Family watching television, c. 1958 (Wikipedia)
The average basic pay and premium-channel TV subscription cost $86 a month last year, according to the NPD Group, a market researching firm (Pay TV costing a pretty penny, and rising); amounting to a total of $1,032 dollars in a calendar year! The NPD Group predicts that consumers will be paying an average of $123 a month in 2015, and $200 a month by 2020, an annual loss of $1,476 and $2,400 respectively.
Now that you are aware of how much money you’re potentially spending, lets talk about how to accomplish some savings.
1.) Go Back to Basics. If you are not already subscribed to basic cable or satellite programing, consider making the switch. With more content available for free or low fee online, cable has become much less of the “necessity” it once was. Another option: consider dropping a few premium channels or extra features paid for in addition to the TV package.
2.) Consider the Competition. As with any purchase, compare prices and options amongst competing brands in the local area. If you do not want to deal with the hassle of switching providers, try calling your current cable company and letting them know you have found prices for a similar product cheaper elsewhere. You can fib a little if you did not find a better deal. The point is to simply lead them to believe the competition is vying for your business, & that you might migrate if they don’t act fast. See if your current television provider can’t be persuaded to drop their price to compete for your continued patronage.
3.) Cancel Your Subscription. Most basic public television channels -ABC, PBS, CBS, NBC, Fox- can be accessed for free online on the broadcast channel’s website, or for the one-time low price of rabbit ears and a digital converter box. Other options include, the video streaming website Hulu, which offers many TV shows and movies for free! & while Netflix is a paid service (7.99 a month), it offers unlimited streaming of television shows and movies, straight to your computer or gaming console. Netflix is a considerable savings when compared to the cost of cable or satellite, and Netflix offers a months’ free trial to test drive their selection and services. If you prefer not to watch content from your computer, you can purchase an HDMI cable to connect your laptop to your television screen. Other products to look into: Apple TV and Roku- both streaming devices to bring media to your television through the magic of wifi internet.
4.) Throw Out the Television. This may be an adjustment for some, but think of all the money and time you will save with less multimedia consumption. When there is no TV to watch, it forces you to make other choices. You might find you spend more time with family, cultivating a hobby, reading, learning a new skill, or a numerous list of productive possibilities. You cannot put a price on a life well lived or time well spent. Plus, there is the added benefit of not needing to point all of your living room furniture towards an unsightly electronic appliance.
Consider your options above, and mix and match a savings solution for your particular needs and personal situation. & as always, Happy Savings!