cutting cable http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14752/all en-US Cutting the Cable Cord Has More Than Financial Benefits http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5443077918_225b1a730e_z.jpg" alt="watching TV" title="watching TV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cutting the cable TV cord has benefits that go beyond the financial. Sure, you're saving $50 or so a month by going without cable. But there are other good things that happen when you go without cable, many which may not come to mind when you first start thinking about making the move because you're focused on saving money. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a>)</p> <p>There's the obvious satisfaction of &quot;sticking it to The Man&quot; and not having to support a business that won't let you pay for only the stations you want to watch. Other benefits, however, may not be so obvious. But before I get into those, it's worth pointing out that the expected financial savings might not be as good as you might think.</p> <h3>The Somewhat Surprising Reality of Living Without Cable</h3> <p>My family cut cable at our house in early June, mainly as a test run during the slow summer TV season to see if we could live without it. We also wanted to save some money, which I'm quickly realizing is being eaten up by other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cable-tv-is-here-to-stayfor-now">costs that Wise Bread has covered</a>. While our cable bill dropped by $50 a month, we still pay for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">alternatives</a> that don't look like a lot by themselves, but add up.</p> <p>Here are some of them, some of which are one-time expenses and others monthly:</p> <ul> <li>Netflix streaming at $8 per month.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hulu&nbsp;Plus at $8 per month. We don't have this yet, but I can see it coming in handy in the fall.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Occasional TV series purchase such as &quot;Curb Your Enthusiasm,&quot; about $20 a month.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Redbox movie rentals at $1.20 or more each, for maybe five movies a month at $6 total.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Roku box to watch shows, a one-time cost of $100.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Antenna for TV, a one-time cost of $25, though much more can be spent.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>HDMI cable and adapter to hook up computer to TV so online shows can be viewed. A one-time cost of $50.</li> </ul> <p>After spending about $42 a month on shows, I'm only spending $8 less each month than I did with cable. (It's worth noting that we had Netflix streaming when we had cable, and I'm not including our monthly Internet fee because it's an expense we'd have with or without a TV.) Add in the $175 for equipment, and the $8 monthly savings will take almost 22 months (two years!) to pay for it. Then I'll really start saving money.</p> <h3>Benefits of Cutting Cable</h3> <p>Since I'm not saving any money for two years, what do I gain by not having cable TV? A lot, in my view. Here are some benefits.</p> <p><strong>Less Channel Surfing</strong></p> <p>Since we no longer have hundreds of channels to scan, there's less mindless channel surfing and wasting time looking for something to watch. There's something hypnotic about scrolling through channels that's sort of relaxing, but it's also a waste of time that leaves you wondering why you're paying for cable TV if there's nothing on.</p> <p><strong>Paying for What You Want to Watch</strong></p> <p>There's plenty of extra stuff on Netflix and elsewhere in the non-cable world, but it's nice knowing that I'm not paying for a channel that I'll never watch and can instead buy a season of a show I really want to watch. I may not come across a great show by accident, but I'll take that chance.</p> <p><strong>Free Time</strong></p> <p>If we don't know ahead of time what we're going to watch, we're unlikely to turn the TV on. I don't want to make it sound like my family has turned Amish and we're not watching TV at all, or that we've discovered more family time and are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/play-on-5-great-card-and-board-games">playing more board games</a> together and reading more books. But we are finding time to do other things, and my library card is being used more.</p> <p>These are things you can't put a price on, though I suspect that even these may not be enough to prevent us from calling the cable company back in six months when we get tired of missing pro sports.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-tv-must-haves-once-you-cut-the-cable-cord">3 TV Must-Haves Once You Cut the Cable Cord</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-online-services-are-worth-paying-for">Which Online Services Are Worth Paying For?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cable-tv-is-here-to-stayfor-now">Cable TV Is Here to Stay...for Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-podcasts-bookworms-will-love">12 Podcasts Bookworms Will Love</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Technology cutting cable hulu netflix sports Thu, 21 Jun 2012 10:36:11 +0000 Aaron Crowe 935252 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Ways to Add $50 to Your Pocket http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-add-50-to-your-pocket <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-add-50-to-your-pocket" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2693291576_f2947ac437_z.jpg" alt="man checking wallet" title="man checking wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In terms of the economy, things seem a little better than a couple of years ago, but we are kidding ourselves if we think everything is hunky dory. The media outlets can talk all they want about a recovery, but chances are good that your family can still use some help. Here are five ways you can gain $50. You won't be rich overnight by doing any of what I've outlined below, but the money saved is nothing to sneeze at. