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Monday, 9 May 2016

The week we went without broadband

Can we give up broadband? My first thought is NO WAY. I mean broadband is a way of life for us now and we rely on it for SO much of our daily life. When I posted that we were switching our broadband off for one week over on my Facebook page, reactions ranged from 'I think my son would have an emotional breakdown' to 'I think I could benefit from last time online'. I was also encouraged (and shocked) to hear that one of my friends actually doesn't have broadband at all. She told me they spent all day working on their business and ended up bringing work home with them as it was just so easy. Not having broadband forced them to re-gain that elusive work-life balance. Interesting!

Could you go without broadband? We tried it and discovered we could save £731 per year with MoneySuperMarket


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


To be honest, it didn't really effect us too much. We have good 4G coverage where we live and both mine and Steve's mobile phone packages come with a lot of data. During the day I used my phone as a hotspot and connected my MacBook to 4G this way so I could still work. I even took my computer off to my local beer garden during a spell of sunshine and used their free broadband to catch up on emails.

Could you go without broadband? We tried it and discovered we could save £731 per year with MoneySuperMarket
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.

Could you go without broadband? We tried it and discovered we could save £731 per year with MoneySuperMarket


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


Now Steve and I managed just fine without broadband and I would even go as far as to say that if our budget was tight, we could give up broadband altogether. We are from a generation that grew up without the internet and spent our teens battling with dial up. I'm sure this sound will bring back lots of memories:-


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. 

Could you go without broadband? We tried it and discovered we could save £731 per year with MoneySuperMarket

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.

Could you go without broadband? We tried it and discovered we could save £731 per year with MoneySuperMarket

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. 

Could you go without broadband? We tried it and discovered we could save £731 per year with MoneySuperMarket

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.

Monthly savings

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? 


I would like to think that I certainly could but this is mainly due to the fact that I had decent 4G access. If I didn't I think it may have been a different story and I would have been tearing my hair out. Steve and the kids - I'm not so sure. The kids seem to heavily rely on broadband and it is ingrained in their life now. I am sensible about how much the children access the internet and we balance it with lots of screen free time and days out ect..... however it is scary how much at age 5, 7 and 9 they have grown to just accept access to broadband as part of normal life. Then again though, I keep going back to that figure of £731 and what I could do with the money............this challenge has provided lots of food for thought that's for sure.

Could you go without broadband? We tried it and discovered we could save £731 per year with MoneySuperMarket


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. 
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9 comments

  1. I thought you were going to give up the Internet for a week? Now that would be a huge challenge! But like you say, we grew up without WiFi could probably live without it if needs be. I don't stream music or download films (I'm still a vinyl and dvd kind of girl!) so it probably wouldn't be a big deal really. Well done on giving the kids a glimpse of life without wifi, hopefully it makes them appreciate it more x

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    1. Ah you are old school with DVD's Rachel :D I hope the kids do appreciate it more x

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  2. I had pretty much no phone access to anything for 48 hours last week and I hated every minute, I don't find it freeing at all and as someone who has horrid anxiety I actually got more anxious. I think there are so many things I would rather give up to save money but I salute you for your endurance, you're like the bear grylls of the internet ;)

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  3. I definitely couldn't live without wifi. Although we gave good data packages, 4G just eats it even with wifi so I was going way over my limit - we had to switch it off! My daughter is quite baffled by the idea she can't just access CBeebies any time she wants when we're away so I'm sure she'd be unimpressed too!

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    1. Yes I remember when we took our three on hol when they were younger and they couldn't understand it either x

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  4. Technology is threaded through our lives so much especially for the younger generation and I think it would be difficult to give up broadband purely because of the convenience factor for all of us. I agree Samantha that limiting time spent using this is the wise option for us and children. I'm sure your son benefited from the trial and error with his game creating and. I had to laugh at the sound of the dial up...it seems like soooo long ago. June :)

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  5. I honestly thought you were giving no up the Internet. I could do broadband no problem!

    I do enjoy no internet or mobile days. Leaving all technology at home and going out for the day it's so liberating not constantly checking emails ect

    V x

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  6. My Mum's house was built in 1930s, that combined with her being in leafy Shropshire, if you ever wish to go off grid just walk through the front door. It is guiltless bliss. That said we are just about to purchase a house built in 1930s, I have to confess I hope we don't get the same effect.

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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