Cut the Chord

I was sitting down for lunch last week with a group of coworkers and industry professionals. The age range was wide, ranging from one millennial to a couple of Baby Boomers.  We started talking about cell phone plans, supporting kids after college, and then figuring out ways to cut bills.

As a personal finance blogger and a frugal shopper, I’ve tried to find ways to cut costs. One of the ways I’ve cut costs is by looking at forms of entertainment.  So I started sharing with my coworkers, hoping my ideas would insight conversation that would eventually lead to more ideas.

  1. Cut Cable – In our household, we haven’t had cable in a couple of years. I remember when my hubby and I moved together, cable was on the must list to have. We would end up watching endless hours of TV just because it was there. HGTV and Food Network became two of my favorite channels. But the cost of cable was outrageous, especially considering we were broke students. I finally convinced my hubby to cut the chord. Savings are about $80.  We had the smallest package. My coworkers at the lunch table told me they spend $300 a month on cable. Guess HBO, Showtime, NFL package, Starz, sure add up.
  2. Hulu and Netflix – Instead of spending money on cable, I only pay $16 a month on Hulu and Netflix and I can cancel at any time without having to talk to anyone over the phone. I can watch Hulu and Netflix, anytime, anywhere.
  3. Buy an HD Antenna – If you really want the local channels, for example, to catch the sports events, consider getting an HD antenna. We got a $25 HD antenna at Wal-Mart and now 11 local channels.
  4. Get a Chromecast – If you don’t have a smart TV, get a Chromecast. As long as your TV has an HDMI port, and you have a smart device, you’re set. No need to upgrade your TV.
  5. Skip the Movies – Last time we wanted to go to the movies, we checked out movie ticket prices. $11.50 per person for adult matinee. Can you believe it! For two people, it would be $23, not to mention any snacks you pick up on the way. Instead watch movies at home with new releases from Tesco and make your own popcorn.
  6. Exercise at the park – We are so lucky to live in the US. We have so many parks that are free. When I went to visit family in Monterrey, Mexico, we went to what I considered the only “green” area in the city. It took an hour to get there in traffic and you had to pay an entrance fee. Here the park is less than a five-minute walk from my house. It’s so awesome.  One of the reasons I love the neighborhood.

There are so many ways to get entertainment at affordable rates. When I introduced all these ideas, everyone at the table said they couldn’t get rid of their cable. So many devices were too much of a hassle. All they wanted to do is sit on their couch and grab their remote at the end of the day. Well, I rather pocket the savings.

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