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Basic Budgeting Tips. Save on Cell Phone and Internet. Cable Not Necessary! for Low Income or Tight Budgets

Updated on February 9, 2018

What I will touch on

I have found ways to save money and I think anyone, even well off people, can benefit with these tips, because who doesn't love to save?

I would like to talk about cell phone carrier, and not needing cable, and getting internet installed for free and getting the lowest rate in Massachusetts.

Also, I will lay out the general formula for getting your budget under control in basic ways.

Cellphone and Why you don't need cable

Metropcs has cellphones for $19 in the store I went to recently! For unlimited minutes and texts, only $30. That includes a certain amount of internet as well. If it runs out, you can get more. But it's all you really need if you go to the library or have internet at home. (Let's try to live BELOW our means, shall we? Sound better than always being broke?!)

Edit: Note that the $19 phone did NOT workout. It had no space for any apps at all and was so slow. I had to get another phone for $49 plus fees. But all in all, metropcs is the most inexpensive carrier.

Some say the reception is not the best for Metropcs. In my area, it's fine and all I need.


I used to have basic cable and all the liked was the "E" channel for Entertainment and the Catholic TV. Those were like the only channels I got besides what you can get for FREE with a flat screen and an antennae or a tube TV with a converter box! My friend pays over $200 a month for cable. That's fine if you're always home and you don't have a car or you want to spend the money. If you don't, I have a suggestion that works really well!

Get internet. Get a Chrome cast device at Best Buy for like $35. You hook up the Chrome cast (used along with Google Chrome) and you can watch any YouTube video on your TV along with Netflix and even websites that stream TV such as or other sites for FREE.

Best Internet in Massachusetts

The best internet, or the least expensive for someone who has few people in their household and doesn't use it obsessively, is RCN. For $29.99 a month (that's exactly the price including tax or whatever.) What you need to do though, is buy your own modem/router on Ebay for about $35 or so. You can get a used one. Buy owning your own modem, you don't get charged an additional $10 a month. So in one year you save about $120.

How To Get A Free Installation

This usually works. It always does for me. Tell RCN you are switching to them. And set up someone to come over. Tell them you would like a free installation. If they ask why, you say you are on a fixed income (I bet you are if you're reading this.) Tell them that you have other internet providers you could choose, if they don't say yes. Just don't take NO for an answer. They will cave if you are firm. Then, make sure that you ask for an email confirmation! Because they will "change their mind" when they bill you every time and you DON'T want to fight on the phone with them for a half hour or more like I had to.

Basic Budgeting

Many people were never told that it's not necessary to buy everything and that living BELOW your means is less stressful, and you'll be HAPPY you did, when you have a few extra bucks. Sound good? I thought so.

If you're currently struggling with lack of money each month here's what you do basically.

  1. Gather up your income. Add up your income sources. Write down your monthly income total.
  2. Gather up all your bills. Add them up and write down your monthly bills total. Make sure these are "necessary bills" like rent, electricity, water, gas, phone and maybe internet. It shouldn't be other things that you don't NEED to live.
  3. Now think about what you need monthly in the MINIMUM for clothes, food, bath products and other Essentials other than your bills. Also think of what you may spend a month on eating out, movies, and entertainment. Write down a total.

Now add up 2 and 3. Subtract total from 1. What do you have left over? You should have some left over. This will go into your savings. If you don't have any left over, and you are "negative", you need to re-evaluate your spending on #3.

The main thing is to get your income. Then add up your necessary bills. Subtract your necessary bills from your income. What's left over will determine what you can have for spending on #3. You should have money left over like I said for saving. You should save some money every month even if it's only $10. It's a good idea.

Also, never use credit cards if you have a low income if you don't need to. They are tempting to over spend. You can keep one for emergencies, but don't use it.

What You Can Enjoy on TV without Cable

Personally, I never had cable much. I find that I enjoy the local channels a lot. And if you get into PBS, the news, and fun sitcoms on local channels, you can enjoy TV for free. Plus, you can always watch a DVD or a movie on Netflix and Netflix is only $8-$9 a month. Sometimes it's FREE if a friend gives you their password, which is actually legal, up to an extant. (I researched this. Netflix doesn't mind to a point. As long as it's only a few people.) Also, what FUN it is, and educational to watch YouTube videos of all kinds, such as:

  • Motivational speakers (Joyce Meyer, Tony Robbins, Joel Osteen)
  • Watch cute kitty videos or animal ones
  • Watch stand up comedians like anyone you want
  • Watch and listen to music videos of endless varitey

Just a few examples. If you "NEED" sports channels galore on cable, or whatever it is you want on there, let's face it, if you can't afford it- it's NOT a necessity. Go watch at a friends or at a bar or restaurant. But if you never go out, and have the money- fine. My point is, all we really "need" is food, shelter, clothing and some soap and some occasional fun and if you have a car or need a bus pass or whatever.

We all need to learn to spend less and enjoy our family and friends more. If we could learn this, and enjoy nature and socializing, we would be better off and not always broke!

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment!!

Great tips, some I didn't even mention!


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    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      21 months ago

      Thanks very much, Louise. :)

      I hope the budgeting part was well explained and easy to understand.

      That's good that you are doing that, Cheers to you!!


    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      21 months ago from Norfolk, England

      That was really helpful to read. I've recently started making a basic spreadsheet of my income and outgoings so I can keep a track of my finances.


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