6 services you can get for free
Every penny counts! So, why pay for something when you can get it for free? Consumer Savings Expert Andrea Woroch stopped by the PIX11 Morning News with 6 services you should stop paying for.
1. Telephone. Don’t start sweating, we aren’t talking about your smartphone. We are talking about landlines that many households still have for the emergency and convenience factor. Lured in my telephone and cable providers for getting reduced rates by buying bulk packages, consumers are still spending unnecessary money. Eliminate your monthly phone bill with free internet phone calls using devices like Ooma Telo. You can save an average of $40 per month.
2. Movie Channels. Lower your cable bill by cutting movie channels and stream for your favorite flicks for free through online services like Hulu, freeing up nearly $50 a month! If you are considering lowering you cable bill altogether, visit BillShrink.com to figure out which cable package is right for you based on your viewing habits.
3. Text Messaging. Did you know there is a huge markup on text messaging? Mobile carriers charge 10 to 20 cents per text message even though it only costs them .03 cents to send! Though most people have bundle packages, you can even get rid of that to save an extra $15 per month! Get friends, family and colleagues to download the free apps like ChompSMS for Android or TextFree for Apple and start texting for free.
4. Checking Account. These days, just 39% of non-interest checking accounts are free. However, there are plenty of ways around this charge that many may be overlooking. First of all, it’s important to review your account regularly to understand what types of fees you are paying and then speak with a customer service rep to find out how to go about eliminating them. For instance, adding direct deposits from an employer or going paperless may qualify you for a free checking account, saving you up to $10 a month.
5. ATM Withdrawal. These days, it’s much more expensive to withdraw cash from ATMs outside of your bank’s network and you are looking at paying 20% more than compared with 5 years ago. In fact, the estimated average surcharge for outside-of-network custers has gone up from $1.75 to $2.10 on average. Even worse yet, you are look to pay a high premium for ATMs operated independently, which are typically found at gas stations, grocery shops and restaurants. This costly convenience will eat into your bank account and is an easy fix especially in NYC where banks are abundant. Plan to withdraw the specified amount of cash you need for the week or opt for new forms of payment using your mobile device like Google Wallet or Apple Passbook to avoid those fees.
6. eBooks. Reading on a mobile device or eReader is much easier and convenient when riding the train to and from work or simply lounging at the park on a sunny afternoon lunch break. Though $8 doesn’t seem like that much of a cost, regular readers could dish out a lot for an electronic book that isn’t easily shared or sold at a garage sale. Instead of buying your next eBook, rent it for free from your local library: Amazon has made it possible to rent eBooks for Kindles and through the free Kindle app from the local library. Also, check out Project Gutenberg for free digital access to the classics plus over 36,000 other free e-books to PCs, Kindles, Android, iOS and other portable devices. For those without an eReader, visit Bookmooch.com for the opportunity to swap books with out hard- and paper-back readers for no cost.
Web Bonus: Anti-Virus Software. You can find lots of free programs to detect and stop viruses on your PC. Try AVG which is top rated among most consumers or check PC Magazine reviews for several other free anti-virus programs too.