One of the main reasons Kim and I decided to move from our condo to this quiet country cottage was to save money. We were spending far too much living in the city.
Simply moving made a huge difference to our budget. But now that the dust has settled, it's time for us to look at other aspects of our spending to see where we can save. As part of that, I've been reviewing our recurring expenses to see what I can cut. Yesterday, I canceled our subscription to The New York Times (savings: $5/week or $260/year). Today, I'm reviewing how much we spend on TV and movies.
Cutting the Cord
In March 2007, my then-wife and I canceled our expensive TV package and moved to just basic cable. Our monthly bill dropped from $65.82 to $11.30. We supplemented our viewing with Hulu (free at the time), Netflix, and by purchasing shows from the iTunes store.
I've been cable-free for a decade now. I haven't missed cable even once. Some folks are amazed when they hear I don't have cable. “How do you manage?” they ask. Yet I am amazed that more people haven't made the leap to a cable-free lifestyle. It's easy.
One of the biggest objections I hear is, “What about live sports?” People pay big bucks just so they can have ESPN. Honestly, there are plenty of ways to watch live sports without cable. Sling, for instance, offers a package with ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. Plus, Kim and I have found that if we really want to watch a game, we'll just head to a local sports bar where we can join the crowd over a burger and a beer.
In 2007, I calculated that Kris and I were spending $27.90 each month to watch television. If we added in our Netflix subscription, that total rose to $44.89. Not bad.
Reviewing our current expenses, however, I see that Kim and I currently spend $83 per month in subscription fees — plus whatever we spend to buy individual movies and TV shows on iTunes. Holy cats! How did that happen? We've experienced a bit of lifestyle inflation in the TV department.
Let's review the different services we use — and how much we pay for them. Maybe there's a way we can save some money. [Read more…]