Saving money can be a funny thing. When you start you may only notice certain huge expenditures, but as time goes by you may be surprised how the little things can add up.
Take your typical cable bill. According to a Motley Fool article and a study done by the FCC, the average extended cable package costs about $69 per household per month. However, those average costs may not take into account the costs to rent various DVRs and Set-Top Boxes, some of which may be required There is also an additional hidden cost that few people consider concerning renting of movies through the cable box.
If you add up the $69 per month plus an additional $11 for a set-top box/DVR plus 15% in fees and taxes, believe it or not, you might be spending a whopping $92 per month which is over $1,104 per year. For just about anyone this is a startling yearly expense. This necessary cost if ripe for pairing down to the basics. But How Best to Do this?
Rabbit Ears for All:
Believe it or not, TV used to be free. There were two issues with this though, One you had to watch commercials and Two the reception was less than great. Many local channels are still available for free, you just need an updated antenna connected to your TV to get them. You should be able to check the reception of your local area online before plunking down $29 for a modern pair of rabbit ears.
A Roku in Every Basket:
Set-top boxes hop over, the Roku Streaming Stick is definitely worth the $30 one time fee. Roku requires that you have internet for it to work, but beyond that the potential for free and paid videos are endless. There are so many free channels its hard to know which to tell you about, but let’s just mention the Smithsonian and PBS. Both of these so-called ‘channels’ have enough content to satisfy a small family for at least two nights per week.
If you add in just one or two paid monthly services, such as Netflix / Amazon / HBO you will be adding just a small monthly cost, say $10 /$8 /$15 but this all pales in comparison to Cable’s outrageous prices.
Just Pay for It Already:
I love talking cable cutting at cocktail parties and one of the most common questions I get from people is, well what happens if you want to watch a certain show? Simple I tell them – I just buy it. A typical entire season can cost as little as $9.99 if you wait past the initial season and more if you have to buy it as it is premiering, but considering how much money I am saving each month, I can easily afford a one time $15 expense for a great show.
The Bonus Savings Egg:
One of the dirty little secrets of being in the exclusive cable world is that the market to buy and rent movies is much more competitive online than it is through your cable set-top box. In other words, a $5.99 video on Comcast might be available for $1.99 on Amazon. But until you have access to a Roku or some other electronic hookup to your television you likely are missing this better movie rental pricing.
Fund your Empty Your Nest:
The Best Part about Saving Money by canceling cable and replacing it with Rabbit Ears, Roku, and Netflix is that its the gift that keeps giving. Every month you will be saving upwards of $90 per month, each month, possibly for the rest of your life. Annualized over 18 years and you may be able to pay for a year of college with that $19,872. Of course, it could be significantly more if properly invested in a college savings plan.
About the Author:
Scott W Johnson is the owner of a comparative life insurance site: