers coming to market and a number of new products to choose from, we share a number of ways that you can save money on your monthly broadband bill.
One of the easiest ways to save money on your broadband is by shopping around for a cheaper deal using a comparison site such as Uswitch*. Comparison sites allow you to compare multiple providers at once to find the best deal for you and you can easily compare providers by contract length, broadband speed and monthly cost.
Haggle with your existing provider
If you like your existing broadband provider and are reluctant to change it may be worth calling them to see if they can offer you a deal on your existing package, especially if you are due to renew your contract in the coming weeks. It may be worth shopping around before trying to haggle to see what current prices are like and comparing these to ones being offered by your existing provider. Read our article, 'How to haggle to get a better broadband deal' for more haggling tips.
Look out for incentives and cashback
When comparing broadband and TV deals look out for contracts with cashback and incentives when you join, as you may be able to benefit from incentives such as account credit, vouchers or even game consoles. Don't be swayed by the incentives, however, and ensure you are still getting the best deal for your circumstances. Also, ensure you read the T&Cs carefully and look out for any additional charges such as installation or set-up fees.
It is also worth looking to see if you can benefit from cashback when signing up for a contract via a site such as TopCashback* or Quidco and you could also get rewards if you recommend a friend to join your TV or broadband provider.
Bundle the services
One way to save money on your broadband is by bundling it with a TV and mobile package. Some providers offer all of the services you may require and so may offer a package deal, which could save you money compared to multiple separate contracts.
What speed do you need?
Check to see what speed you actually need. If the speed you receive is more than you need then you may be able to downgrade and save money by switching to a cheaper package. Find out more about the different variations of broadband speed and how much you need in our article, 'What broadband speed do I need?'
Are you eligible for a social tariff?
Households that receive certain benefits may be able to save money on broadband by switching to a social tariff. Social tariffs are designed to help low-income households access more affordable broadband and those on certain benefits such as Universal Credit qualify. More information on social tariffs can be found in our articles, 'What is a broadband social tariff and how does it work?' and 'Which providers offer the best social tariff broadband?'
How to save money on TV packages
If you like to spend your evenings binge-watching the latest series or watching a movie, your TV package may be considered an important expense that you wish to keep each month, however, it can be expensive. We share some ways that you can cut back on the monthly cost without missing out on things you like to watch.
Look at the channels you watch
Take a look at the channels included in your TV package and weigh up how many of them you actually watch. It can be easy to get sucked into the biggest TV package with all the channels but if you only watch a set number of channels you shouldn't be paying to access all of them. If you find that you have channels that you don't watch contact your TV package provider to see if you can downgrade your package.
Haggle with your provider
If your TV package is expensive and you are considering switching providers you may be able to haggle a cheaper deal with your provider, particularly as new customers can often get a cheaper deal for signing up. Some providers try to get customers to stay by offering enticing deals and it may be a good idea to shop around beforehand to see what other deals are available on the market.
Do you need HD channels?
Often the basic channels such as BBC and ITV come with HD included in packages but if you don't require sports, movies or other channels in HD you could save yourself a few pounds a month by opting to view channels in Standard Definition only.
Change to Freeview
If you find that you are not watching the TV channels you have signed up for you could cancel your package altogether and opt for Freeview channels only. Freeview channels are free to watch and are usually included in TVs purchased after 2010. You won't be able to record, pause or rewind Freeview TV unless you upgrade to a Freeview HD/Play box. You will need an aerial set up to access Freeview as well as a TV licence. There are some instances, however, where a TV licence may not be applicable and more information can be found in our article, 'Do I need a TV licence?'
Watch streaming services
If you predominantly watch TV on streaming services you could cancel your TV package altogether and access TV shows via streaming services only. This is cheaper if you only watch TV on standard channels but you will obviously still have to pay the cost of the other streaming channels such as Netflix and Disney+. Remember if you watch or record live TV (this includes shows on iPlayer) you will need a TV licence. More information on TV licences can be found in our article, 'Do I need a TV licence?'
What to do if you cannot afford your TV or broadband
If you are struggling to afford your TV or broadband you should get help as soon as possible. There are a number of charities that offer free debt help and advice, and if you contact your provider with your struggles they are likely to be more willing to help than you may think. We share some steps you can consider if you're struggling to pay your TV or broadband bills:
- Contact your TV or broadband provider - Contact your provider as soon as you can to let them know you are struggling to pay. You can also enquire if it is possible to swap to a cheaper deal but beware if you are still in a contract you may be susceptible to early exit fees.
- Are you eligible for a social tariff? - If you receive certain benefits you may be eligible for a social tariff. A social tariff gives customers on a low-income access to discounted broadband rates. Find out more in our article, 'What is a broadband social tariff and how much can you save?'
- Pay debt over time - If you owe debt to your broadband or TV provider speak to them and see if you are able to arrange an affordable repayment plan to pay the debt over a set period of time.
- Speak to a debt charity or website - If you are overwhelmed by your financial situation and worried about what you can and cannot afford there are a number of debt charities that offer free debt help and advice. More information can be found in our article, 'Where to get free debt advice'.
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