Money Saving Monday: Ditch Cable

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*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!

Two years ago when we were eagerly saving for a house, I asked my husband “Do you think we need cable?” I’m pretty sure within a day he was calling the cable company cancelling our plan. I really wasn’t sure if I was going to survive missing out on my shows, seriously. I did survive, and now I’m loving all the savings each month!

I can’t remember what we paid monthly, but the average monthly cable bill was $86 in 2011, with cable rates expected to reach $123 by 2015.

Ouch.

We bought a small antenna for $11 at Best Buy that suited us just fine. We are able to pick up every popular network– ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, and a handful of others. Most of my shows are on those channels, which is nice. If I cannot catch a show live or it does not air on a major network, most of my shows I can catch on Hulu.com the next day or the following week for free.

I also have a yearly subscription to Amazon Prime which includes free online streaming. The most expensive Amazon Prime package is $79 a year, but if you are a mom or a student, you can pay less.

I don’t have Roku or Apple TV, I usually just hook my laptop to a HDMI cable I bought for $1-2 online.  In the summer, I usually sign up for a month or two of Netflix and then binge watch a show I may have missed. I also keep an eye out for free movie rentals codes on Redbox. You can also get four free Redbox movie rentals and free streaming with Redbox Instant with a free month trial.

I maybe spend $86 a year on cable alternatives between Amazon Prime and others, compared to spending hundreds on cable. Even better, I don’t miss cable.

If you are unsure if ditching cable is for you, I’d recommend making a list of all your favorite shows, especially those your DVR. See if you can stream them online or watch it through a service like Netflix. If you can, add up your membership fees, antenna cost, etc. and see if ditching cable is the right choice for you.

Do you still have Cable? If you don’t, do you miss cable?

To find more Money Saving Tips from Boston On Budget, please head here.

*This post does contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy here.