Do you ever find yourself reading those “save money” articles that keep suggesting you give up your favorite treat? Whether it is your morning latte or your weekly movie night, why do they have to take away the good stuff?
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes don’t really want to stop getting my lattes in the morning. It feels like all the money-saving advice out there says to cut out the fun things in life just to save a few bucks here and there. Why worry about saving a few dollars here and there, when you can look at your big overall picture and instead find much easier ways to save hundreds of dollars.
Save serious money instead
Once you have created your simple budget, and can see where your money is going each month, it is a little easier to look at your bills as a whole. This way you can make informed decisions as to which of your bills don’t really align with your goals.
Let’s say hypothetically you have a goal this year to save $2500 to take your family on a cruise. And let’s say you pay $200 each month for cable, then the math is simple.
Would you rather go on a cruise with your whole family, or have access to thousands of channels you probably don’t even watch?
Simply cutting out that one bill – and putting that money into a savings account – will pay for your whole trip; how much easier is that?!
Keep your favorite shows
I am always looking for new tips and tricks for saving money. And one of my favorites is to cut the cord, this is the biggest and easiest way to save a lot of money. Easy, right? Not always.
Don’t worry I didn’t say throw out the TV completely! I mean every now and then you just need to put on some Veggie Tales and give the kids of a bowl of cookies….trust me…you won’t hear a peep for about ten minutes!
That’s right momma, ten minutes of pure quiet, rest, and relaxation! Anyway, I digress; trust me, we still watch just as much TV as the other guy, we just pay way less than they do.
For the price of one night out to dinner, we got this thing (Amazon Fire Stick) that connects to the back of our old TV and gets the internet. Our newer smart TV just gets it automatically somehow from the little green men out there in orbit taking care of the satellites for us!
We had previously cut the cord many years ago, but then slipped back into the convenience of cable for the sports and kids shows. But trust me on this one, nowadays everything is online, you don’t need cable for anything anymore.
Evil Cable Story
When we went back to cable last time, for the last time, they offered me some package for cable and internet for $84 a month. Not bad. So I went for it. Over the course of the next 4-5 years that bill continually went up year after year.
I would do what everyone else recommended and call them and talk them down to a lower price but it was never down to my previous price – or if it was then it was only for a limited time and then we would be back to square one.
Then one day, right in the middle of football season (sacrilege!) I opened my bill and saw the worst thing imaginable: I owed them $215!!! Did I forget to pay last month?? How can this be?? Nope, I had not missed a month; this was what they wanted to charge me for one month of their crappy service. They had raised my rate over $50 in one fell swoop…honestly…it’s like they just don’t care.
I can’t help but wonder how many people don’t notice these things simply because they have everything set up on auto-pay. Yes, it is more convenient, and yes I have my one credit card set up to auto-pay because I don’t want to risk getting my credit dinged just because I lost track of the dates, or one of the kiddos got sick, or whatever else happens that sucks up all my time.
But the cable and cell phone have always been manual pay for me because I want to see that bill each month and make sure they haven’t jacked my rates.
So, what did I do?
Call immediately and rave into the phone and demand they cancel me immediately?!?!
Nope. After all, it was right in the middle of football season and the Civil War was coming up! LOL! Instead I quietly paid the bill and then vowed to figure something else out.
I started my research, I started asking around, I mentioned to DH that he might not get to see all his basketball games once football was over…priorities!! I knew I wasn’t going to cancel before Christmas, so I prepared myself to pay one more month to that horrible company.
Eventually, I discovered Fios from Frontier/Verizon. The promotion rate we are paying for competitive internet speeds is $25 a month and at the end of that, it will go to $35 – still saving.
For cable, there are so many different options these days to get your favorite TV shows streaming through the internet. And we have tried them all:
- First, we found a promotion through the gaming system, PS Vue, and for only $65 we got all the channels we used to have with cable only now it is streaming through the internet. Honestly, I could have done without that part, but it keeps him home to watch the Blazers rather than going out to a sports bar twice a week. Ironically, after we had this service for about six months they raised the rates!
- So we canceled and moved on to Sling. But that seemed to take forever to download sometimes and would cut out in the middle of a show or game. So we canceled that too after only a month or two.
- Of course, I have Netflix, but that is really a negligible cost because I have had Netflix since back when you had to wait to get your next DVD in the mail! (Anyone else remembers having to update your queue if you wanted to add something new to your list?!?!) Anyway, back to saving money.
- We also already had Amazon Prime for the shipping but never really got into checking out the shows. We have found many shows on there that we like and they have all the PBS kid’s shows for the munchkins.
- Hulu also has a live TV option if you want to upgrade from their regular $7.99 plan, we tried it and really liked it. Luckily there are no contracts so we will just change from month to month between just streaming shows and getting live TV.
What about you?
So how about you? Are you thinking about ditching cable too? Do you really want to have to leave your house to go to work for someone else just so you can have 6,000 channels back at home? Thousands of channels that you will never watch anyway (and can’t watch because you are working overtime just to pay the bills!).
If you make $20 an hour and pay a $200 cable bill then the first 10 hours of your month goes to some big corporation rather than towards your personal or family goals.
Save your money, or cut back your hours at work, and instead spend some quality time with your family – rather than zoning out in front of the boob tube this weekend!
Save the Coffee!!
Save your coffee, and instead look at your monthly budget. Where else can you cut out a large bill that isn’t in alignment with your priorities and larger goals anyway?
Maybe you really really really like cable, but you don’t really need a car and can walk to work instead. Sell the car, cancel the insurance and you will save a hefty amount each and every month. That cruise is getting closer and closer!