Every time I pay the bills, I stare at my budget spreadsheet and try to figure out places where I can cut costs so that I can put more money into savings each month. I’ve streamlined our grocery spending pretty significantly and that was always the biggest variable. There were so many fixed costs and I felt like I couldn’t do anything about them. The alarm service pricing is set. Same for insurance costs.
The one that drove me the craziest was the cable bill. $170 per month. Close to $115 of that was TV. The more I considered this bill, the more I wondered if it was worth it. Yes, I love TV, but do I love it for almost $1400 per year?
For years, I’ve heard about people who cut the cord and went cable-free. I was always envious, but thought I couldn’t do it. Then, I started to look at the options and I decided that we should try it.
So, I bought a Roku. I decided that we would try it for a week or so to see if it would fit well with our lives.
We’ve had an Amazon Prime membership for a while. We also have a Netflix membership, so neither of those were new costs. I did add Hulu Plus so that we wouldn’t miss our favorite shows on ABC, NBC and Fox. After a week with the Hulu, I was sold. For the shows that we regularly watch, it covered all but three: Dateline, Person of Interest and Big Bang Theory.
Because I’m technologically inept, it took a couple of days for us to get the antenna working. (My father-in-law saved the day.) We got CBS, but no NBC. The picture was great, but I was still debating whether or not we needed the antenna and a Tivo for the CBS shows. (Tivo’s service would be an additional $20 per month.) Since CBS offers episodes of the shows that we want online, we decided that we will hook up the laptop for those episodes.
The antenna, amp and Tivo will be returned this week.
We’re still trying to figure out what the easiest way to watch Mad Men and Breaking Bad will be. Even if we have to purchase the videos from Amazon or Vudu, it will be far cheaper than our cable bill during a given period.
Here are the costs and savings associated with the change:
Roku: $75. (The model that we purchased is regularly $99, but I had Amex points to put toward the purchase.)
Hulu Plus membership: $7.99/month – $79.99 for the remainder of 2013
Breaking Bad: $1.99/episode for 8 episodes: $15.92
Mad Men: $1.99/episode for 13 episodes: $25.87
Homeland: $1.99/episode for 12 episodes: $23.88
Total Costs for 2013: $220.66
Cable Cost for remainder 2013 (if we still had it and prices remained the same): $1,140
Total Saved in 2013 by canceling cable: $919.34
Even if the TV episodes for our favorite cable shows are a little more expensive, we are still saving a bundle. (In the past, that’s how much we paid for episodes of Dexter, so I assume the prices will be similar.)
This change is definitely worth it.
Tell me – can you live without cable? Have you made the switch to cable-free?
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