We all have to deal with things in life that aren’t that fun…like budgeting. A few years ago the money was getting tighter and tighter at the end of each month, and something had to give!
As you well know a budget can only stretch so far! The choices were work more and/or work harder, or cut expenses.
Since I’m not a young energetic twenty-something gal anymore, the idea of working longer hours or adding a side job held absolutely no appeal. Plus I have this goal of living my life at a more relaxed pace and only doing things that really have meaning for me. Working extra hours to pay more bills did not seem meaningful.
Therefore, I decided to pursue the “cut expenses” option. I set out to find some ways to cut costs and reduce our household expenses.
Hunting For Savings
The first thing I did was call the phone company and cancel our landline. We all had cell phones and the only people calling us on the landline were telemarketers, so that was a total no-brainer. That saved me $50 a month but I wasn’t done looking for bigger savings.
During a visit to Verizon, we discovered that the company my husband worked for had an arrangement with Verizon that got us a nice discount on our cell phone bill. Cha-ching! More money stayed in our pocket, but I knew we could find more savings.
My attention turned to our large monthly bill for satellite TV. We live out in the country, which means our options for television providers is limited. There was really only one service to choose from—a satellite dish company.
Who Pays This Much For Cable?
A few years earlier I had downgraded the package and removed some of the stations in order to lower our bill, however we were still paying $125 per month, and that did not include internet service, just television.
I began asking myself how much TV was I really watching? How much TV were my kids watching? We were a busy family. The kids had school and sports and church events. I was running my home business, taking care of the house and yard, and driving kids around to their activities.
When we really stopped to assess, we weren’t watching more than a couple hours of TV a week per person. When we did have time to fit in television, the shows we wanted to watch weren’t always showing in the broadcast schedule, so we were just mindlessly surfing.
We’d had a Netflix subscription for several years, and with the newer videogame system we had purchased, we discovered we could run Netflix through the Playstation. When I took inventory, I realize the kids were watching Netflix more than the satellite TV.
Then I discovered that through Amazon Prime (which I already subscribed to) I could watch many TV shows and movies for free. We checked and we could also run Amazon Prime through a game system, or buy a Fire stick to plug into a port on our TV.
Try Amazon Prime with a Free Trial!
I asked the kids if they would be willing to try giving up satellite TV and try simply watching on-demand TV and movies through Netflix or Amazon Prime. They agreed it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch, so we took the plunge.
I called and canceled the satellite TV package we’d been paying for.
Wow! Huge sigh of relief to get rid of that $125/month bill we’d been paying. In case you don’t have a calculator nearby, nixing TV just chopped $1500/year from our expenses.
[bctt tweet=”Learn how I saved $1500 a year by cutting one simple service from our budget. And we don’t even miss it!” username=”authorlisamills”]
When you add in the other budget cuts we’d made, we were saving about $2300/year. That’s almost $200 a month people! Our budget had breathing room again.
I can honestly say I have never missed watching “normal” television! I quickly learned to love watching TV on demand, binge watching all 12 seasons of a television series, and enjoying TV without commercials. In fact, now when we stay in a hotel and turn on the television, I am incredibly annoyed by the commercials. Were they always that obnoxious?
I also LOVE that I can hit pause and go take care of laundry or respond to a text message or stop to answer a question from one of the kids and not miss a whole segment of my show. Shouldn’t entertainment be at your convenience? Why did we slave ourselves to the broadcasting schedule for so many years?
We polled the kids after a month or two and they said they didn’t miss television much either. They were loving that they now had access to seasons and seasons of their favorite cartoons and teen shows.
Did you know, students get a discount on Amazon Prime?
Worried that there won’t be anything that interests you in the lineup? Wrong!
Many of your favorite TV shows and movies are available, including the entire Twilight Series, Transformers, Bosch, Burn Notice, Baywatch, Bones, Suits, Chuck, The Closer, NYPD Blue, and thousands more.
Look over the lineup here: Check out available TV and Movies on Prime
I’ve watched all kinds of Masterpiece Theater productions and BBC historicals including Downton Abbey, which fascinates me for some reason.
The hubs and I LOVED watching all the seasons of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe on Prime. (Some shows seem to cycle in and out of the lineup, so if they aren’t there now, they may come back.)
I watched some of the X-files when they were on TV, but I missed so many episodes. It was fun to go back and watch them all again in order.
Watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman made me totally reminisce about my childhood.
The medical drama House was even better than I remembered it being when I watched it years ago.
I’m currently watching Babylon 5, the sci-fi cult classic TV series. It was produced in the 90s so the effects are kind of old school, but I’m really loving the plot!
So as you can see, there’s a very eclectic mix of shows to choose from and something for everyone’s tastes. And note that shows cycle in and out of the lineup, so there’s always new stuff to choose from.
We did have to deal with a couple of minor inconveniences. Often shows do not appear on Amazon or Netflix until six months after they’ve aired or until the season has ended for the year. And there are a few shows we might have watched that didn’t make it into either service.
I’m not so addicted to any television program that I can’t live without it. Maybe not being able to watch a couple of programs is a good discipline to ensure television maintains its proper place in our household.
Aside from that minor inconvenience, we have no complaints about ditching the standard cable package and going entirely on-demand. It’s saved us a TON of money and we actually enjoy commercial-free TV much better! If you haven’t already signed on to the on-demand revolution, I hope you’ll consider giving Prime a try…and keep more money in your pocket.