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Saving money and increasing income

Saving money on broadband internet and digital TV

If you have a satellite or cable TV package, it’s worth checking to see if you could be paying less for it. Switching providers or reducing your subscription cost could make your other living costs easier to deal with.

Changing your TV or broadband provider should now be as simple as changing utility providers. It’s now easier to save money on your TV costs, as there are a wide range of cheaper or free alternatives available.

With that said, there are some factors to bear in mind if you plan to switch to a cheaper broadband, satellite or cable TV provider.

Saving money on broadband internet

When is the best time to switch broadband providers?

Many people are unsure if they’re allowed to leave their provider while they’re still in a contract with them. Technically, you can leave at any time, but if you leave before the end of your contract, you'll usually have to pay early exit fees.

Will I always save money by switching broadband providers?

It’s not guaranteed that you’ll save money every time you switch broadband providers. Your current provider may offer you a cheaper deal if you tell them that you’re considering switching to another provider.

Give your current provider a call before you switch and tell them you’re planning to leave. They may offer you a better deal to keep you as a customer.

Comparison sites can help you find the best broadband deals in your area. You can then make a more informed decision whether to switch providers or not.

Should I switch broadband to get cashback, free gifts or discounts?

While cashback deals or sign-up gifts can seem attractive, it’s worth looking at whether this really is a cheaper service.

It may not be worth switching to a provider offering cashback if their service costs more than you’re paying now. And there’s no point in saving money on your broadband if it isn’t as fast as you need it to be

The same approach applies to promotional discounts. Some Broadband providers offer discounts for the first part of your contract. You'll need to work out if it's still a cheaper offer once you take the whole contract cost into account.

Discounted broadband if you're on a low income

If you’re on certain benefits, you may be able to get a discount on your home broadband and landline. This is called a ‘social tariff’.

The following providers offer home broadband and landline social tariffs from £10 per month for eligible customers receiving government benefits.

Broadband and landline:

Broadband:

TalkTalk broadband discount for Jobseekers

In a joint scheme with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), TalkTalk offer six months of discounted broadband for jobseekers. 

Your Jobcentre Plus work coach will need to refer you to the scheme. At the end of the six months, it’s your choice whether you cancel the service or move to a contract with TalkTalk.

Saving money on TV

Freeview TV

One of the cheapest ways to watch TV is Freeview, which offers around 70 TV channel and 30 radio stations. Most modern Smart TVs have a Freeview tuner, or you can pick up a Freeview set-top box from around £30.

Movie and TV Streaming services

There are plenty of free streaming services available. BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and YouTube all provide streaming TV that you can watch via the internet on a smart TV, laptop or iPad.

Subscription streaming services including Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ all have thousands of TV shows and films to choose from. Some even have free trials before you sign up.

Be careful of signing up for too many, the costs can soon add up. Try picking one streaming service to use at a time. There’s no contract for these services so you can cancel anytime.

How can I reduce my cable or satellite TV contract?

There are several ways you can potentially save money on your TV subscriptions:

  • Reduce your premium channels. If you’re already paying for your TV subscriptions, you may not need all the channels you’re currently receiving.
  • Contact your provider and ask if there’s a cheaper deal with fewer channels.
  • Be polite and friendly. Being nice to the customer service operator may make them more receptive to offering you a better deal
  • Have a list of competitor prices to hand when you call: They’re handy to refer to when negotiating a new monthly price
  • Ask about promotional deals for new customers. There’s a chance they may give you that promotional deal too, especially if you’re considering leaving
  • Check your remaining contract costs and terms before negotiating. As with broadband, you may end up paying more over time if switching to a new provider means paying early exit fees

Can I save money by getting a digital TV, phone and broadband bundle?

Several providers offer product bundles that can include landline, mobile, TV and broadband. Getting all these services in a bundle is only worthwhile if you know you’ll use them all.

It's the same for extra features, such as call waiting, free evening and weekend calls and more technical products, such as static IP addresses.

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