Monday, July 20, 2015

Saving For the Home: Cutting the Cable Cord

Recently my husband and I needed to drastically change our budget. That meant a lot of cuts.  The hardest cut to make was cable.  We had too many "shows" we watched and too many we had recorded and not yet watched, and we couldn't bring ourselves to cut cable.  We made a list of our favorite shows and I did some research.  It turned out that all the shows we watched regularly were available for free or from another source that we were already paying for.  So we took the plunge and cancelled cable!

I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult then it was, but I think it actually made life simpler.  And a lot less costly.  We already had a subscription to HuluPlus ($8 and month) and Netflix Streaming ($8 a month). On top of that we paid $189 a month for cable and internet.  We kept internet for $55 a month as well as our two streaming services.  We borrowed a digital antenna from my mom and hooked it up to the tv for free network channels and public television channels.

The cost of our tv viewing habits with cable:

Cable + Internet - $189
Netflix - $8
HuluPlus - $8
iTunes/OnDemand - approx. $100
=$305 a month

The breakdown of our expenses without cable:

Apple TV - already owned, so free ($70 if bought new)
Digital Antenna - free from mom ($25 if bought new)
Netflix Streaming - $8 a month
HuluPlus - $8 a month
iTunes budget - $50 a month
Internet - $55 a month
(Both Netflix and HuluPlus are now charged to PayPal and I get monthly PayPal credit through Swagbucks, so they are essentially free.)
$121 a month for our new cable free lifestyle (or less if we don't include HuluPlus,  Netflix and the discount on iTunes gift cards we use.)

That comes to a possible savings of $2400 or more a year for simply dropping cable!  We realized that with cable we bought a lot more movies on demand and without it we naturally bought less, so we changed the budget to reflect that.  Cable had become an expensive habit to break, but I don't really miss it and so far neither does anyone else!

We did subscribe to HBO NOW for three months while we got our Game of Thrones fix, but cancelled afterward.  It was about $20 per month, but we still saved money versus cable!  We do rent and buy movies and the occasional tv show from iTunes, but I buy iTunes gift cards when they are on sale (yup -  they were 15% off just this week at Bed, Bath & Beyond!) and put credit onto our accounts each month.  We also buy gift cards at our local grocery when they offer fuel saver points.  It really adds up!  That way we stay within our $50 a month "Entertainment" budget.  Even when our income returns to normal, I don't think we will return to cable.  It is simply not worth the expense for us. Anyone else cut the cable cord?  Do you think it was worth it?

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