Understand more about how to use your money wisely, plan your budget, and improve your credit score, and you'll see that some things drain your financial resources but give little in return.
The average monthly cable subscription costs $71 - much more for the full range of high options. If you've ever channel-surfed your way through 1,000 programs only to find that there's nothing worth watching, maybe it's time to eliminate cable television to slash your monthly expenses.
About one in eight Americans will drop cable television in 2010. Could you be one of them? Is there life after cable TV? Consider these points and then decide whether you're ready to take the plunge.
Explore alternatives before you make the leap.
Try alternatives for a while to judge whether they are good substitutes for that giant cable bill. Many networks have streaming versions of their programming available at no cost online. Hulu.com streams some programming for free, too. Sites like Amazon and iTunes offer "pay per show" use. Depending on your habits, this may or may not be a good option. Netflix and Blockbuster rent DVDs and stream content over the internet. Their fees are low compared with cable. In many communities, Red Box provides $1 a day rentals. Also, visit your local library for free access to many great films and programs.
Set up the infrastructure.
If streaming from Hulu.com is the way to go for you, make sure you have the fastest internet broadband speed you can get. Dialup won't cut it! If you love high quality picture and sound, make sure you can stream to a Blu-Ray player or other device that will let you enjoy the experience to the max.
Undo the bundle.
If you are a cable TV customer who also has broadband, you can cut the television service while keeping cable internet. Expect your monthly rate for internet service to increase slightly, since you won't be getting a bundled discount. Whatever the increase, you'll still experience some nice savings.
Know your viewing habits.
If you watch films or old programs, borrow them from your library, stream them from the internet, or rent them cheaply through something like Red Box. If you're a culture maven who really must analyze last night's show this morning at the water cooler, this isn't for you. Dropping cable probably isn't for people who routinely toggle among half a dozen sports channels, either. You might want to keep cable and economize with something else.
Expect a detox period.
If you're in the habit of grabbing the remote to see what's on, you'll need something to substitute. Rent DVDs. Check out some books from the library and spend an hour reading instead. Better yet, get off the sofa and do something active. Your wallet will thank you for the cable savings!
For more money-saving tips, check out Quizzle.com, where you'll find your free credit score along with great financial tools like a budget planner and home loan recommendations. Also, check out these other great money-saving articles: