My family frequently blows through the limit our internet provider places on the number of gigabytes (GB) per month we get without extra fees. Frequent pleas from me had little effect. Warnings from our internet provider when we reached 75% and 100% of our allotment for the month were ignored. Then I came up with an economic solution.
Each computer in my house has a desktop network meter that measures internet usage for the month. Each member of my family gets an equal share of the “free” GB each month. Then any overage fees are shared by all of us in proportion to the amount we exceeded our shares.
Here’s an example. Suppose a family of 3 has a limit of 75 GB per month (25 GB each) and one month they use 5 GB, 35 GB, and 55 GB. The overuse is then 0, 10 GB, and 30 GB, respectively. If the overuse fee is $40, then the second person pays $10, and the third $30.
Making my family actually hand over cash seems to have made quite a difference. I no longer harp about internet usage, and we haven’t had any overuse fees since I put this plan in place. We’ve used small economic incentives to improve harmony.