Here’s a quick tip for those of you who are (I won’t say poor, but…) “budget-conscious” like me. I think we should sell all worldly possessions and live off the earth. Well, wait a minute. While that might actually be cool, I’m suggesting the step before selling all possessions. I recommend looking at your monthly cable bill to see if you’re getting your money’s worth. You might be surprised. Or maybe not. Whatever.

I’d like to think I’m pretty culture savvy. I love reading, watching movies and TV and then discussing said books and media with my educated friends. But to be caught up on TV (and thus TV discussions with other culture-savvy people), most people think you need to pay $100+ a month to the likes of AT&T or Comcast.

I say “Oh no, you don’t!” “How?” you ask. “Read more!” I say.

Here’s the answer: Internet + Hulu and Netflix! I admit, to take my advice you do have to pay AT&T or Comcast (or the internet provider of your choice) about $35 a month. But then, eureka – instant culture-savvy potential!

With my strategy, you can save over $50 a month and not really feel deprived. Through Hulu, you can still laugh at Liz Lemon’s junk food habits and giggle at Manny’s cute grown up tendencies without paying the big bucks. On Hulu, you can even watch the shows whenever you want, kind of like “other peoples’” DVR recordings. **A word of caution: Hulu does take episodes down within a week or 2 so you do have to stay on your toes.**

With the internet, you can also get your movie fix with Netflix Watch instantly (okay, that’s another $9.73 a month). But with their power combined, I’m Captain Saves…ok, I’m not even going to try to finish that sentence.

Here’s the technical part, in case you were wondering. I use an S-video cord (about $10 or so at most stores) to switch the screen display from my laptop to my TV. I then hook up some computer speakers to the laptop to enhance my hearing experience. However, I know that there’s a cord that will transfer sound too. I’m not sure of all those details, but it is important that you make your own choices on this journey anyway.

I will admit, if your house lives and breathes sports or reality TV then this awesome saving technique may not work for you. Live things aren’t really available via internet. In this case, you will have to decide if saving money is worth it. It may not be. But it’s worth a thought, no? I’ll admit — and just because we’re good friends — I had to give up American Idol watching/mocking sometimes. If you are concerned about such things, you can get antennae, and you may be able to pick up some of those things live. But (gasp!) you will have to be home and planted in front of the tube when the action is really happening (or go really old school and pull out your VCR).

I hope that this has given you some food for thought. This is coming from a person who has ordered and then cancelled cable twice in the last two years. I like the thought of cable, but in the end the cost just doesn’t work for me. And even if you drop the bill and don’t use all these fancy cords and internet, a little less TV in life never hurt anybody. Right?

Tune back in tomorrow for the next installment in my budget-saving series, where I’ll tell you all about how to have a fun night with friends without breaking the bank.

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4 Responses

  1. Darrell Simmons

    I’ve been hearing a lot of my friends talk about doing this, too. Great idea! And great post!

  2. Jean Cobb

    To be such a young person, you are very smart and frugal, you can be a great influence on young people who want to follow your advice, keep up the good work, and keep writing!


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