Budget Tip #1 – Skipping Cable Bills without losing (too much) culture savvy

27 Oct

Here’s a quick tip for those of you who are (I won’t say poor, but…) ‘Budget Conscious’ like me.  I think you should sell all worldly possessions and live off the earth ummmmm, wait a minute.  While that might actually be cool, today I’m suggesting the step before selling all possessions (sort of).  Here’s the challenge:  evaluate your monthly cable bill to see if you are really getting your money’s worth.   You might be surprised…or maybe not, whatever.

I’d like to think that my husband and I are pretty ‘culture’ savvy.  We love reading, movies, and TV and then discussing said media with our educated friends.  But to be caught up on TV (and thus TV discussions with other culture savvy people) most think you need to pay 100+ bucks a month to the likes of AT&T or Comcast.  I say ‘Oh no, you don’t!’  ‘How?’  You ask. ‘Read more!’  I say.

Here’s the answer:  Internet + Hulu and Netflix!!!

MORE (saved)

I admit to take my advice you do have to pay AT&T or Comcast (or the internet provider of your choice) about $35/month.  But then you will have instant culture savvy potential!

With our strategy you can save over 50 bucks/month and not really feel deprived.  With Hulu, you can still laugh at Liz Lemon’s junk food habits and giggle at Manny’s cute grown up tendencies without paying ‘the big bucks’.  On Hulu you can even watch shows whenever you want, kind of like ‘other people’ with their fancy DVR recordings.  **A word of caution, Hulu does take episodes down within a week or 2 so you do have to stay on your toes.**   With the internet you can also get your movie and older series fix with Netflix watch instantly (ok, that’s another $9.73/month). But with their power combined…I’m Captain Saves…ok, I’m not even going to try to finish that sentence.

Here’s the technical part in case you were wondering.  In the Peters house, we use an S-video cord (about 10 or so bucks at most stores) to switch the screen display from our laptop to our TV.  Then we hook up some computer speakers to the laptop to enhance our hearing experience.  However, Ike tells me that there’s a cord that will transfer sound too.  I’m not sure of all those details, but it is important that you make your own choices on this journey anyway (I say that kind of stuff when I’m avoiding responsibility…).  Oh, wait, I found a ‘How to’ article on the subject if you are interested in the nitty gritty.

I will admit if your house lives and breathes sports, reality TV, or fancy channels then this awesome saving technique may not work for you.  Live things aren’t really available via internet.  In this case, you will have to choose if saving money is worth it.  It may not be.  But it’s worth a thought, no?  I’ll admit, and just because we’re good friends…I had to give up American Idol watching/mocking sometimes.  If you are concerned about such things, you can get antennae, and you may be able to pick up some of those things live.  BUT (gasp!) you will have to be home and planted in front of the tube when the action is really happening (or you can go really old school and pull out your VCR…).  Also you will not be able to watch HGTV, TLC, Nat Geo, BBC or any other fancy channels.  But once your addiction to shows like the Dog Whisperer or What Not to Wear ease, you won’t miss them (that much).

I hope that this has given you some food for thought.  This is coming from an expert (e.g. a person who has ordered and then cancelled cable twice in the last two years).  I like the thought of cable, but in the end the cost just doesn’t work for me.  And even if you drop the bill and don’t use all these fancy cords and internet, a little less TV in life never hurt anybody.  Right?

Bonus Pix:  Me and Buster!  Don’t we look happy without cable?

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