I love creature comforts as much as the next person. I really do. I love fuzzy slippers, mugs of hot chocolate, and curling up on the couch in front of our fireplace. And I used to love my cable TV.
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One of the biggest differences in our household this year is that this will be our first year without cable. We are reducing our fixed expenses by changing our lifestyle. We actually got rid of cable in October, so we have been cable-less for going on three months now.
There were multiple reasons for this change. One of the biggest reasons was that in September I received a notice in the mail informing me that my cable bill was going to go up by $57 per month in October (so from $134.10 up to ~$191). We also have internet and fax from the same company, so that is for all three services.
Needless to say, I thought that was utterly ridiculous. There was absolutely NO WAY that I was going to pay that much more per month for something that I was increasingly beginning to wonder how much value it was adding to our lives.
So of course I called up our cable company to
tell them I’m not as desperate for TV as they need me to be attempt to negotiate with them. Over the course of two days I spoke with three different representatives there. They were ALL completely stuck on the price. No one would budge even a tiny bit on the cable price. One of them actually had the audacity to tell me that my old price was “much lower than their new prices,” and apparently I’ve “had a much better deal than a lot of other people for a long time.” They acted like I had been stealing cable from them for the past two years.
I also called the other cable company in our area, but they do not offer phone/fax service and without the price bundling we would not have come out very far ahead by switching providers.
So we decided to cancel cable. Could we have afforded to keep it? Yes. But we chose to get rid of it because 1) By that time I was pretty pissed off at the cable company anyway, and 2) Now that we are parents we have found ourselves re-evaluating a lot of our life choices. We just decided that cable TV does not add that much to our lives anyway, and we don’t want our daughter to grow up glued to the TV. So there was no way that we needed to be paying $57 EXTRA for it every month.
Changing Our Lifestyle
By getting rid of cable TV, that bill dropped from $134.10 to $89.53 per month for internet and phone/fax. We contemplated getting rid of the fax line too, but we use it for work and business so we opted to keep it. Since our provider had wanted to increase our bill to over $191, this means that by ditching cable we are saving over $100 per month. $101.57 to be exact.
We didn’t want to go cold turkey though- we wanted to have something to watch, especially this winter while we’re cooped up inside. So we subscribed to Hulu ($7.99 per month), and we bought a Mohu Leaf to pull in our three local network stations.
Honestly, we have barely missed cable. Once in a while when I’m trying to watch something it’s a little frustrating if the reception from the Mohu leaf isn’t very good (which may happen when we have bad weather). But there is only one show per week that I like enough to even get frustrated by that (Dateline on Friday nights! It’s my favorite). Any other time the reception is suboptimal we just turn off the TV or change the channel (by the way, I have to say that channel surfing is much less time-consuming when you only get three channels). 🙂 We have access to tons of shows on Hulu, so if it’s something that I really want to watch it will likely be on Hulu by the next day.
Overall we are watching much less TV these days, since we have fewer options. We have it on for maybe a couple hours in the evening to watch the news (on the Mohu leaf), and maybe one show. Then we turn it off. I have found myself reading books like crazy this winter. The hubs has been reading quite a bit too.
So here’s how the math works out:
Total cable savings in 2015: $1218.84
Minus Hulu subscription: $95.88 annual
TOTAL SAVINGS IN 2015: $1122.96
Not too shabby! It’s pretty sweet to know that making one small change like this will save us over $1000 this year. MUCH better than spending all that extra money. And this is only one bill- we’ve also been trying to make sure we are still getting the best deals by shopping around for our other services and checking in with our existing billers regularly . If you need help in this area, check out Trim to help you analyze your bills and reduce your rates.
What do you think? Do you have cable, or have you made the switch to Hulu/Netflix/Prime/Mohu? What’s been your experience?
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