Living the Good Life: Cutting costs of cable TV

Spending too much on TV? How about choosing an alternative to paying for cable? In this post, we’ll take a quick look at how much cable TV costs, and potential ways to save, without saying goodbye to your favorite programs completely.

How much will canceling your cable subscription save you?

How much does cable cost these days, anyway? A quick search of the internet shows cable costing between $40/month to upwards of $100/month for the premier channels like HBO and Showtime. Let’s say the average cable tv watcher spends $60/month, which is on the low end. That’s $720 a year, $3,600 every five years, and $7,200 in ten, assuming prices stay the same. Over a 40 year career, you’ve now spend nearly $30,000 bucks on television, more than half a year’s salary for the average school teacher.

If you really enjoy TV sometimes (and I know I do), there are alternatives to cable television in many countries. If you’re willing to wait and watch your favorite shows after they’ve aired, the U.S. company Netflix.com only charges about $8 bucks a month for unlimited access to thousands of movies and shows. There are also wonderful and free programs online, like the Masterpiece productions on PBS. If Netflix doesn’t have what you want, what about streaming from the internet, a service you’re likely already paying for?

Here’s a great calculator which shows you how much money you’ll save by “cutting the cable cord“. If you absolutely need all the fancy channels, you’d likely spend less by buying a cable bundle. But if you can do with just one or two fancy channels, you might find yourself spending a lot less.

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