Phones, Internet, TV

People on a tight budget need to find ways to cut costs, which can include the technological extras in your life, said Pam Leffler, director of nonprofit agency Christian Help Inc.

One of the first items they recommend is that people get rid of cable or satellite television.

Next, they advise people to choose between a cell phone or home phone, since often people have both bills.

The home phone is usually less expensive, since many companies offer a basic phone service plan, she said.

Leffler recommends people do not get prepaid phones, where they buy a certain amount of minutes at a time, since that is often the most expensive option, she said.

But there is a debate over Internet service.

If someone cannot afford to pay the Internet bill, Leffler's advice would be to disconnect the service.

But that service can be an important tool, especially if someone is looking for a job.

People can use the Internet at public computers at local libraries, but there is a time limit. Plus, they would need to find transportation to get there.

Also, when people are applying for jobs, they could be at a disadvantage to other applicants if they don't have immediate access to the Internet, she said.

"We've really become a society that cannot do without technology; and if you're a poor person and you don't have the money for technology, you're really at a disadvantage, especially if you're applying for jobs," Leffler said.

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