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Do you wanna know what is fun?…Saving money.
Wanna know something else that is fun?…Having a lot of free time.
Do you know what is costing you a lot of both of these things?…Your mindless addiction to the boob tube in front of you.
The average American will spend aproximately 4,000 hours a year watching television. Don’t believe me? Good, because I totally made that statistic up. However, over their lifetime, an average American will watch approximately 353,000 hours of this drivel.
OK, I made that last one up too. But, my point is this: we watch a heck of a lot of TV in this country. Surely, we must be receiving some sort of glorious benefit from this giant drain on our personal resources, right? This sacred box must hold the key to world peace, the path to enlightenment, or – at least – the key to getting a hot date.
Well, unless you count empty wallets and creating a general attitude of apathy as benefits, then I think we are spot out of luck on this one. I mean, look at me. We’ve been off the satellite tv juice for over a year, and I’m still so infected with laziness that I can’t even Google real statistics to include in this post.
Saving Money Is as Simple As…
“So, Greg,” you ask, “what is the solution to this problem?” It is simple, really. Cut the cord to your cable (or satellite) TV. Cancel it. You will find that you have oodles more money to work with – at least $70 a month – and lots more time to do things you love.
I know, I know…you can’t stand the thought of not being able to keep up with the Kardishiclan. What is living if its not peeping on group of young (and not-so-young), tanorexic, Italian-Americans living in a beach house who’s main concerns are GTL and whether or not somebody is DTF? Trust me, I had the same concerns when we ditched our satellite company. Rather than go cold turkey and cut television completely out of your life, you can move toward television freedom at a fraction of the cost. Here is how.
Enjoy TV While Saving Money
Think about how much you pay for cable or satellite. Now, think about how many channels you actually watch. If you are like we were, you probably watch 5-10 of the 200 channels for which you are paying. Why not pay for only the channels that you watch? Genius, right?
The wonderful Roku 2XS 1080p Streaming Player allows you to do just that. All you need is an internet connection. Roku features over 100 “channels” to choose from, including Netflix streaming ($7.99/month), Hulu Plus ($7.99/month), Amazon Instant Video (pay per movie or television show), and more. Not only will you be saving yourself giant amounts of cash each month, but this method of viewing requires you to make a conscious decision about the programming you are going to watch. This leads to either: A) Viewing higher quality programming that you actually want to watch, instead of mindlessly flipping through channels and/or B) Less time watching TV, which means more free time to do productive things – like read snarky personal finance blogs.
Worried that you won’t be up to date with the happenings of your favorite “housewives” living in Boise? If you can’t find your favorite shows on one of the Roku channels, you can always use your computer. Most networks stream their content on their own website. Simply logon, and enjoy.
It would be prudent of me to give you two bits of cautious advice here. First, while Roku does have MLB TV and NBA Season Pass, sports lovers may find this route not to be a great fit. However, the goal here is to save time and money. In reality, the logic of investing that time and money into professional sports really should be questioned – but that is another blog post entirely. Second, be careful that you do not go out and buy six different seasons of your favorite shows on Amazon Instant Videos each month. If you are going to do that, its best you stick with cable. Remember, “saving” is the operative word here.
How to Save Money on Local TV Channels
“That’s all great , but what about my local channels? Can I still cut the cord to cable TV and see these channels?”
Have no fear. Not only can you still get your local channels, but you can get those channels for FREE. Yes, I said FREE!
“That’s not possible!” you say.
“It is,” I tell you. “All it takes is a super duper, futuristic, high-tech invention called an antenna.” That’s right, an antenna. You know, one ofthose silly things with the rabbit ears that used to be standard equipment in every home prior to 1980. They still make those things, and the best part is yet to come. You see, not only are these local channels FREE, but you can watch them in HD! Yup, no more paying an additional $10 a month to see the pimples on your local news anchor’s forehead. Just grab an antenna, and if you want, you can use the money you’re saving to send Ron Burgundy a bottle of Clearasil.
There are two main categories of television antennas. If you live within 30 miles or so of the television towers, you can get yourself an indoor antenna. Should you live outside that 30-mile radius, your results will probably be better with an outdoor unit. We live about 25 miles away from a major metropolitan area, so we opted for an indoor antenna. After testing several different models, we purchased the Terk HDRVa Indoor Amplified Hi-Def Antenna, and we are very happy with the results. It takes a little bit of time to adjust the antenna to get the best picture, but once you have it tuned in, the antenna works great.
So, now that you know that there are other options available, I encourage you to remove that $70-$200 per month noose that cable and satellite have around your neck. Cut the cord to cable today! After thanking yourself, please feel free to thank me by commenting below.