Guest post from Nisrene
A few months ago we made the tough decision to cancel cable, but it was one of the best decisions we ever made. We were not big tv watchers during the day, but at night we did enjoy watching some shows, and managed to keep the news on as background noise, yet somehow the thought of not having cable TV was difficult to accept.
As it turns out, after we fianlly took the plunge, made the dreaded call, and cancelled, we don’t miss cable TV much at all. In fact, it was one of the better decisions we have made, to “de-clutter” our lives.
Furthermore, we would like to bet that if you cancel cable, you will not regret it either, and in fact, you will be glad that you did. If you think about it, cable TV costs an average of $75/month or $912/a year and this is not including the 5% yearly increase.
To give you an idea of how you could put your savings to good use, if you put the $912/year into a Roth IRA, assuming you are 35 years of age and achieve an annual modest return of 6%, by the time you retire you will have $76,427 in your Roth IRA, tax free!
I guess canceling cable is one of the first steps you can make to retire nicely, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice watching your favorite shows. There are still many ways you can watch shows, movies, for free or much cheaper than cable. For example, to watch your favorite show, you can go to the network website and select to watch a full episode of the show. Local channels are also free to watch as long as you have a TV and an antenna.
Other than local TV and networks websites, here are few ways that you can keep on watching your favorite shows AND save money.
Netflix: Right after we canceled cable we subscribed to Netflix and we love it. You can watch movies, TV shows, documentaries, cartoons for the kids, and the kids favorite shows on Netflix.
The cost of regular streaming is flat fee of $7.99/month to access all of their streaming videos. There is no limit to how many shows or movies or stand up comedies you watch. And if you have the Wii, XBOX, or PS3, you can watch it on your own TV just as if you are watching cable on demand.
You can choose the DVD option as well but we chose not to pay for this option as we find that it’s way cheaper to get DVD codes for REDBOX and Blockbuster Express than to rent movies for free.
If you decide to go with the DVD option to have DVDs delivered to your door, their plans start at $7.99/month depending on how many DVDs out-at-a-time that you choose to have. Netflix also offers a one month trial free of charge if you would like to try them out first before any commitment.
Hulu Plus boasts with over 33,000 of full episodes of TV shows and series;both current and past, and a huge selection of movies. The cost for Hulu Plus is $7.99/month.
They are currently offering a free one week trial for new subscribers or a full free month for students (need to sign up with your .edu address). If you prefer watching TV shows and series more than movies then Hulu Plus is the right one for you.
If you or your husband are a sports fan, you can still watch games live through ESPN3.The same sports games that are played on the cable are streamed live but free. Tennis, Soccer, Basketball, college Football, NBA, and more games are available to watch both live and replay. You can use your PC, MAC, or Xbox to watch ESPN3.
Most news can be found directly on the cable news site itself; ABC CNN CBS Fox News. Just make sure that you select full episodes when searching for your news shows.
You can also stream movies online from Amazon or itunes for as low as $0.99.
Pandora is also a great application that can be used to listen to your favorite music.
If you don’t own a Wii, an XBOX, or other gaming device, you can purchase a Roku box; a small streaming player, for $60 at Roku.com to watch online streaming from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, ESPN3, and other online streaming sites on your TV.
In summary, you don’t have to shell out a lot of cash each month to watch your favorite shows, movies or sports on TV. In fact, there are many ways out there to enjoy your shows more cheaply or FOR FREE. Take advantage of some of these new opportunites, what do you have to lose by trying? In the end, the cable companies will gladly welcome you back to take your money, if you decide you can’t live without cable TV.
Nisrine Febres of iSavvyMom: I am a wife to an amazing man and a mother to two beautiful girls. I love to organize, save money, cook, eat dark chocolate and Math. When I am not juggling the kids, cleaning, cooking, organizing, and blogging, I work as a Part time Math instructor at a college nearby.