Don’t we all want to save money? With a family of six, I’m always on the lookout for ways to cut costs. And I figure it’s time I do a series on ways my family saves money. I’d love to get your input too.
I used to be a huge couponer. Like an extreme couponer. Except I didn’t hoard stuff – I gave lots away. Now, I’m too busy (it takes a ton of time) and the stores around here aren’t as coupon-friendly as they used to be. I still use some coupons, but I don’t save as much. So I turn to other ways to cut costs.
Today, I’m going to share how we save money by having canceled our cable.
We Used to Have Direct TV
Technically we had a satellite dish and not cable, but for the sake of simplicity, I put “cable” in the title because more people know what that is. It’s all the same thing, really. Paying money for television channels. And maybe a few other perks, like tivo, along the way.
We used to subscribe to Direct TV. We never did the premium packages, but our monthly bill was around $60-70. And of course it went up by a buck or two each year. Don’t you love when you get the mid-February notice stating that your bill will increase every year? A dollar may not seem like a huge deal but over time, it adds up!
Pulling the Plug
A couple years ago, Nate and I were working hard to pay off credit cards and were doing everything we could to cut costs. We decided to drop our satellite package down to the minimum “family package.” Our bill went down to about $36 a month. We lost a couple channels we liked, but the savings was worth it.
Last fall, we did yet another evaluation on this monthly expense. We’re debt free now, aside from our mortgage, thanks to Dave Ramsey (more on that another day) and that’s changed our budgeting and lifestyle. We’re more careful about our money than ever before.
Nate and I asked each other if Direct TV was worth the $36 a month. Was it worth paying $432 a year for a few NFL Patriots games Nate could watch at a friends’ house? Was my favorite show Grey’s Anatomy worth $37 a month? Particularly, when I could watch it online for free and didn’t have much time for it anyways.
In the end, we decided it was not worth it, so we canceled our subscription.
We’re not without any tv; we subscribe to Netflix now. We get the unlimited streaming $7.99 a month subscription. There’s plenty of shows for the kids and Nate and I still get to watch some of our favorites, like Bones, X-Files (would you believe I’m a huge X-Files fan? Betcha wouldn’t have guessed that!) and yes, even Grey’s Anatomy. We also have an extensive movie collection and for the latest movies we want to see, there’s Redbox. (In case you were thinking so, I’m not affiliated with Netflix or Redbox in anyway, nor is this post sponsored.)
Our Savings – $336 a year!
We’ve been without Direct TV and my beloved Tivo (that was hard to say good-bye to) for almost a year now and I can honestly say we don’t miss it at all. Now we spend $96 a year and save $336!
The other great thing? We watch less tv than ever now because we don’t feel obligated to make that expense worth it.
How do you save money with home entertainment?