First Person: Forgoing Cable Extras Saves Us $110 a Month

Yahoo Contributor Network

In an article featured on Yahoo! Finance by Stacy Curtin via the Daily Ticker, author and reporter David Cay Johnston spoke about the average amount Americans spend on phone, cable TV, and Internet each month. According to Johnston, the average bill is around $160 a month.

My husband and I have had cable TV and Internet for nearly seven years, and have managed to keep our monthly bill below $80. However, it hasn't always been easy. We have had to forgo several services that are offered to maintain what we believe to be a reasonable monthly rate. Here are three things we forgo to keep our bill 50% below the American average.

Land line phone

Our cable company offers a basic land line for $35 a month. With the phone services we would get unlimited incoming and outgoing calls, free long distance calls, and free voice-mail. However, my husband and I each have a wireless cell phone plan that we never use to the maximum benefit, so it doesn't make sense for us to pay more money for an additional line.

Digital box

A few years ago all television signals went digital, which means the older analog TV sets no longer work without a converter box. Our service provider offers a box for $15 a month that will not only allow our older TV set to pickup local channels, but will also expand our channel list with paid-per-view listings and more. Instead of paying monthly for a box, we decided to upgrade our TV, which was something we were planning away.

Faster Internet speeds

As a freelance writer I'm on the Internet all the time. I always have something to research, submit, or promote, so having a fast, constant Internet connect is important. We have the option of four different Internet speeds including 10.0, 20.0, 30.0, and 50.0. These range in price from $35 a month for 10.0 to $95 a month for 50.0. While 50.0 is the fastest, and therefore may seem like our best bet, it's more speed than my family will ever need. We decided to save $60 by sticking with 10.0, which has turned out to be the perfect speed for us.

If we were to purchase all the things listed above our total monthly bill would be $190 a month before taxes and other charges. Right now we pay just shy of $80 a month for the services we have, and we don't feel we need anything else.

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