We were challenged by MoneySuperMarket to give up broadband for one week and see how it changed our lives. So on 25th April we switched off our modem for 7 days and nights and braced ourselves for the week ahead.
How it changed our grown up lives
|There's no binge watching of Game of Thrones when you switch your broadband off|
It was fairly annoying not being able to download tv shows on demand - it is too easy to simply download an episode of Masterchef that you've missed or re-watch your favourite episode of Game of Thrones whenever you fancy. Although not being able to do this was annoying, it was something we could live with if we had to.
Steve did find it a little harder. He streams music a lot and didn't want to waste his phone data allowance to do this. Instead he switched to good old CD's and has been listening to the radio in the kitchen instead. Again, not too annoying and definitely something he could live with.
I wasn't able to update a few of the apps on my mobile phone as they require a wifi connection before they can be downloaded. Not too annoying but I do wonder how I would get around this if we gave up broadband in the longterm - perhaps I would just have to pop to my mum's house when I needed to update an app?
We currently aren't in the middle of a Netflix binge but I reckon if this challenge had started half way through our Breaking Bad, 24 or Orange Is The New Black obsession, we would have found it seriously hard to stop watching for a week.
One final way in which we found giving up broadband annoying (although this is a bit of a first world problem) is that we use our iPhones to control our sky tv when the remote is out of reach. This only works over wifi so guess what - we had to stop being so lazy!
How it changed the kids' lives
My children are absolutely spoilt when it comes to the internet though. Being able to watch tv on demand is like second nature to them and they don't know any different, if I am honest they found giving up broadband a lot harder than what us grown ups did which is kind of worrying.
First of all, they watch Netflix in bed for 30 minutes before they go to sleep. Usually an episode of Power Rangers or some other cartoon. This is either on their TV or iPad. It was a bit of a shock to their system not being able to access thousands of tv shows at the touch of a button however we raided our DVD collection and found some forgotten treasures which kept them happy.
Secondly, Harry is really into designing his own compute games. He spends around an hour or so on his laptop most evenings designing new games on his 'scratch' programme. They also do this at school and it is educational. I think it's really important that our children grow up learning how to code and I wondered if not having access to the internet would stop this. It turns out though that Harry has an offline editor and he didn't need internet connection to do this at all. PHEW! The only way he was effected was that he couldn't 'google' how to do certain things and had to use trial and error instead but that's no biggie.
Finally, the other way the kids were really effected was that they couldn't watch Youtube. Yes I am one of those parents who lets my kids watch Youtube videos. They subscribe to various Youtube gamers' channels and Heidi likes to watch toy unboxing videos and reviews. They were VERY annoyed at not being able to catch up with their favourite subscriptions and the first thing they did when we turned our modem back on was log into Youtube. Hmmmmmmm...........
How much money we saved
Our broadband costs £26 per month. If we were to give it up we would save just over £6 per week. That's not the only saving though. Without broadband we would also give up our Netflix and Lovefilm subscriptions saving another £15.99 per month and I am pretty sure Steve would give up his music streaming subscription too saving us a further £9.99 per month. Not only that, but if the kids didn't have access to the internet we would get rid of our Xbox live account (£5.99 per month) and the kids wouldn't ask to buy various apps now and then which all add up.
Broadband - £26
Netflix and Lovelfilm Subscriptions - £15.99
Music streaming subscription - £9.99
Xbox Live subscription - £5.99
Various Apps - £3
TOTAL = £60.97
WOW! I did not expect that figure to be so high! I mean that works out at £731.64 per year which almost covers the cost of our family holiday to Spain! Seriously, £731 is A LOT of money. Although I don't think I am ready to give up broadband altogether, I am going to check with MoneySuperMarket to see if I can find a better deal and save on our broadband costs.
Can we give up broadband in the long term?
What do you think? Could your family go without broadband? Why not give it a go yourself, you may be surprised with the results.
This post is in collaboration with MoneySuperMarket but all thoughts are our own.