We are always looking for ways to make our money work smarter and cable was an opportunity that was staring us in the face! Literally!
Cable is a convenience which causes us to believe that it is a need and not a want.
Our modern society is highly dependent on all things media but lots of people are finding ways to break-free of traditional cable subscriptions and save lots of money in the process.
The Federal Communications Commission issued a report in May 2014, and said
the average cost of cable TV is $64.41.
This total does not include taxes, surcharges and fees which could round the average monthly bill out to about $80.
On a monthly basis, $80 doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but over the long-haul, it can add up quite nicely.
Consider the cost (short and long-term) of cable:
Be Clear About Your Goals
As we thought of our short and long-term goals, it became clear that we were spending a lot of money on cable, monthly and over the years!
Honestly, while working a full-time job, running errands, cooking dinner, playing with the kids, and more, there was not a lot of time for television.
The chart above is just one example of how simple decisions can make the difference between financial success and financial regrets. Something as common as cable can impact whether you have an emergency fund, a retirement account or 130 movie and sport channels.
It’s all about choice.
3 Ways We Save Money on Cable
1. Our Choice: Cut the Cable
When we were first married, it was difficult to gain financial traction and everything that we earned was being spent in bills and consumption! That’s when the choice became clear–cable had to go!
While it was not a good feeling–we were not all smiles and filled with warm fuzzies–we knew that cutting cable was the quickest and easiest way to save money.
Sidebar: There are moments in life that bold moves are needed to give your finances a boost. These decisions won’t generate high-fives and tons of support from family and friends, but don’t worry, they’re probably broke with no savings too. So don’t place to much value on their opinions.
After a few months, we could see some success ($$) and began to find other ways to save money. This helped to break the pattern of living paycheck to paycheck. As things got better, we added cable again but were prudent about selecting a package that was just enough each month.
2. The Internet: There’s an App for That
Fortunately today there are so many alternatives to traditional cable carriers and monthly subscriptions.
I’m surprised by the number of people who have made the decision to entirely cut cable and just rely on the internet for regular programming. This is a big cost savings when you consider that most adults and certainly most kids, have a laptop, smart phone or tablet that they use daily.
With the advancements in technology, this trend will continue.
Many channels stream their television shows via apps or directly from their website. The majority of these options are FREE while some may charge a small fee. However the cost is minimal when compared to large monthly subscriptions.
3. We use Apple TV
Another cool internet alternative, which I love by the way, is Apple TV.
If you are not familiar with it, Apple developed Apple TV, which is a digital media player that receives digital data from a number of sources and streams it for playing on your television. While there is a cost for the digital player itself, $89-$99, it is a one-time fee.
Once connected to your Wi-Fi, you can receive digital content (tv shows, media, etc.) from the iTunes app using AirPlay or directly from the iTunes Store, which is sent to your television.
In addition, you can stream content from Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and Vevo. These various providers do require monthly subscriptions to stream their programming through Apple TV but the cost is minimal. For instance, our monthly NetFlix subscription is $7.99/month! That’s AWESOME!
It’s also possible to receive content from several cable and broadcast networks.
Read 12 Cool Things You Can Do With Apple TV by Steven Tweedie, recently posted on Business Insider, for more details and tips and tricks! It’s a great article.
With consumers seeking more flexible alternatives to cable, it won’t be long before more options are available from a content perspective.
In Summary, Get Busy!
I can say that I don’t regret our decision not to have 1000+ TV channels.
I would much rather have a savings account and a checking account that are in the black and not the red each month. While cable is a nice convenience, it’s nicer to have your finances under control and to eliminate and reduce expenses wherever possible.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
It takes discipline and diligence but over time, your reserves will build and before you know it, you are building wealth and freedom like you could never imagine!
How have you found ways to save money on cable each month? Share with our readers!