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-monthly-bills-you-can-slash">10 Monthly Bills You&nbsp;Can Slash</a>)</p> <h3>1. Pause Your Memberships for Part of the Year</h3> <p>Chances are good that you can live without some of your memberships and subscriptions. Even if you do utilize them, it's likely you don't need them all months of the year. Consider canceling them for part of the year and reactivating them during others. Take your gym membership, for instance. Do you really need a gym during the summer when it's more enjoyable to stay active outdoors? Can you cancel your membership before the Thanksgiving weekend and start it back up in January if you won't be thinking about losing weight during the holiday season?</p> <h3>2. Cut Your Home Services</h3> <p>You've likely heard of the suggestion to cut your cable TV and give the Netflix free trial coupon a go, but it's hard to give up the sports channels, isn't it?</p> <p>If so, why not cancel your subscription a few days before you go on that annual vacation? Since you will be gone for a week or maybe even two, you won't be needing the service anyway. When you come back, you'd likely take a few days to recuperate. Add another week or two to give Netflix a serious try, and you are looking at one less cable TV bill, even if you hated not being able to channel surf.</p> <h3>3. Start Using Your Credit Card to Pay for Everything</h3> <p>My friends used to make fun of me when I whipped out my credit card for tiny purchases, but it's a smart move as you are responsible with your spending. Using your credit card to pay is actually faster, and the rewards from just your small purchases can add up to big bucks after a few months.</p> <p>From bills to that candy bar purchase to lunches out, you should be thinking about how to put everything on your credit card. And always ask whether you can use your credit card, too. Last time I bought a car, the dealership allowed me to put $5,000 on the credit card while paying the rest with a check. Since my card offers 1% <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">cash back</a>, I got $50 just for asking.</p> <h3>4. Refinance</h3> <p>If you still haven't <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-hidden-dangers-of-refinancing-your-mortgage">refinanced</a> your 6% 30-year fixed-rate loan, you owe it to yourself to get this done. Work out the numbers, because this can be more complex than you might think. But you may come out ahead even if you borrow money to come up with the sum underwater borrowers need to refinance. A home equity line of credit, your savings, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">0% balance transfer credit cards</a>, and even family members could be potential sources of funds. Though this is more work than the other suggestions, the reward is potentially much greater than $50 too.</p> <h3>5. Get Rid of Redundancies</h3> <p>We don't often think about it, but we often pay for the same thing in different ways. Take internet access, for instance. You have it at work, there is free WiFi in many stores, everybody in your family has that data plan, and you have internet access at home. Sure, it's convenient, but do you really need to be paying for so many different types of access?</p> <p>An alternative way to think of spending is to ask what benefit you are actually getting out of an expense. You may not like mowing your lawn, and paying for someone to do what you hate is perfectly fine. But if you pay for a gardener just so you can go work out at the gym, then it seems like a waste of money.</p> <p>It's your money, but spending a bit of time to optimize how you spend it will let you live the life you want much more easily.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-add-50-to-your-pocket">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-around-the-house">101 Ways to Save Money Around the House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-decide-when-to-sell-your-house">My 2016 Budget Challenge: How to Decide When to Sell Your House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-expensive-products-that-will-actually-save-you-money">5 Expensive Products That Will Actually Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-a-day-off-into-your-most-profitable-day-of-the-year">Turn a Day Off Into Your Most Profitable Day of the Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-there-any-reason-to-pay-for-a-landline-anymore">Is There Any Reason to Pay for a Landline Anymore?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cost cutting cutting cable monthly bills refinancing Thu, 01 Mar 2012 11:36:29 +0000 David Ning 909005 at http://www.wisebread.com Cable TV Is Here to Stay...for Now http://www.wisebread.com/cable-tv-is-here-to-stayfor-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cable-tv-is-here-to-stayfor-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bigstock_Three_friends_are_watching_TV_18927716-2.jpg" alt="Friends watching TV together" title="Friends watching TV together" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The economy is in rough shape, and everyone wants to save a few bucks where they can. And thanks to the Internet, you can cut your cable bill without missing any of your favorite shows.