Someday I'll tell my daughter about how I lived most of my life without a cellphone.
"When I was a little girl, we only had telephones in our houses," I'll say. "And they were tethered to the wall!"
"What good did that do you?" she'll probably wonder. "What were the odds you would be sitting at home, next to your phone, when you had to make a call?"
I'll wait until she's a little bit older before I blow her mind and tell her about life without the Internet.
For many of us, our cellphones and Web connections have become indispensable.
In fact, 63 percent of American households now spend more money per month on technology bills than they do on utility bills, according to a survey from tech support company iYogi.
We know a million ways to keep the heating bill in check. But how about the new "utilities?"
Consider going to a family plan. T-Mobile offers two lines with unlimited text, talk and data for $49.99 per month (plus taxes and fees). You can also add lines for $10 apiece plus the cost of any features you opt for.
If you use your cellphone rarely, consider switching to prepaid wireless. Page Plus, Tracfone, NET10, Boost Mobile, T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile all have prepaid options that can save you hundreds of dollars per year. Paying as you go may be much cheaper than paying a flat rate for minutes you don't end up using.
Before making any switches, analyze your usage carefully. If you go over the minutes in a cheaper plan, you could incur some hefty fees.
*For cable and satellite:
Visit BillShrink.com, put your information in and the website will run the numbers on all the different providers available, then rank them by price. You can fiddle around with different options and analyze each billing item to see what will save you the most money for your personal preferences.
Consider switching to a basic TV package and supplementing your viewing on the Web with sites such as Hulu.com.
Cut out movie channels and subscribe to Netflix for $8 per month instead. Better yet, cut out Netflix and get your movies from the library.
If you don't use the Web much but have a smartphone and data service, consider ditching your home's Internet plan.
If you don't use the Internet often, consider switching to dial-up.
Bundle your phone, Internet and television services with the same provider. You could save hundreds of dollars per year.