With the economy still in a slump and people looking for continued ways to save money, one of the first targets is cable or satellite TV. With monthly bills that can easily range anywhere from $40-$100/month, it’s no surprise that this is an area for savings. At the same time, many people are hooked on television so the thought of going without or dropping some premium packages may seem unheard of.
As for us, we watch a fair amount of TV and our location makes it difficult to do without paying for some type of service. We live way out in the sticks and our antenna, while it will pick up most local digital channels, you need to rely on the weather if you want to watch TV. If it’s windy outside, forget it. Raining or snowing? We might get one channel. It’s very unreliable.
So, we went with a dish. It’s great, but the monthly bills sure do suck. One of the biggest benefits is the large DVR. If it wasn’t for that I probably wouldn’t even need a TV. Because of the DVR I can watch TV on my own terms. I can go without watching TV for a week while the DVR catches everything that I might eventually want to watch. Then when there’s a rainy weekend or other time when there’s nothing else to do I can sit down and get through my shows in record time. No more being bound to the couch only when shows are scheduled to air.
I can say it would be tough to give up now that it’s more convenient. Most of my shows are on Discovery, the Science Channel, History, Bio, etc. Nothing better than having 3 episodes of Mythbusters queued up and ready to go! The one cost-saving measure the dish did provide is that we were able to cancel one of our Sirius XM subscriptions since you can listen to it on the dish.
Have You Changed Your TV Plan or Ditched it Completely to Save Money?
So what about you? Have you changed your TV habits in an effort to save money? Let’s hear your stories or tricks to save money on television costs.
Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle
My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.
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This might help!
I hardly had the time to turn on the tv and when I did despite the hundreds of channels there was never anything on worth watching. I thought I'd miss news highlights, but I get all that from the internet. So I dropped my direcTV and signed up for Netflix. That way I'm assured of having something interesting to watch when I do have time for tv.
I probably should cut down on my digital hd cable bill. We basically only pay for it to get high-def hockey games. It can be tough to cut certain luxuries, especially when you become very accustomed to them.
I just wanted to give you an update, I talked it over with my family and they all agreed with me, that it is best to cut off completely the TV. Now.. here is where the problem lies, and perhaps is some advice for those who are looking to cut or reduce their internet plan in the future.
When I called Direct TV to cancel my tv service, they said that I have a 2 year agreement with them, since I was paying a special price when Signed up with them. I had previously had Dish Network, and I switched to Direct TV last summer when I moved into the new house we are at. Anyways... apparently it costs about $20 per month that is "unused" during the 2 years if I cancel. So... after some hard long thought, I decided to reduce the TV to the most basic plan, which will cost me about 26 per month after taxes, which would be more worthwhile than canceling and paying the $160 they want for the cancellation fees. I guess that is a lesson learned for me...
When the subscription television costs start coming under scrutiny we know that times are getting tougher and tougher out there. The economic autumn is starting to turn into a cold winter, and the snow hasn't even started falling yet.
You know after reading this post, and the comments left, it really gives me a great incentive to go ahead and cancel my Direct TV satellite. Really it made me realize that most of the shows that I watch, I can watch them online, especially with the new website Hulu, which before in the past I used to watch a full season of Burn Notice, which right now is one of my favorite shows, might I add! I can also utilize websites like dailymotion, and even justin.tv to watch tv.
I am going to talk it over with the rest of my family, and hopefully they all agree with me.
I don't own a TV and get all my information via the internet. For Cable I pay roughly $40 a month - but I'm hardly ever home which is a bummer and I have to pay for a verizon wireless card service which costs about $60 a month. I thought about canceling the cable internet but because the wireless card is limited in kb, I can't cancel my cable.
I recently read an article how 99% of video and shows are still watched on TV. Overtime I think more people will be using their computers and online sources like Hulu but for now cutting cable is still a tough thing.
I wanted to drop cable but found out that it would actually cost us more money to drop cable and go with just internet because they're bundled. So, until that changes we'll keep paying for cable. We only get the most basic package though ($15) per month.
We never had sattelite and dropped the cable when we moved out from our previous appartment in 2005. We still have a TV set to watch DVD movies, and that's it!
I can tell you, we don't miss cable at all. We found ourselves with more free time, that we use to do much more interesting (and probably healthy) things like reading, gardening, cooking, etc.
I tried to drop our package down a tier and get rid of the movie channels. Comcast said they raised rates on the lower tiers so I wouldn't actually be saving anything. Bastards!
We never had cable, and dropped satellite service about 4 or 5 years ago, because the price kept going up and there were only a few channels I watched, mostly in the "premium" tiers.
For most of that time, we made do with watching tv shows online, and movies through Blockbuster online [and in-store, which was included]. Several months ago we switched to Netflix, and spent $99 for a box so we can download movies straight to our television. The service comes to about $18 a month, and I love it. Lots of movies on demand, more available by mail, and many television shows are also included.
I dropped my service for the summer for the second str8 year. It's all reruns now anyways so I'm good till the NFL season starts again :-)
Dropped Movie Chans and those Random Chans that I didn't even know I had! Saved $30 to $40 a month. Picked up Netflix and can stream right to my tv from laptop.
Dropped cable in favor of high-speed internet only, shaved $80 off my bill, and signed up for Netflix. I don't miss TV shows, get plenty of movies online and through Hulu, and actually a lot less advertising.
I never had cable or dish. We are lucky to get quite a few channels on our house antenna.
The charge for cable or dish is way to high regarding that you still have to watch those commercials!
In Europe dish is free, its payed by the commercials. That is the way to go! You buy and install your own dish and receiver! Mind you, the government charges you a fee for watching their channels (Even if you don't!!).
I cancelled all cable, going from premium HD with a DVR (at a cost of over $100 per month) to nothing. I think all that I'll miss is Sunday football, but I'm sure I can find other things to do that are more worthwhile then sitting on the couch for 8 hours :).
I dropped cable and my DVR completely. I realized that all of the shows I was recording were available for free online- shows on ABC/NBC as well as Comedy Central. I did watch other cable channels (many of the same that you listed above), but was surprised to find that with a digital converter box, my local PBS station (Milwaukee area) broadcasts 8 (!!!!) stations! 1 is news-like but also has some History-channel-esque programming, and one called "Create" catches a lot of the HGTV and Discovery stuff I used to watch. Needless to say, I am a huge proponent of the slightly revised channels I now watch, and don't miss the cable at all.
The bulk of my family's TV comes from the internet, with our LCD TV hooked to a regular PC I bought for that purpose. We use Hulu, etc. I purchased the PC and a Wii for a little over $600. The thinking was that we will watch less tv and play more games, and we will save over $750 a year (after this year, of course) with no Directv with Tivo.