</p> <p>But after doing some research and running the numbers, I realized that cutting cable won't go mainstream until someone comes up with an easy, convenient solution that gives couch potatoes what they want. Or people stop watching TV.</p> <p>Until then, cable is here to stay.</p> <p>There are tons of articles out there on how you should prepare for cutting your cable, but here&rsquo;s a quick rundown of what you need to do and how much it costs to make the switch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/now-its-easier-than-ever-to-cut-the-cable">Now It&rsquo;s Easier Than Ever to Cut the Cable</a>)</p> <h3>Check the Airwaves</h3> <p>The goal here is to replace all your shows by simply getting an antenna, so the first step is to see what you can get for free via the broadcast networks. That&rsquo;s ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and so on. Then head over to <a href="http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx">Antennaweb</a> and enter your address &mdash; it&rsquo;ll show you which channels you&rsquo;re likely to get over the air depending on where you live.</p> <p>If I were you, I&rsquo;d put all this into a handy spreadsheet to make things easier to track.</p> <p>So far so good &mdash; we haven&rsquo;t spent any money yet! But if you don't have one, you'll need to get an antenna. And if you want to get the broadcast channels in HD, you&rsquo;ll need you may also need to buy an HD tuner depending on what kind of TV you have.</p> <p><strong>Total Cost: </strong>$30 for the antenna and another $50 for the tuner (if you need it)</p> <h3>Stream On</h3> <p>Your spreadsheet is likely to have some shows that you can&rsquo;t get over the air. Visit <a href="http://www.clicker.com/">Clicker.com</a> to see where on the web you can stream them, or check out this <a href="http://www.cancelcable.com/db/showfinder.php">handy chart</a>.</p> <p>You may be able to find your shows for free if you&rsquo;re willing to wait a week or so, but if you want them right away, some will charge you &mdash; make sure you read the fine print.</p> <p><strong>Total Cost: </strong>Depends, $10&ndash;$20 a month</p> <h3>Do You DVR?</h3> <p>If you have a DVR in your cable box and you can&rsquo;t live without it, you&rsquo;ll have to find an alternative solution. Sure, there&rsquo;s TiVo, but the whole point is to cut out monthly bills. There are tons of great articles on <a href="http://lifehacker.com/298408/turn-your-windows-pc-into-a-media-center-powerhouse-on-the-cheap">how to turn your computer into a DVR</a>, but it takes some knowledge, some new hardware, and patience.</p> <p><strong>Total Cost: </strong>$100 and a fair amount of your time/sanity</p> <h3>Watching on TV</h3> <p>Sure, it&rsquo;s great you can stream so many shows to your computer, but you want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">watch TV</a> on your TV. Cable is pretty good about that.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll need a way to get what you&rsquo;re streaming showing on your TV. There are tons of options &mdash; Roku, Wii, X-Box 360, Apple TV, Slingbox, and the list goes on and on.</p> <p>If you already have one of these devices, you may be in luck. Odds are it won&rsquo;t have access to ALL the streaming services, but it&rsquo;s a start. Ideally, you have a setup that allows you to show anything you can bring up on your computer on your TV.</p> <p><strong>Total Cost: </strong>$50&ndash;$150</p> <h3>Your Internet Connection</h3> <p>The elephant in the room is your Internet connection. You might have a fast enough connection that all your shows look nice and crisp when you stream them online, but they may not. If you want to use your Internet connection to replace your cable, you might have to upgrade to a faster connection.</p> <p><strong>Total Cost: </strong>$15&ndash;20 a month</p> <h3>Your Savings</h3> <p>Once you run all those numbers you&rsquo;ll find that the savings might not be as significant as you thought.</p> <p>After doing all this work, I figured out I could cut my monthly bill from $92 to $60, and I'd have to shell out around $200 in one-time costs. That includes bumping up my Internet speed, buying the shows we can&rsquo;t get for free, and buying the hardware to get everything up and running.</p> <p>Thirty bucks a month might be worth it for some, but I'm guessing it's not enough for the masses to go through the hassle. You should run your own numbers to see if cutting cable is worth it for you.</p> <h3>What We Need</h3> <p>We need one easy-to-use/install product you can buy that allows you to get ANY of your shows. Until someone out there can do for television what iTunes did for music, most people will probably stick to cable &mdash; with good reason.</p> <p><em>Editor's note: Antenna information was updated since initial publication.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cable-tv-is-here-to-stayfor-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">Cutting the Cable Cord Has More Than Financial Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-podcasts-bookworms-will-love">12 Podcasts Bookworms Will Love</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-choose-traditional-books-over-e-books">5 Reasons to Choose Traditional Books Over E-Books</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Technology cutting cable lower bills streaming tv shows Thu, 29 Sep 2011 10:36:13 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 716136 at http://www.wisebread.com