Slash Your Budget One Item At A Time – Cable Bill

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How to Shrink Your Cable Bill...and and not miss your favorite shows!

HI there,  Emily Again!

Today, I am going to touch on a topic we Americans hold dear… Television.

There was a point where we were paying $100+/month for 250 channels (plus equipment rental and taxes), of which we watched about 10 Channels regularly (Weather, News, Discovery, Local Channels).  Plus, we have sports and Church and we just aren’t home that much. Honestly it’s silly to pay so much for cable. I know. I know.

In a world where we can stream live to a phone or computer, why on earth we pay so much for cable is beyond me!

If you haven’t heard about ROKU, you should check it out. You can buy a Roku box for $60 – $100 depending on model. We bought ours at WalMart. It’s a one-time fee, not monthly.

I love it because it works like a blue ray in terms of allowing you to set up your Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other accounts on it. PLUS – you can search and add channels. PBS, CatholicTV, EWTN Streaming, Music, Old Westerns and more. FREE! What you don’t choose,  your child can not get to (just saying!).

If you want local news, you can buy an antenna at WalMart for $22 that will pick up local channels and about 40 others. If you want movies, you can sign up for HuluPlus and Netflix, each costs $8.65/month. AND if you already have Amazon Prime (for their great shipping) then you get free shows/movies there too.

Here is a chart that outlines what cable costs vs. no cable with a Roku box.


Imagine an extra $1000 yearly? Seriously. You could choose not to have either Netflix OR Hulu which would take you to about $1200/year savings. If I had to choose one or the other, I’d choose Netflix because they have all the great Ocean, Weather and Nature documentaries that my child loves.

To bring my point home, I’m going to tell you a story about swaying from your plan when you are paying down debt. We are in “pay down the debt” mode here. Sometimes I get tired of always saving and doing without. I’m sure you can commiserate. We all want things and get tired of doing without. We’re human. I get that. I do! But really – are we doing without? We have our Faith, a God who never fails us. We have food, shelter and basics. We don’t live in third-world countries. We need to get a grip. I can say this – because I am talking to ME more than anyone.

If you can imagine, we’d enlisted the above plan. Yep, We cancelled Cable in May of 2013. It was going well.  BUT – hubby travels a lot and he wanted a new iPad (ours was the original one). We are just short on cash and they offered us a free iPad2 to sign back up. The package we signed up for was $19.99/month. We were told we’d pay around $30 a month. However, with all the taxes and equipment fees, it ends up we are paying closer to $57. How that works, I’m not sure.  So, as of last fall, we are stuck paying $57/month for the next two years. I can’t even believe it.  Sure we are still saving yearly, but not like we could have been if we had stuck to our plan.

Aside from the fact that I really missed DVR-ing shows, there really is no benefit to Cable, cost wise – in my humble opinion.  So, as soon as our two years is up, we are out. It’s just ridiculous to pay all that money!

Yes, I know – what an expensive lesson. But if my sharing teaches you something, I win! (ok, that’s what I’m telling myself).

Do some research. Compare prices in your area. But take it from me, this is a great way to slash your budget.

Plus, we need to be outdoors and doing things with our families. You know that, I know that. Why TV is so hard to do without, I don’t know.

This is me, hanging my head. Hoping I’ve helped in some way. And still, just a work in progress.



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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. We are Netflix-Hulu people too! We don’t have a Roku, but we do have an xbox and wii which use to stream both apps in our living room and bedroom. We love Hulu for current shows and Netflix for mostly movies. There are many shows we miss that aren’t available on either app, but the savings between paying $86/mo for cable and $17/mo for the two apps kind of makes them worth no longer watching!!

    1. Alison,
      I agree completely.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. We are locked into a Dish contract for another year, but we plan to cancel as soon as our contract is up. My inlaws gifted us with a Roku. We have a Netflix account and Amazon Prime so there is a lot we watch for free. My husband also just bought himself an Apple TV cord for our TV so he can watch sports. I’m looking forward to putting that money back into our accounts!!

    1. Awesome. Thanks for commenting.

  3. We don’t have cable either. We even got rid of Hulu and Netflix. We found that we didn’t really use them much. We hooked up our computer to our tv and we use it to record shows from our rooftop antenna. We did have to buy a tuner for the computer. Everything we watch is network tv anyways. We record pbs shows and old episodes of Batman and the Lone Ranger and Flying House for the kids. Even if it misses an episode for some reason, most major networks will let you watch full episodes online after a period of time. The one thing that makes us consider going back to cable is sports. My husband loves college football, but we have a hard time signing long expensive contracts to watch one day of television a week for a few months out of the year.

    1. Hi Laura,
      You know, we have a $22+ antenna we bought from WalMart. We get about 60 channels for free with it – including local stations. You might try that for sports.

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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