Cable television is not a competitive business in the small town where we live. There is only one company that can service us out here, and they have learned to use that to their advantage. Our contract was to renew on February 1, and we declined. Instead, we decided to try other things. This is what we altered, how much it is saving us, and what we plan to do long-term.
The overall cost
We were paying $224 and some change for cable, Internet, and home phone usage. Of those services, only one is absolutely necessary. When the contract expired, we decided as a family to give up everything except the Internet. The base price for that is $80 a month.
In place of cable, we are planning to use Netflix and broadcast television. Most of the shows I watch on a regular basis are on the major networks, and the other shows that we would catch on cable can be found online. There are other outlets to watch episodes missed, especially on the network pages on the Internet. Netflix will cost us $7 a month, but we are going to be using it on two separate consoles. This will bring the total to $14. The rest of our viewing pleasure will be free with Internet usage. We can rent newly released movies at the RedBox for $1 each, and that happens twice a month.
The base rate we paid for the cable bundle was $225. After opting out and getting only the Internet, adding Netflix, and factoring in our $2 movie rental, we are now spending $96 a month. The savings right off the bat is $129 a month.
Right now we plan to stick with Netflix and the regular tube. It seems to be working just a few days in, and that is great news. Money is not as tight as it has been in previous months, but we could use the monthly savings. The $129 savings will go towards paying other bills, and in to our emergency fund. I plan to put $50 towards our bills and the other $79 away. That will add $948 to our emergency fund this year, which is a nice chunk of change.
After all is said and done, we are still able to watch most of what we want, and still save money. Cable is a luxury that just isn't worth the money spent. I feel better knowing I am paying for what we are using and nothing more.
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