A lot of things happened two years ago. I started this blog, paid off my credit card debt, and finally cut the cable cord. Yes, I am a cord cutter. The best part is I obviously still have the blog, I don’t have any credit card debt, and I am still cable free. Two years marked a transition in my life. I decided to stop succumbing to stupid temptation to spend and finally get my financial life in order. Yes, I even went from a negative net worth to a positive. I am working my way toward a million! I can’t take all of the credit for staying strong. My wife is a big motivation in my life and has helped me through it all. I also have to thank a few services that kept us cable free for two years.
Temptation Was There, but Savings Were Too Good
All of you who have cable know how much fun it is to pay those high cable bills. Hell, when we were in the thick of it, we were dishing out nearly $120 to Time Warner Cable. That company is the bane of my existence. Seriously! Now, unfortunately for me and millions of other people, TWC has a strong hold in our area. When we bought our first house, we had the wide choice of TWC or dial-up. Hmm…which one would someone working a tech job have? So, even though we have been cable free for two years, we are not TWC free.
That being said, they love to call me on a regular basis to talk about their awesome promotions just for existing customers. Now, I don’t fall for these traps and have even had a few which couldn’t effectively argue their position when I gave them some basic math. The last one happened a week ago and it went like this.
TWC: Sir, have you thought about getting a home phone?
TWC: I can offer you a great deal. Get home phone service for only $10 per month.
Me: I don’t use a home phone. I have a cell phone and it works 99.9% of the time
TWC: Do you just have a cell phone and nothing else?
TWC: What is your backup plan when the power goes out?
Me: Are you joking? Your phone works only when there is internet connection. There is no connection when the power is out. Why would you even use that as a talking point? My cell phone works when the power is out, your home phone and internet doesn’t.
TWC (Hurriedly): If you decided you want to upgrade any service, please call customer service. Goodbye!
I kid you not. That was really the reps talking point. I think someone might need to train her on how their service works. Come on! OK, back on track. TWC does call me a lot and they usually try to get me to sign up for a new TV package and it will only cost me X more per month. There are times when I would love to sit back and watch some TV, but then I realize I don’t want to pay more. Hell, I don’t even want to pay them what I am now.
I Have Goals and TV Isn’t One of Them
For the past two years, I have worked hard to reduce our monthly expenses. I am in the midst of insulating my garage in the new house because it is causing our electric bill to be sky high. Two of our rooms are over the garage and the A/C and heat both just seep right out of the floor. There is no insulation in the garage, so I am adding that, plus fire-retardant drywall to the ceiling. Hopefully it will help. As I continue to work to lower my bills, I keep TV off my list. I have learned to live without it. I have learned how to enjoy the little TV I do watch and use my time for more productive things, like making money!
Now, my wife and I do love to watch a few shows. I am on a Breaking Bad bender right now. I am about to finish the series, so don’t spoil it! This wouldn’t be possible without three specific tools. We have used Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the Mohu Leaf to help us get TV. Here is how we use them.
When I first cut the cord, I bought a Mohu Leaf from Amazon. This is an over the air antenna and it picked up nearly 25 channels for us in our first house. It only cost me $30 and what a great ROI that thing had. Now, since we moved to the new house, I had to pick up two Mohu Leaf 50 antennas because we needed a little amplification. We have a few less channels, but we get the majors like ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. This enables us to watch local news and big TV shows like Big Bank Theory and Modern Family.
On top of the Mohu, we also had Netflix. Everyone knows what that is. We have had it for some time and stream the hell out of some content. That is how I am binge watching Breaking Bad. My wife and I have also gotten hooked on The Blacklist. Great show! For $9 per month, we have access to thousands of TV shows and movies. The best part is we can stream some movies and TV shows for my son and put them on a separate profile. I was getting tired of seeing so many kids shows in my recommendations list. Thanks for changing that Netflix!
We didn’t stop there. We also added Amazon Prime. Now, most of you will probably ask when we have two streaming services. Well, I didn’t initially get Amazon Prime for the streaming. I got it for the two-day shipping. I was buying many of our items from Amazon, so I wanted to save on shipping. The movie and show streaming was just an added incentive. Now that we know we can share our Amazon prime shipping benefits, it has become more of a staple in our household. We have found there are a few shows which Netflix has that Amazon doesn’t and vice versa. You can read a full Amazon Prime review if you want more info.
With these three tools, we have been able to reduce our cable costs, while only paying $16 per month for our entertainment. I can’t complain with that. Our overall bill is now $55 compared to the $120 that we used to have. I like those savings every month. I also saved an extra $5 per month by stopping the stupid modem rental program with TWC. What a stupid charge.