Stepping out into the new year, Topher and I decided we needed to go on a diet — a debt diet that is.
Like so many other people, we finished up the year with some credit card debt. You know what I’m talking about — that emergency card that you had to use when something big popped-up, like a large car repair or a pet surgery. Then you maybe added an emergency pair or shoes that you had to have to go with your dress for that certain party, and when you absolutely needed a weekend away to recharge your marriage?
Those kinds of things ended-up totaling more than you thought once that January credit card statement rolled in.
So we decided to pay it off as soon as possible because who wants to pay any extra money on interest? So for the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you some ways we are cutting back our spending so we can get that card paid-off ASAP.
The first way is on cable. Can you believe how high it is now?
We sat down with our cable bill and realized we were paying $85 a month for cable service and a DVR from our cable company.
We decided things had to change, so we came up with some solutions.
- List the shows you watch. We sat down and listed the shows we watch to determine if we could receive them using an over the air antenna, or if we needed to find another way (like through a streaming service).
- We cancelled cable. This was big! Once you cut that connection, you’re forced into action; otherwise, we could have talked it over for another couple of months.
- We installed an over the air antennae. This enabled us to still be able to DVR (using our existing TiVo) most of the shows we follow on ABC, CBS and NBC, CW and FOX. (Like General Hospital, Modern Family, Shark Tank, etc.)
- Purchase a streaming media player. There are all sorts of products on the market now that can stream media, such as Roku, an XBOX, a Playstation, Smart TVs, and most blu-ray players. In our case, we have a Playstation on one TV and a Roku on another. Each can stream our shows using a variety of services.
- We used streaming services. We already had a yearly subscription to Amazon Prime, which not only gives you free 2 day shipping year round, but also gives you all sorts of streaming media services that let you watch tv shows, movies and music — it’s $100 a year. We also have Netflix, which we don’t absolutely have to have, but between Amazon and Netflix we have a wide selection of movies to choose from. There’s one thing still out for debate … Topher loves Walking Dead (on AMC), but in order to watch it on Roku, you have to either buy a season for $35, buy each episode for $4, or wait until it’s available on Netflix (in a year) — but even spending an extra $35 leaves us WAY under where we were.
Here is how we broke it down:
|What we saved by cancelling cable:
|What we spent for the over-the-air antennae (one time charge):
|What we spent on a Roku box (on sale):
|What we spent on Amazon Prime:
|What we spent on Netflix (for a year):
In the years to come, it will be even more per year since Roku and the antennae were one time costs!
So I’d encourage you to take a good look at your cable bill and ask if you truly need your TV through that company.
Like a lot of others, we signed-up a long time ago when a “bundle” promotion was going on, but after a few months, the price started creeping up and up. We finally had enough and cut it out.
Stay tuned! I’ll share more tips for finding savings over the next few weeks.