Americans spend over $1.5K on internet and mobile plans yearly

William S. | January 08, 2024

It's no secret that internet and mobile plans do not come cheap these days. With data plans and texting fees, costs are adding up fast, even as Americans have come to rely more than ever on always being connected. Getting affordable service is becoming increasingly challenging for many households.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, Americans spend over $1.5K on internet and mobile plans yearly. Besides, they also spend $660 on streaming platforms and $962 on cable TV every year. The lifetime costs of these plans come around to $200K.

The data is based on Reviews.org research that calculated providers’ costs across the US using pricing data to find the average monthly cost for internet plans, cell phone bills from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and streaming services by surveying 1,500 people on median spend.

Americans spend $81 on internet plans every month, which accumulates to nearly $1K yearly. Considering that reliable Wi-Fi is practically a requirement for participating in modern work, life, and entertainment, this recurring cost is largely unavoidable for most families.

Mobile plans cost $66 monthly and almost $800 yearly for Americans. Mobile phone is now viewed just as much a necessity as home internet access, this recurring connectivity fee provides another drain on the average consumer's finances. Mobile carriers recognize how dependent their customers are on staying connected on-the-go.

Americans pay $55 monthly for streaming platforms, which adds up to $660 in a year. They are paying for three services at a time on average. Streaming carries a monthly cost in exchange for its many conveniences and hours of accessible content to stay caught up on your favorite series and movies.

On average, Americans spend $80 on cable TV monthly and $962 yearly. Some consumers cut the cord in favor of streaming-only entertainment. But for households still paying for cable, the service adds another recurring connectivity fee. Plenty of American families continue allocating funds for traditional cable packages.

How to save money on these plans

As connectivity costs continue swelling the average American's household budget, finding ways to cut back on non-essential services stands as one of the smarter money-saving tactics. By downgrading or dropping certain packages, families and individuals could potentially free up funding for other savings.

The easiest way to save on costly internet is simply by downgrading your internet speeds. Cable and fiber providers typically offer bottom-tier monthly plans for $50 or less with speeds between 100-300 Mbps. This bandwidth range can sufficiently support light use across multiple devices in small to mid-sized homes.

When it comes to mobile savings, downgrade your unlimited data plan. Though unlimited options are the most popular, averaging around $80-$100 per month from major carriers, the typical American uses only 13.5GB monthly. Consider moving to an MVNO and minimizing data could lead many families to cut their mobile costs almost in half.

When assessing streaming budgets, resist the temptation to subscribe to multiple services just to access certain exclusive shows or content. People used to share passwords to cut costs but with platforms cracking down, this option may soon disappear. Instead, aim to minimize your number of paid subscriptions to start.

Working to cut cable TV bundles offers prime money-saving potential. Do your research to identify cheaper providers available in your area. Budget what you can afford monthly, along with must-have channels or features like local news.

Downgrading internet speeds, minimizing unnecessary mobile data, strategically timing streaming subscriptions, and researching cable package options can lead to hundreds in annual savings. Cutting back on only what you do not absolutely require or value can quickly free up funding for other important areas of your budget.

William S.

William S.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. Focused on revealing the latest cybersecurity trends around the world.

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