How Family Plans Can Save you TONS

By Ashley Eneriz on 19 July 2016 0 comments

While house phones and cable may be on their way toward obsoletion, the subscription market is booming. You can find a subscription or membership plan for just about anything — your favorite TV shows, your cell phone, music, and even Uber.

While these subscription plans can save consumers money, especially if you switch from a $100 cable bill to a $7.99 Hulu bill, they can still add up. Thankfully, many subscription or membership plans offer discounts for families. Here are the top shareable accounts you can take advantage of to save money.

TV Streaming

There are quite a few TV streaming services available right now. Most of them don't openly advertise a family sharing plan, but you can activate the streaming on multiple devices.

Netflix

Netflix allows users to stream shows on up to six devices, have up to five profiles, and even stream simultaneously on up to four devices at a time. (See also: 6 Tricks for a Better Netflix Experience)

Hulu

Membership can be activated on however many devices you wish, but streaming can only be done on one device at a time.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime allows users to add one adult to their account, and have up to four children profiles. Sharing Amazon Prime means the shared user has access to the large library of Prime shows and movies. Two different shows can be streamed at the same time on two different devices.

HBO Now

HBO Now doesn't offer specific rules on sharing, but several devices can use the same HBO account, though simultaneous streaming is limited. Funny enough, HBO CEO Richard Pepler said, "It's not that we're unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business. In fact, the practice of sharing usernames and passwords serves as a terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers."

Spotify

Spotify just rolled out its revised family plan in May. It allows you and up to five family members to enjoy a Spotify Premium account for only $14.99 a month. That works out to about $2.50 per person. What is neat about Spotify's family account is that six people are not sharing the same account. Instead, all six individuals in the family get their own premium account, which means they can play their favorite music ad-free and offline.

There are some restrictions to Spotify's family plan. All members must reside at the same address, though it is unclear how Spotify enforces this rule. Also, the account head will be billed the $14.99 each month, so you could get stuck with the $14.99 monthly bill if other family members don't pay you their portion.

Uber

Uber launched its Family Profiles in March for select cities. Even though Uber called its new program "Family Profiles," the company does not discriminate if you add friends or coworkers. Once this feature is more widely available, the profile can include up to 10 riders under one payment option.

This makes it easier to arrange rides for college students in other cities or to help older family members who cannot drive to do errands.

Cell Phones

It is no secret that you cell phone providers offer family share plans. Before we got married, my husband and I joined his sister's family plan with Verizon. It was the cheaper alternative to getting on our own plan. Somehow our bill kept growing (because his sister's family was charging us the same amount as their phones, even though they were using premium services). We were able to pay less on our own family plan with T-Mobile.

With T-Mobile, we are not on a contract and only pay about $55 for both of us. To get that price, we added my father and sister at $25 per line. With T-Mobile, the phones are pricier, since you are not under a contract. However, there are no extra charges for using too much data or texting. When one of us goes over our allotted data, instead of receiving a hefty charge, our browsing and streaming just slows considerably.

Another affordable family plan to consider isCricket's five lines for $100. The basic plan starts at $40 ($35 after autopay discount). Then you can add on a second line for $30, the third line for $20, the fourth line for $10, and the fifth line should be free. This would equate to $20 per person on the plan (or less, depending on the autopay discount).

Kindle Library

If you share an Amazon Prime account with another adult, they will be able to access the Kindle Owners' Lending Library if they own a Kindle. Even if you do not add on someone to your Amazon Prime account, you can still lend out books to friends and family members, as long as the book has lending rights.

Using family plans and sharing accounts is a great way to save money on membership and subscription costs. Just be sure to know the terms and conditions before sharing. Some companies have specific programs designed for family sharing, while others frown upon sharing your password.

What's your favorite way to save money on subscription services?

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