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It’s easy overspending on consumer technology or make a purchase that won’t last long. For example, you don’t have to pay for Microsoft Office, and you shouldn’t spend money on cheap chargers. Tap or click to learn about five ways you’re wasting money on technology.
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 the day and you can’t see everything. Tap or click to go to 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 good discount. It is not your fault. Tech companies don’t spread this money-saving secret, which you can thank me for later.
Let’s start with Amazon
If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, you may not realize there’s so much more to it than just free shipping. Tap or click here to see my favorite perks. I suggest getting a 30 day free trial to see if it’s worth it because it’s not cheap.
An Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 per month or $139.99 per year. You can share this cost with a friend or family member and still enjoy all the benefits.
Amazon Household allows two adults to share Prime benefits and digital content such as eBooks. Each person has their own account, so you keep some privacy. Keep in mind, 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 receive their own Amazon login, and an adult must approve all purchases under the plan.
Visit amazon.com/myh/manage to create or manage your household.
Apple makes packaging cheaper
Apple One bundles Apple services for a lower monthly price than you pay for each service individually. Those savings can be worth it if multiple family members use an 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. Includes all the same services and 200 GB of disk space.
The Premier plan costs $29.95 per month and includes News+ and Fitness+ with 2TB of storage.
Here’s what the savings are: A family as well as Premier plans can be shared with up to five other people using Family Sharing if they live in the same country. That’s right, you don’t have to live in the same house.
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
Like Apple Google offers extended family plans with storage five people can share. Team 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 live in the same country as the family group administrator.
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/month or $19.99/year for 100GB of storage. You also get support from Google experts.
The Standard plan costs $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year for 200GB of storage. This level gives you back 3% of your Google Store purchases.
The premium plan costs $9.99/month or $99.99/year for 2TB of storage and 10% refund on Google Store purchases.
Both Standard as well as Premium plans can be divided. To set up family sharing, go to family.google.com/families. Sign in to your Google account and follow the on-screen instructions to add members.
Is your Google account blocked? You acids? Tap or click for a quick and easy security check to run every few months.
Consider also your phone bill
Most mobile operators give you a good discount for more lines on the same plan.
You can also take advantage of special offers if only one person in the plan qualifies. For example, with T-Mobile 55+ plans available, only one person must be over 55. Full disclosure: T-Mobile is a sponsor of my national radio show.
The same goes for military and first responder discounts. Verizon works the same. You only need one person in the plan to qualify, and members do not have to live under the same roof.
Easy Ways to Share the Costs
Now that you know what you can share, what’s the best way to split your subscription costs? The last thing you want to do is chase someone every month for a few dollars. Here are some options:
Let the app do all the hard work: Apps like Separately help you easily track and pay your common expenses. This option is great when you plan to split multiple accounts.
Switch off: It’s not possible to change your payment method every month, but it’s possible that you and whoever you’re sharing with can switch off yearly. You pay for a year of a particular service and then another pays for a year.
Get paid without a queue: For services that only cost a few dollars a month when split, consider giving your friend back (or requesting that money) in a lump sum over six months or one year. It’s easier than remembering to send more than $6 each month.
Keep your technical knowledge
My popular podcast is called “Kim Commando Today”. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips and tech calls like you from all over the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click on the link below for a recent episode.
PODCAST SELECTION: Upgrade your iPhone, travel hacks, self-destructing email
Listen to the latest technical talks in 30 minutes. It’s time to update your iPhone, Apple Watch and Mac. Also, if you run your own business, Cameo is a great idea to use celebrities for marketing. And your flights will never be the same if you use digital baggage tags. I have inside information about this life changing mode of travel and which airline uses it.
Find my “Kim Komando Today” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.
Just look up my last name “Commando”.
What questions do you have about the digital lifestyle? Call Kim’s national radio broadcast and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch Kim Commando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or tap or click here to view Kim’s free podcasts.
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Find out about all the latest technologies at The Kim Commando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. Her daily tips, free newsletters and more can be found on her website at Komando.com.