Ditching Cable ~ Part 1

My daughter, Megan, is part of the new generation. The generation that naturally understands how much traditional media sucks. She and her husband Mike have never paid for cable or satellite dish. They wouldn’t dream of spending/wasting their money like that. They watch their TV programs, and movies, through web based streaming. They’re all about Netflix and hulu.

While Gail and I were home for Christmas last month, we had a nice lunch with Megan. We caught up on a lot of things, including our favorite TV shows. And she told us how she and Mike watch their programs. It seemed like a complicated system at first blush. But then as she explained it further, it made sense, financially! “Mike and I laugh all the way to the bank every month,” she gloated. I told her I would definitely be looking into this!

So I spent much of the day yesterday researching.

I have already decided we will be following Megan’s lead. Here’s what I have discovered so far:

We pay Time-Warner $165/mo for our cable/internet/home phone service , though we now notice the last two bills were $170+. On the bill, it says we pay $136 for the cable/internet/phone bundle. (As I recall, this bundle was $110 when we first signed up, with a 2-year “Price Lock Guarantee.” We’ll be having a conversation about that when I can get someone on the phone.) The rest of the charges are various fees and taxes. AT&T’s internet and phone bundle is currently going for about $50-$55. That means that conservatively, the cable part of our bundle is costing us about $110/mo.

Gail and I had to talk about what exactly we liked from our cable service, so we could see if we could duplicate that more cheaply. We like local programming because we watch the local news and want to know what’s going on in our new city. So we would want the major networks. We made a list of the TV shows we watch regularly. We watch some movies on the regular channels and occasionally pay for one with Pay Per View. We use a DVR that is part of the Time-Warner cable box.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will describe how we can replace all those cable services and save ourselves a load of dough in the process! (And you could do it, too!)

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