Okay let’s admit it. We’re TV addicts.
The average American watches 5 hours of TV per day, according to a report from Nielsen. Five hours a day! That’s a lot of TV watching. But that’s understandable, I mean how else are you going to keep up with the entire Kardashian family?
But just because we are addicted to TV doesn’t mean we have to pay over $100 a month to watch our favorite shows. And $100 is a low number. It is estimated that the average price of cable TV will hit $123 a month next year. That’s $1,476 a year!
I’m not suggesting you stop watching TV – I watch more TV than I’d like to admit – all I’m saying is that you should consider paying less for your services.
I haven’t had cable for over a year and I don’t miss it at all. True, I have to wait a day to watch my favorite shows, but as long as nobody ruins it by telling me what happens, one day is not that long of a wait. I’ve noticed that people nowadays are pretty good at not telling me what happened. They usually ask, “Oh man, did you see it last night?” No, and don’t say anything or I’ll karate chop you in your throat.
Anyways, below are a few ways you can replace cable and save money in the long run.
How to Replace Cable
1. Digital Antenna – If you don’t watch the 767 channels that come with your package and only watch the broadcast networks (such as CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, PBS) then you might as well get yourself a digital antenna.
Some of the best antennas are very inexpensive (RCA ANT1650F Digital Antenna – $32 and the RadioShack 15-254 – $35) and will allow you to watch football, Modern Family, The Blacklist, novelas (Spanish soap operas), etc.
2. Hulu – If you don’t mind waiting until the next day to watch your favorite show, then Hulu is right for you. Hulu is free and you can watch hundreds of TV shows and movies.
Hulu doesn’t have all the shows and it only shows the latest 4-5 episodes, but the amount of shows they have is more than enough to keep you entertained for those five hours every day. And if you want more episodes, you could always try Hulu Plus for $7.99 a month. I think free Hulu is good enough.
3. Netflix – Now if you really want to watch TV for five hours straight then just get Netflix and start watching Breaking Bad. Warning: You might binge watch Breaking Bad for three days straight. It’s just too good.
Netflix recently raised their price to $8.99 a month, but it is still a bargain considering the amount of movies and shows that it offers. Netflix are also producing quality shows like House of Cards and Orange is The New Black that are worth the money.
4. Amazon Prime – Most people know of Amazon Prime as a way to save money on shipping. But the Amazon Prime membership also includes access to Prime Instant Video as well as thousands of free eBooks.
The Amazon Prime membership is $99 a year ($8.25 per month), but it is well worth the price. There are some shows (Downton Abbey) that are not available on Netflix but are available on Prime Instant Video.
Breaking Down the Numbers
There are probably more ways you can replace cable and save money, but the five above are the most common. Now you ask, “What are the savings?”
To calculate the savings and to simplify things let’s make some assumptions. Let’s say your cable package is $100 a month. I would say that’s pretty average. Now let’s say that internet alone is $50 a month (I pay $39.99, but $50 is a good average.)
Let’s also assume that you want to get all four things mentioned above – you don’t have to because the antenna and Hulu could be enough, but let’s say you want it all.
|Year 1||Year 2|
As you can see, if you replace cable with all of the above you will save almost $400 a year ($500 if you don’t get amazon prime). And not only that, you will probably buy a lot less stuff because you don’t get to see commercials.
Every time I go somewhere who has cable and I watch the commercials I’m always saying, “Ooh that’s nice, I want it. Oh I want that too.” Commercials are made to make you want stuff and they work! That’s why they pay millions of dollars to run them.
If your goal is to save money to pay your debt or for any reason whatsoever, consider cutting the cord for a few months and see how you feel. Once you’ve met your saving goals, you can always go back to having 7,357 channels.
Do you still have cable TV or have you cut the cord?