This tech blunder is costing you money every month

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It’s easy to overspend on consumer technology or make a purchase that won’t last long. For example, you don’t need to pay for Microsoft Office and you don’t have to spend money on cheap chargers. Tap or click to see five ways you’re wasting money on tech.

Then there are all the subscriptions you pay for and don’t use. Streaming services are one of the main culprits; there is so much time in a day and you can’t see it all. Tap or click to see my guide to watching your shows for free.

You probably don’t know that you can share multiple accounts with family and friends or at least get a nice discount. It’s not your fault. Tech companies don’t promote this money-saving secret that you’ll thank me for later.

If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, you may not realize there’s so much more to it than free shipping.
(iStock/Amazon)

PRIVACY TIP: 5 WAYS YOU’RE BEING TRACKED, YOU SHOULD STOP RIGHT NOW

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 free shipping. Tap or click here to see my favorite benefits. I suggest getting a 30-day free trial to make sure 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 split this cost with a friend or family member and still get all the benefits.

Amazon Household allows two adults to share Prime benefits and digital content like e-books. Each person has their own account, so it maintains some privacy. Keep in mind that they will have access to each other’s payment methods. Only share your account with someone you trust.

You can also add up to four teens (ages 13-17) 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/handle to create or manage your home.

While we’re talking about Amazon, the tech giant knows a lot about you. Prepare to be shocked. Here’s how to see it all.

Apple cheapens the package

Apple One includes Apple services for a lower monthly price than you would pay for each service separately. These savings can be worth it if multiple family members use iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, Apple Music, and iCloud.

The Individual Apple One plan costs $14.95 per month and includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50 GB 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 is $29.95 per month and adds News+ and Fitness+, with 2TB of storage.

This is where the cost savings come in: The Family Y 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:

To go Settings.

Play Your name.

Play Share with family and then play set up your family.

Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your family and invite your family members.

Tap or click here for instructions on how to set up iCloud+ on all your devices.

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Apple TV+ subscription. This is where the cost savings come in: the plans Family Y Premier 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.
(Courtesy of Apple)

If you are a Google family

Like Apple, Google offers expanded family plans with storage that five people can share. Group members won’t be able to see each other’s files, but they share storage space and can see how much space each other is using. All members must live in the same country as the family manager.

Google accounts include 15 GB of free storage. Here’s what it costs to upgrade to Google One for more capacity:

The basic plan costs $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year for 100 GB of storage. You also get access to support from Google experts.

The Standard plan costs $2.99 ​​per month or $29.99 per year for 200 GB of storage. This tier gives you 3% cash back on Google Store purchases.

The Premium plan costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for 2TB of storage and 10% cash back on Google Store purchases.

Both of them Standard Y Premium Plans can be shared. To set up family sharing, go to families.google.com/families. Sign in with your Google account and follow the on-screen instructions to add members.

Is your Google account locked? Are Of course? Tap or click for a quick and easy security check that you should run every few months.

Also consider your phone bill

Most mobile phone providers offer you a good discount for the more lines you have on a single plan.

You can also take advantage of offers if only one person on the plan qualifies. With T-Mobile’s affordable 55+ plans, for example, only one person needs to be 55 or older. Full disclosure: T-Mobile is a sponsor of my national radio show.

The same goes for military and first aid discounts. Verizon operates the same way. You only need one person on the plan to qualify, and members don’t have to live under the same roof.

Here are five ways to save money on your phone bill and maybe even get free service..

Easy ways to split the cost

Now that you know what you can share, what are the best ways to deal with splitting subscription costs? The last thing you want to do is chase someone down every month for a few bucks. Here are some options:

Let an app do the hard work: apps like splitwise help you easily track and pay your shared expenses. This option is great when you plan to split multiple bills.

To turn off: It’s not feasible to change your payment method every month, but maybe you and the person you’re separating with can change annually. You pay for a year of a particular service and then someone else pays for a year.

Take payment out of the way: For services that only cost a few dollars a month when split, consider paying your friend back (or requesting that money) in a lump sum over six months or a year. It’s easier than remembering to send more than $6 each month.

Like Apple, Google offers expanded family plans with storage that five people can share.  Group members won't be able to see each other's files, but they share storage space and can see how much space each other is using.  All members must live in the same country as the family manager.

Like Apple, Google offers expanded family plans with storage that five people can share. Group members won’t be able to see each other’s files, but they share storage space and can see how much space each other is using. All members must live in the same country as the family manager.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Keep your tech savvy on the go

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today”. That’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and tech callers like you from across the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click the link below to watch a recent episode.

PODCAST SELECTION: Upgrade your iPhone, travel hack, self-destructing email

Listen to the latest technology talk in 30 minutes. It’s time to upgrade your iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac. Also, if you’re running your own business, Cameo is a smart idea: use celebrities for marketing. And your flights will never be the same once you use digital baggage tags. I’ve got the scoop on this life-changing travel hack, and which airline is using it.

Find my “Kim Komando Today” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Just look up my last name, “Komando.”

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Get to know all the latest technology The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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