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It’s easy overspending of consumer technology or make a purchase that won’t last long. For example, you don’t have to pay for Microsoft Office and you don’t have to spend money on cheap chargers. Click or click to see five ways to spend money on appliances.
Then there are all the subscriptions you pay for and don’t use. Streaming services are the main culprit; there is so much time in a day and you can’t see everything. Click or click to get my guide to watching your shows for free.
What you probably don’t know is that you can share different accounts with family and friends, or at least get a nice discount. It’s not your fault. Tech companies don’t advertise this money-saving secret that you can thank me for later.
Let’s start with Amazon
If you don’t have an Amazon Prime subscription, you might not realize that there’s a lot more to it than just free shipping. Click or click here to see my favorite bonuses. I suggest getting a 30-day free trial to see if it’s worth it for you, as it’s not cheap.
Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 per month or $139.99 per year. You can split these costs with a friend or family member and still get all the benefits.
Amazon Household allows two adults to share Prime benefits and digital content such as e-books. Each person gets their own account, so you retain some privacy. Keep in mind that you will have access to each other’s payment methods. Only share your account with people you trust.
You can also add up to four teenagers (ages 13 to 17) to the plan for free. Each teen will get their own Amazon login, and an adult must approve all purchases on the plan.
Visit amazon.com/myh/manage to create or manage your family.
Apple makes bundles cheaper
Apple One bundles Apple services together for a lower monthly price than you would pay for each service individually. Those savings can be worth it if multiple family members use iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, Apple Music, and iCloud.
The Apple One Individual plan costs $14.95 per month and includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and 50GB of Apple iCloud+ storage.
The family plan costs $19.95 per month. It includes all the same services and 200 GB of storage.
The Premier plan costs $29.95 per month and adds News+ and Fitness+ with 2TB of storage.
Here’s where the savings are: The Family and Prime Minister plans can be shared with up to five other people using Family Sharing as long as they live in the same country. That’s right, you don’t have to live in the same household.
To set up Family Sharing on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:
Go to Settings.
Click your name.
Click Family exchange and then click Create your family.
Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your family and invite family members.
If you are a member of the Google family
As Apple Google offers extended family plans five people can share the storage. Group members won’t be able to see each other’s files, but they share storage space and can see how much space others are using. All members must reside in the same country as the head of the household.
Google accounts include 15 GB of storage for free. Here’s how much it costs to upgrade to Google One for more capacity:
The basic plan costs $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year for 100GB of storage. You also get access to support from Google experts.
The standard plan is $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year for 200GB of storage. This level will give you 3% back on Google Store purchases.
The Premium plan costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for 2 TB of storage and 10% cash back on Google Store purchases.
Both Standard and Premium plans can be shared. Follow the link to set up family sharing families.google.com/families. Sign in to your Google Account and follow the on-screen instructions to add participants.
Is your Google account locked? You sure? Tap or click for a quick and easy security check that you should be doing every few months.
Consider your phone bill, too
Most cell phone providers give you a nice discount for more lines on a single plan.
You can also take advantage of deals if only one plan member qualifies. For example, with T-Mobile’s 55+ plans available, only one person must be 55 or older. Full disclosure: T-Mobile is a sponsor of my national radio show.
The same goes for discounts for military and emergency services. Verizon works the same way. You only need one person in the plan to qualify, and members don’t have to live under the same roof.
Easy ways to split costs
Now that you know what you can share, what are the best ways to handle splitting subscription costs? The last thing you want to do is hound someone every month for a few dollars. Here are some options:
Let the program do the hard work: Such programs Forked helps you easily track and pay your total expenses. This option is great if you plan to split multiple accounts.
Turn off: It’s not possible to change your payment method every month, but maybe you and the person you’re breaking up with can disconnect annually. You pay for a year of a certain service, and then another pays for a year.
Get paid from the way: For services that cost just a few bucks a month when split, consider paying your friend back (or requesting the money) in a lump sum over six months or one year. It’s easier than remembering to send more than $6 each month.
Continue your technical knowledge
My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today”. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, advice and callers with the same tech issues as you from all over the country. Look for it wherever you get podcasts. For your convenience, follow the link below to watch a recent episode.
PODCAST SELECTION: Upgrade Your iPhone Travel Hack Self-Destructing Email
Listen to the latest tech talks every 30 minutes. It’s time to upgrade your iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac. Also, if you run your own business, Cameo is a smart idea: use celebrities for marketing. And your flights will never be the same when you use digital bag tags. I have the inside scoop on this life-changing travel hack and which airline uses it.
Find my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player.
Just search for my last name “Komando”.
What questions do you have about the digital lifestyle? Call Kim’s National Radio and click or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch The The Kim Command Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or click or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn about all the latest technology at The Kim Command Show, the nation’s largest weekend talk show. Kim takes calls and offers advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data breaches. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.