There are lots of services or gadgets that claim to save you money or make your life easier but very few follow through. Here are 3 services that we absolutely can’t live without because they save us so much time and money.
#1 – PlayOn
A few years ago, we struggled with the decision to either keep cable and continue paying $50+ per month or ditch it in lieu of a cheaper option. We agonized over all the options for watching television without cable. We looked at Hulu, Netflix, over the air (local channels via antenna), DVDs of our favorite TV shows. Finally, we found out about PlayOn. Basically PlayOn uses your computer to stream tv shows and movies to your game consoles or internet capable TV. We use our Wii to watch tv shows through PlayOn and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Using my “slickdeal” prowess, I paid just $20 for a lifetime license (this was before the pricing change). We have watched hundreds of hours of tv from free shows on Hulu to paid Amazon Video on Demand shows to free content on Nickelodeon. It’s all there for us to watch whenever we want with fewer commercials than what we’d get on regular cable. So not only does PlayOn save us money but it also saves us time.
Our Cost – $20 to start, nothing ongoing
Our Savings – $50 per month
#2 – Straight Talk
If you haven’t heard of Straight Talk, you’re missing out. For just $30 per month, we get 1000 minutes, 1000 text messages and 30 MB of internet data on our cell phone. That allows us plenty of time to talk and text as well as enough data to check weather reports, sports or even Facebook on a regular basis. We’ve only run out of minutes once and that was due to an extenuating circumstance. They also have a $45 unlimited plan that allows any GSM phone (typically phones with sim cards from T-Mobile or ATT). That means that you can even bring in your iPhone and pay just $45 per month for UNLIMITED talk, text and data. How awesome is that?!
Our Cost – $30 per month
Our Savings – $20+ per month
#3 – Skype
You probably know Skype as the free video chat service. But did you know they also have VOIP (voice over internet protocol) phone service? For just $9 per month ($3 for calling, $6 for phone number), I have a Skype phone number and unlimited minutes in the United States. Skype service does require internet service as well as a headset, microphone or webcam with integrated microphone. Even with the small investment of a headset, we’re saving a lot compared to our previous home phone service.
Our Cost – $15 to start (headset cost), $9 per month
Our Savings – $10 per month
With these 3 services alone, we’re saving over $80 per month. That’s a savings of over $960 per year! We’ve been putting most of the money towards paying off debt (student loans, etc) but it’s also freed up money for fun stuff like date nights.
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