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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
paid tv

How I am Saving $3000 this year with out really trying. Cutting the Cord Part 3

Way back in July I first wrote about cutting the cord on our paid TV. I talked about looking at our options and deciding how we "use" TV and what we watched (what were must watch and what we had on just for background and distraction). Several readers commented on how they too cut the cord and were the better for it.

On January 11, 2014 we finally cut the cord and the TV went dark. It was a weekend..... And the withdrawal pains started immediately. It wasn't that there was any must see TV on that Saturday but I always had it on in the background as the adult voices I could hear and talk back to while no one else was around-after all the cats aren't much for intelligent conversation. But we were packing to move to a new house and I put music on instead. I was amazed at how much I accomplished when I wasn't stopping to watch something that caught my eye on the TV. I was also amazed at how I worked through lunch since there were no food commercials to always remind me how hungry I was.

We were going to forgo watching that big football game –you know the one with the funny commercials in it, but discovered it would be streaming live on the internet and figured out how to hook up the laptop to the big TV and enjoyed that. We have also changed the nights of our must see TV shows to the day they are posted online.

We moved to a new house in an area with less building and population interference and tried out an HDTV indoor antenna and have been able to get 3 of the big 4 over the air TV networks and I have the precious news I was missing. I had substituted a couple of hours of online news surfing for the TV. It worked but wasn't as satisfying for me as I am a highly visual person. I did discover that our big screen TV's do not have a channel tuner in them and if we want to use the antenna, we also have to get a digital tuner box. We are awaiting installation of our internet and have really changed our habits in the past month.

Our next hurdle is the major league baseball season. My husband's favorite team is out of the area and isn't covered in a local market. We had paid $200+ for the addition of baseball to our paid TV package. He has discovered that it costs only 1/3 of that price to get it through the internet which we can then see through the big screen TV.

I am looking forward to being more productive with all the little projects I want to do but never really got started because there were other things capturing my attention. But the best part is the extra money. We are saving an average $150 a month in TV programming and equipment rental charges. We are not influenced by all the ads for that yummy food-most of which isn't all that good for you and our grocery bill has gone down. We also were able to reduce our internet bill by 42%. All in all, my estimated savings from cutting the cord on paid TV and related costs is about $3,000 per year.

Co-incidentally that is the exact cost of the cruise we are taking this year.

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Great article. I want to do this. I am a new widow and am not handy with working on antennas and such. I really need to cut expenses. Was it hard to get the HD TV antenna hooked up? How did you save that much on your internet bill?
by Joyce Smith on Wednesday 3/19/2014

Thanks for the comment, Joyce. I wish you luck in your savings efforts. To answer your questions- not it was not hard at all to install the indoor HDTV antenna. It plugged into the back of our TV and then into the wall. The trickiest part was aiming it in the correct direction to get the best reception. I ended up getting the best reception from stations not in the general market I was used to but ones to the south. I have the networks and that is pretty much what I wanted. Depending on how populated an area you live in-an indoor antenna may not be strong enough so keep your receipts in case you can return it after trying it out. We did save significantly on our internet (our provider had just raised our rates AGAIN!) and that is because we changed providers and got the new customer rate. We also switched from cable broadband to DSL broadband which was about $10 a month cheaper. We may switch again because of the way we use the internet we may need more accessibility that our DSL provider can give us. Good Luck!
by Pam Atkinson on Thursday 3/20/2014