Monday, February 24, 2014

Cutting the Cable

When Noah and I started talking about moving, we both agreed that we wanted to try life without cable.  Like most everyone else out there, we're on a budget, and after looking at our monthly expenses,  we realized cable was just eating up a lot of money that I didn't feel was necessary.  I've heard of a lot of people that have "cut the cord" recently and didn't miss having cable one bit.

We decided the apartment period would be kind of our trial period for this.  If we hated not having it, we could always go back after we move big deal!  I did a little bit of research and found that a lot of cable cutters had either a Roku or an Apple TV connected to their TV.  These bring a lot of small-price and free subscription services to one place to stream on your TV...sort of like making your TV a smart TV.  We decided on a Roku 3, just because we don't buy a ton of our movies through iTunes.  If you do, it looks like Apple TV is the way to go!

We were gung-ho on not having any cable service at all...until we started pricing internet.  It turns out, through Comcast, it's actually cheaper to buy a basic cable package with your internet.  Go figure!  So, as of right now, we have their most basic cable package in 1 room.  It gives us the local channels, the shopping channels, and HBO (plus internet) for $49.99 a year.  I know the prices vary from area to area, so check your area out, but you can't beat that!

 I can honestly say that I don't miss cable one bit.  After the $49.99 a year promotional period is up, we will probably go back to just internet and programming our local channels manually.  We actually rarely watch HBO, and everything that we do watch is available for free/very inexpensively.

The only subscriptions we pay for are Amazon Prime and Netflix.  I would pay for Amazon Prime anyway (because of the shipping services), so Netflix is our only other real expense at $7.99 a month.  You can try a free 30 day trail of both of those too!

One big issue I anticipated was finding children's programming for Emma Ramey.  Many of you know we have a rental unit in Tuscaloosa.  Well, we have to buy cable for it, so we might as well enjoy the spoils of that!  AT&T (who we use in Tuscaloosa) has a lot of streaming services available for their customers.  We have the Disney Junior streaming service available because of that subscription on the Roku - and it has been extremely nice to have.  We have several movies we've purchased through instant download on Amazon Prime, so those are always available through our Amazon app on the Roku, and public television actually has a ton of great shows right now for children her age.  I was a little worried we wouldn't have all that much for her, but we've actually ended up with more children's TV that we could ever watch.

Overall, I would say this is working out for us wonderfully.  We're a little worried how football season is going to go without cable, but we have ESPN available for streaming through our Tuscaloosa hopefully that will "ease the blow" a little.  But, besides that, we've cut the cable, and there's no going back for us.  We're planning on buying another Roku soon for our bedroom's a smart TV, but the Roku just makes it so much easier to browse and has so many more channels than a standard TV.

It's a great lifestyle change and a wonderful way to save money if you're finding that you need to cut something.  I'd highly recommend trying it!
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