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Jul 15

Working on the Budget Part 1: Cutting the Cord

Working on the Budget Part 1: Cutting the Cord

As Karen and I were trying to get on a budget we started looking at ways to save money and not be so frivolous.  As we started trimming we kept going back to one glaring area where we could see significant savings, our monthly satellite bill.  Our monthly dish bill after taxes and fees was roughly $60 a month, and then around another $6 a month in Redbox rentals.  We were basically throwing away $800 plus a year for a handful of television stations and movies.  Karen would watch her HGTV and a few shows on TLC or Food Network and that was about it.  I on the other hand had ESPN and cable news and the rest were just filler that we paid for.

Doing our due diligence we started looking for the best bang for our hard earned buck and what have come up with we have been quite pleased with.  Karen and I have been cable/satellite free now for one month and as of right now we are wondering why in the world we waited so long.

The initial cost was a little bit more than our monthly bill would be, but now we are good to go for the rest of the year and longer.  After trying to find as much information about Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime we ended up going with Amazon Prime due to their unlimited free two day shipping that comes with the deal.  Since our TV is a decade old we got a ROKU to use to stream internet based channels like the options I mentioned above along with other free channels, and a MOHU Leaf antenna to get our local stations.

After getting everything set up our price breakdown was $64 for the ROKU, $79 (per year) for Amazon Prime, $35 for the MOHU Leaf and $27.00 for a cheap TV digital converter box we got from Walmart.  The MOHU Leaf worked better than I expected giving us over 35 channels including the 4 major broadcasting stations.  A lot of them are ones we will not watch, but that was no different than our satellite.  The ROKU also ended up being a great buy, it is easy to use though it freezes very occasionally and we were pleasantly surprised by the channels on the ROKU including some of the news stations that were available.  Finally Amazon Prime, which we had heard was not as good as the other streaming options, has actually ended up being really good for us.  Amazon Prime gave us tons of shows and movies and we have not rented a Redbox movie in over a month and probably will not until they have something really great there.  The television options have been a pleasant surprise and the last couple of weeks during our evening downtime we have been checking out shows that have been popular, but we have never gotten around to see like Downton Abbey, 24, and Lost along with some of our personal favorites like Mythbusters and Fraiser.

So, although we keep the tv off during the day while our young daughter M is awake, we are enjoying our limited television time more than ever and not really missing out on much.  Karen gets to watch plenty of shows that she likes I still have my sports and news, albeit more local then national, and we ended up saving $600 this year and more in the upcoming years since our initial investment in the equipment will not be an ongoing charge.  Not a bad way to get our budget going in the right direction.

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