Ways to Save: Cable

How can we save money on entertainment? Any Fire/ financial independence blog out there will tell you to cut your ties to cable. I have done so, but it is not as easy for everyone. If you are home bound and isolated it is often your only source of entertainment or interaction. While that is not the case for me now – I have been that limited and understand what it would be to take that life line away.

Instead I’d like to offer some alternatives, perhaps half measure to reduce your costs. When you are disabled or on social security the half of the equation that is harped on most – increasing income – doesn’t apply in your FIRE / financial independence journey. That’s just not possible. So then it becomes how to cut, my already low bills, lower.

My local provider is Xfinity. If you are moving or need to set up new service, this is my referral link for Xfinity. (Referral code: 1RRH4F ) It will offer a sign up bonus Visa gift card for you, and a credit for me.

Call your local provider. Threaten, cajole, do whatever to get a reduced rate. Always ask to escalate the call. Ask to be transferred to a retention specialist. I had very basic cable for a couple years because bundling with internet was cheaper, but eventually, even with all that, I found I could not get a rate low enough worth keeping as I continued to trim my bills closer to the bone.

Instead, my family and I share a Netflix account, Amazon account, and Hulu account. My family pays for Netflix, I pay for Amazon and Hulu. Did you know that if you are on EBT or Medicaid you can get Amazon Prime for $5.99 a month? That is a lot of entertainment and original programming for $5.99. It also includes Prime music, shipping and more. (I am not an Amazon affiliate.) Last year, black Friday, Hulu did a deal for $1 a month subscription. I snagged that, and using my ebates account I received a rebate of $5. I paid $8 plus tax for a YEAR of Hulu!

Keeping my my monthly entertainment under $8 is pretty good I think. If there is something I am desperate to watch, ie: GAME OF THRONES, I hang out at my parent’s place. You will always have friends who haven’t cut the cord and if by some miracle they ALL do – that is what patience, Netflix, and libraries are for and with having three outlets – there is never a shortage of things to watch.

In fact, honestly? Sometimes there is too much and it causes me anxiety. Is that strange? I do know that in general I do not do well with an excess of anything requiring decisions. There are too many interesting shows, and choosing which ones to watch can be a ridiculous, but real, stressor that ultimately really is about wasting my time. What if I waste my time on a show I do not end up liking?

I have found in almost all aspects of my life that fewer choices equals a happier Tami. You might be surprised to find the same if you cut the cord as well. Here is the thing: It doesn’t have to be forever if you find you truly miss it. Cut it for 2 months and reevaluate at that point. Did it add value or not? Go from there.

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