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by the author of What School Should Have Taught You: 75 Skills You’ll Actually Use in Life
Let’s say that you’re paying top dollar for internet on a monthly basis in addition to your phone bill (because your phone also gives you internet access, right?). So here you are, trying to think of ways to cut back on expenses now that eggs suddenly cost $8/dozen, and you’re eyeing your internet access with more and more suspicion.
If this is where you’re at, I have a few thoughts on the matter that aren’t prescriptive but, at the least, should get you thinking about ways to save a bit of money here (and probably be healthier as well).
Modern society essentially dictates that you have a smartphone.
If you don’t have one, there’s simply a lot that you can’t do. A lot of employers today even require that you have one for the job, some even going as far as to mandate that employees put company apps on their own personal phones.
How an employer can decide they have the right to somebody else’s personal property is beyond me, but so many people are oblivious to rights or privacy that they just go along with it. After all, they need the job, right?
I don’t see how you can get away from having a smartphone in today’s world as somebody who isn’t retired as a result. I say all this to drive home the point that I don’t think that completely cutting off your smartphone internet access is really even plausible/practical. There are definitely privacy-friendly smartphone options out there that I would recommend, but that’s something of a rabbit trail.
This then leads us to actual home internet.
It’s here that I think it is possible to make changes that can save you money. They won’t be fun or convenient changes, but I definitely think it’s doable. Unless you work from home or have kids that require home internet for their homework (which is ridiculous, but I digress), I think it is fully possible to eliminate your home internet subscription and still be fully connected and not miss out on anything.
At the minimum, I’ve found that home internet subscription services cost at least $55/month. That’s on the low end, I believe, too. Odds are that you’re paying more for that already (let me know in the comments section if you are). This means that on a yearly basis, you could be spending $660+ a year. That could be a week’s worth of eggs! You could do quite a bit with an extra $660 a year, couldn’t you? And would you really be suffering by not having home internet? Here’s why I think it would be okay.
Smartphones can act as mobile hotspots.
Provided you have unlimited internet with your smartphone plan, you could technically use that at home for your internet whenever you need to actually use a laptop or tablet. And even if you don’t have unlimited internet for your smartphone plan, I think you could actually still save money by going to a café once a week for the things that would actually necessitate a laptop with internet.
If you’re not interested in doing everything online from your phone, I would then recommend picking up a cheap tablet and just using that with your phone as a hotspot. You have a couple of options. Even if you’re a streaming junkie, you can still get quite a bit of binging in with unlimited internet before things throttle down on your streaming speed.
You don’t have to live like a monk just so that you can save every dime that you ever have pass through your fingers. Ebeneezer Scrooge wasn’t the good guy. But I do think that there are things that we have a tendency to view as being “absolutely horrible” when, in reality, it’s only a minor inconvenience. The internet isn’t going away anytime soon, and I’m not advocating that you become a complete Luddite here.
I’m just saying that if you really are strapped for cash, I would consider using your phone as your predominant internet source and then take your laptop to your local library or café in your area for free internet. You’ll still be able to get the online work done that you need to accomplish, and if you really don’t have that much online work that needs to get tackled, you’ll force yourself to get out in the real world rather than being strapped to social media all day long.
What are your thoughts here?
Are we being over the top by thinking that this is a feasible option? Is it even possible for the modern-day home to get rid of their router, modem, and internet service provider and resort to other, cheaper internet options? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section below.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.
8 thoughts on “Can You Get By Without Home Internet?”
I like the approach here – especially the part about getting out into the real world once in a while instead of being attached to social media. That in turn could become more time to spend on side hustles or productive hobbies.
But…. brace yourself. I have never had a smartphone. I work full time for a big corporation that wants me to have Duo security on my phone. I found that’s actually optional because there is also a “call my phone” option I can use to sign in instead of an app. So I use my old school flip phone. Everybody else thought it was required but I read the fine print.
My phone is $25 a month for unlimited talk and text, no data. My internet isn’t as cheap, $85 a month, but I can live with that considering my spouse and I are both heavy internet users and we share it. We use it instead of cable for entertainment, most of the time. And I don’t do Facebook, Instagram or most of the other social media platforms. Waste of time!
That said, there’s a lot of other places I could trim, it’s just not in my technology. I basically wanted to let others know you CAN live without a smartphone depending on the job you do. So read the fine print!
There is a thing called Affordable Connectivity Program and is offered through a “particular” internet provider. ACP for short, it is a plan that, if you don’t need super high speed internet service, it is $10/month. However, those who are retired or on limited income are eligible for a rebate of sorts that then pays the $10/charge. I don’t have cable and only use streaming or apps on my TV. If you have your mobile services through the same provider, you can also get credit towards that bill. I’ve had the services for 2+ years! It sure helps when you’re on a tight budget.
Hot spots are not that cheap. And most phone companies provide internet sans landline for a few bucks more. Biggest issue I have with phone-as-hot-spot is there is a digital trail from hot spot to . iPhone security is tops over the others but I’ll pass on phone-as-hot-spot for now.
I haven’t had home internet service for years! I’ve been using a mobile hotspot for a very long time. Makes things pretty easy. And I know I’ve been saving a lot. No internet. No TV.
No cable. No landline. I pay $40/month for all of it with my cellphone provider.
And I get streaming services included.
We live in a rural area and don’t get Cell Signal. When we contacted our provider after the move there was silence; “That’s, a dead zone.” What about the signal boosters we’ve heard about? “You have to have a signal to boost..” Without home internet, no phone calls. When the power goes out, we either have to connect the modem to alternate power so we can notify the power company or drive to a signal and report it. Yes, for many, they could get by. For others, it is a necessity. Great information as always, Aden!
We also live where there is no cell signal. Our only option for internet and smartphone service is satellite – at the cost of almost $250 a month. This also gives us a regular phone line (because when we call on our smartphones there is an awful delay and everyone gets frustrated). Without this, we can’t even text. We certainly wish we had known this before we bought our land…
We have the biggest data package because we have many devices. I thought about reducing the package size, but that reduces speeds and we already struggle with that. Evenings we have resigned ourselves to little or no internet access – the company says that can happen because evening is a popular time for internet use.
I laugh now because I wasn’t happy paying $80 a month before we moved!
I got a hotspot. $18/month.
It works great.
Antenna television too
Smart phones can be used as mobile hotspots. Very slow mobile hotspots… unless you have either strong coverage nearby or 5G (also must be near a tower to get it).
And using just your phone instead of a PC sucks, too.