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I can distinctly remember growing up in Burbank, California playing outside on my bike, watching TV with my dad and spending hours and hours in the library. As a kid, that was the norm. Then I got my first AOL account and things started to change. Now, I can’t imagine a life without WiFi. I literally have a sign in my living room about it. Sometimes though. living without WiFi at home can be a good thing.
I purchased my first home in 2010 and for 3-4 years lived with no internet connection whatsoever. Sure, I had my computer but I didn’t have internet. Let me tell you, I think when you are on a budget, there is some merit to just going without WiFi.
At that time in my life I was deeply in debt and living paycheck to paycheck. Even worse, I was stuck in a payday loan cycle where I “borrowed” $500 per paycheck, every paycheck, from the bank.
WiFi just didn’t make sense. It was almost $60/month in my area for the slowest connection. Looking back, some good things did come out of living without WiFi.
How to survive without WiFi? I’m not saying it is easy but it is doable. So, before you think you can’t live life without WiFi, check out these 5 reasons maybe you should try.
1. Find Joy in Life Without Internet
The best thing about life without internet is that you have to find other things to do. It was just me, my boyfriend and my daughter at home. My house was a 3 acre horse property not too far from shopping but not close enough to walk. Here are some things I regularly did that did not require internet at home.
I read a lot. In fact, I purchased a Kindle and would download books on public Wifi like McDonalds. I had the black and white version but you can even get color tablets now for super cheap. Like the fire7 by Amazon.
Lots of the classic books are available for download for free. Often, the ebook versions of a regular book are cheaper than the paper version as well. Loved being able to read, something I don’t find as much time for anymore.
Check out: 7 Best Books on Budgeting and Saving Money
Go To The Waterpark
This was my daughter’s favorite. While we did have to invest in a season pass, the water park was just a 10 minute drive away and we could go all summer for just a couple of hours.
In the hottest time of summer we’d eat lunch at home and then pack up and go to the water park for a few hours. This resulted in great family memories built on a budget.
Go On A Hike
Whether you are single and living alone or have a partner and/or a kid, hiking can be a fun, free adventure for the whole family. Pack a lunch, grab a backpack and head on out. Be sure to bring your camera, sunscreen and water.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life. Go on a hike, feel the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair. I know it sounds corny but it really is wonderful.
House cleaning is one of my least favorite chores. So much so that I set a timer any time I start cleaning. I usually do 15 minutes at a time. The internet can be such a huge time suck. Without it, cleaning the house became something to “do”.
I set my timer, start cleaning and know that I’m done when the timer goes off. The great thing about not having WiFi was I was much more likely to walk by the timer, decide to set it and start a quick cleanup. My house was always clean!
Go to the Library
Here again, this was great family time. My daughter and I would go to the library every weekend to explore their books and read together. We could both use the internet at the library for free so while she played computer games or browsed the children’s book aisle, I could upload any work I needed to do or browse the net.
2. Avoid Time Sucks
Even if you don’t have internet at home, more than likely you will have some type of internet on your phone. Even so, get into the habit of turning it off. Set times for yourself and your family where internet usage is OK.
It is amazing to me how much of a time suck social media can be without even realizing it. Of course, they have designed it that way right. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have almost an endless scroll. You can keep going further down the rabbit hole with every swipe.
When you have a limited data plan and no internet at home, it is much easier to stay off the net and be more present at home.
3. Get More Done
No matter what it is that needs doing around the house, chances are more of it will get done when you don’t have Wifi at home. The initial years of the startup of my horse training business at home were without WiFi.
For that business, I had a website and each horse had their own training page I would load videos and pictures to. I think NOT having WiFi at home encouraged me to spend more time outside training. I was still able to keep everything up to date by uploading on my work WiFi or, on the weekends, going to the library or any other public WiFi connection.
More of the things that need to get done, can get done when you don’t have WiFi at home. Honey do lists get checked off, spring organization actually happens and the garage and closets actually have time to get decluttered.
4. Save Money
Eliminating WiFi at home saves you money. If you are on a super tight budget you have to start looking at more things to cut. This is especially true if you are struggling to make ends meet each month.
Depending on your area, an internet connection can be a big expense. At $60 a month, WiFi would cost me $720 per year. That number doesn’t even factor in lost productivity at home or the temptation of spending more money with online shopping.
5. Improved Social Life
One of the things having no internet at home encourages you to do is pick up the phone and schedule some time with friends. Go over to their house and help with a project. Invite your friends to join you and your kids at the park. Attend kids sporting events together. Go to the free days at the local museum and have a look around.
Socializing with friends doesn’t have to be a budget buster and can be a great way to stay entertained when you have no internet at home.
Life with No Internet?
Keep in mind I’m not saying or implying that you should live a life with no internet. That is not realistically feasible for most people in the U.S. these days.
Living without WiFi at home means that you have to be intentional when you do access it. If you have to go out to the library, McDonald’s or Starbucks to access free WiFi, you will learn to be more deliberate about the time you spend.
When you only have 2 hours to work on things, you are much less likely to go browse Facebook for an hour.
What if I Work from Home?
Obviously there are some circumstances where it really, truly is not possible to not have internet at home. Typically this is the case for people that work from home. Even in that scenario, you still need to ask yourself if you truly need it.
If, for example, you do a lot of freelance gigs or work through sites like UpWork, then yeah, you probably need internet. If you are a YouTuber or a professional Gamer, then you probably need internet. Of course, if you are any of those you probably wouldn’t be reading this article.
My own home based business proved to me that having internet at home wasn’t necessary. Going out to upload things wasn’t easy but it was doable. Once the business was able to pay for internet, I finally got internet at home. Not before. You can build a blog or run a website with no WiFi at home. If your business or side hustle can’t pay for the internet connection, that business or side hustle isn’t a valid reason to “have” to have internet.
I don’t want to give the impression that I think WiFi or at home internet is evil. It isn’t. What it is though is something that is expendable when you really need to reduce your spending. You can’t not pay rent or electricity but you can not pay for WiFi. I hope this post has opened you up to the idea of it for when times are really tight. Try it for a month or two. If you do, let me know how it works out in the comments below! Remember, living without WiFi at home can be a good thing!