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Is National Family TV Show day a made up holiday? Maybe. Is spending some extra quality time with your family a bad idea?
Sometimes. Never! With a slew of our favorite TV shows returning with their fall line ups, let's take a look at how you can start saving some serious cash while still getting your entertainment on.
First thing is first, cable TV is getting crazy expensive. According to Fortune the average monthly cable bill has hit an all time high of $103.10. Don't be fooled by the mailers you get. While a cheap $29.99 a month intro offer may look like a good deal, they often don't include rental fees for equipment, their made up fees such as "delivery fees", and other taxes. These cheaper advertised rates also typically expire after a year. If you're like us you don't like making a phone call to order pizza, yet alone to cancel a service or negotiate a bill reduction. This means that you'll be on the hook for a larger bill in your later months. If you insist on keeping cable, try using a service like BillShark to negotiate your rate on your behalf. You're only charged if they are able to negotiate a new rate for you. They charge 40% of whatever your savings are, which we typically wouldn't advocate for, but if you must have cable and refuse to renegotiate your contract on your own this is better than nothing.
Second, you have options. Lots of them. We've opted for a combination of Hulu and Netflix, with an add on for ShowTime. This keeps us pretty well entertained for about $30 a month without any commitments (yay). We can also take our favorite shows on the road with us when we travel so that is a nice perk. If you don't have a smart tv or gaming counsel, Apple TV, Roku Express, or Fire TV are all great ways to get your streaming content to your tv. The Roku is the cheapest option at $25, but you'll pay for any of these devices with your savings in the first month or two of breaking up with cable.
Looking for local sporting events? Sling is a solid choice. Packages start at $20 a month, and you can customize your bundle to add additional channels for $5. If you're close to a major city, an old fashioned TV antenna will do the trick as well, giving you access to local broadcast channels within a reasonable distance from your home. This one will capture a signal from up-to 50 miles away and only set you back $25.
Finally, the missed savings opportunity is killing your financial health. We'll assume your current bill is $100, just shy of the national average. If you can cut that down to $40 a month by eliminating your cable bill, you'll be able to save $60 a month. Drop that savings into a high interest savings account and you'll have about $725 at the end of a year. This is great news. Nearly 70% of Americans have less that $1,000 socked away in a savings account and it is our goal to help fix that.
In conclusion, spend time with your family tonight. It's been a rough week and it is only Tuesday. Some togetherness will do everyone good. Just remember that you could be saving some serious cash and still enjoying your favorite show.
RIP Tom Petty. While you may not have been a financial inspiration, your music has made us happy for years and that is worth something.