Home > Technology > Bye bye cable, Hello money!

Bye bye cable, Hello money!

Here’s an article I recently wrote on how my family cut the cord with Time Warner Cable last year and how great it’s been going!

How We Saved $100s in 2011

Do you find yourself wishing you had more money?  What about more free time?  If so, I’ve got an option for you to explore which can do a bit of both.  My option: DITCH CABLE TV.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” you say.  Or maybe it’s more like, “Noooooooo!”

I’m not telling you to throw out your tv.  Instead of cable, get your shows and entertainment through a device referred to as an “internet tv device” (aka “set top box” or “streaming player”).  The most popular of these devices are made by Roku, Apple, Google, Boxee, Sony, or Logitech.  They are small, electronic devices that connect to your tv and pick up shows from your home internet connection (many of them do so wirelessly).

“But where do you get your shows?”  Well, that depends on the set top box you choose.  The most common sources are websites like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, and so on.  Plus you can listen to streaming music (Pandora), check the weather, and play games.

“Okay, but how does that save me money?”  What does cable cost you per month?  $40?  $60?  More?  Here’s the breakdown of what my family currently has:

One-time Purchases

  • Roku 2 XS set top box = $99
  • Over-the-air antenna from Wal-Mart = $15
  • Amazon On-Demand = We bought 1 season (25 episodes) of a show for $15

Ongoing Monthly Expenses

  • Hulu Plus = $8/month – 100s of popular tv shows to watch whenever you want via Roku, PC, smartphone, or tablet.  Many shows have every past episode available too.
  • Netflix streaming = $8/month – 1000s of movies and tv shows (including kids shows) also available on any internet device.

Total for the first year = $321

Total for every year thereafter = $192

What do you pay for cable again??

We love the Roku too because it’s got a simple-to-use remote with motion control so you can play the Angry Birds game that’s included!

“What about sports!?”  Ah, the one negative: no SportsCenter.  However, so many big sporting events are on CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC.  The $15 antenna flawlessly picks up HD TV over-the-air.  Plus, there are services available on the internet tv devices like NHL Game Center, MLB.tv, NBA, and UFC.

“What did you say about free time?”  I used to LOVE cable, but since I ditched it, I don’t have the ability to sit and veg out and flip through channels like I used to.  Eliminating that time suck has allowed me to be more productive and spend more time with my family!

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