What do you spend most of your “free time” doing? If you answered honestly I bet at least half of you just said television (the other half said surfing the internet). Don’t be ashamed. Television viewing is at an all-time high and for good reason, it’s never been better. So why not find out how you can watch all of your shows, and pay less than you are right now.
If you pay for cable or satellite service, then chances are pretty good that you can find a way to save money on your TV service.
Monthly savings can be as little as $5 or over $100. The key is to continually audit your level of service and see if the money you spend is committed to the features you use. If you have any waste, then remove it.
Option 1 — Bundle Services:
As far as savings, bundling typically pays off once you activate services. Contracts are usually required. Ask the provider if there is a penalty fee for canceling service before the contract comes to full term.
The monthly price usually rises once the incentives expire. Ask the provider what the regular price will be once the incentives go away. You might have to adjust your TV service in order to keep the monthly cost lower than what you currently pay.
Option 2 — Eliminate Service:
Eliminating service will cause you to lose access to some programming, like sports and news, but many TV stations will stream programming on their website. Other sites to watch TV content are Hulu and Stream TV Guide.
This action will yield the most savings, but only if you don’t redirect your service money towards a different but more expensive hobby.
Option 3 — Cancel Premium Channels:
Savings could total into the hundreds each year depending on how much you pay for premium channels. It’s also immediate and doesn’t necessarily alter much in the way of your daily TV life.
In addition, most of the premium programming could be supplemented by viewing the shows online or with a low-cost movie club subscription.
Option 4 — Change Service Providers:
Just be sure to pay attention to the cost of the service after the promotion period expires. If it’s more than what you currently pay, then you won’t save money. You might want to try a different method.
Ask the provider if they will extend whatever promotion they are offering. Extending the incentives will increase your long term savings and keep the payment lower for a longer period of time.
Option 5 — Get Rid of an Unused Receiver:
The amount of savings isn’t jaw-dropping — perhaps $5 to $8 per receiver — but keeping it and not using it is nothing more than throwing your money away.
Option 6 — Share Satellite Service with a Trusted Person:
There are tremendous financial advantages to this, as you can get more programming for less money per house, but there are logistics to doing this. All receivers should be acquired legally and be reflected on the service plan. You’ll also have to get the proper dishes mounted and aligned at each location.
As far as cable subscribers, this is not an endorsement of splitting your cable feed and routing it between your neighbor’s and your house. There are a lot of complications to that, including the likelihood that tampering with the cable box is illegal in your city.
Option 7 — Cancel Local Programming:
The whole process of going from an antenna to cable back to antenna can be difficult for some but this is only a short term frustration. Monthly savings are typically $4-8 dollars.
By using an antenna, you’ll gain access to digital sub-channels, which aren’t shown on cable/satellite.
Option 8 — Get Rid of your Provider
That’s it. Bight the hand that feeds you. Get rid of your antenna, chord, receiver, etc. Take to the internet!
Follow this Forbes article to quickly transition from dealing with unreliable service to a life of choosing just how much you want to pay.