Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Cable-Less Prices!

I noticed yesterday on one of my friends Facebook status’ that he was getting rid of cable television…and I have to admit I was pretty excited when I saw that. Let’s face it, in all honesty, American’s as a whole, watch WAY too much boob-tube. I and my family are included in that generalization, so don’t think I’m being all judgmental or anything.

Now, let me backtrack.

A few months ago, Sean and I sat down and looked at our monthly bills as a whole and realized that we were spending money frivolously on things that we actually didn’t need. SO we decided to make some cutbacks in the departments we thought were taking the most away from our budget. Cable, just happened to be one of them. At any given time our cable bill would range from $115.00 - $140.00 per month…and at that time we had digital cable, with the DVR and high speed internet. So when we moved to Fayetteville we decided to ditch the DVR and just have basic cable, and internet, which lowered our bill to about $98.00 - $100.00 per month. Not as bad, but still not good. And it almost ALWAYS fluctuated. Which was crap.

So I still wasn’t happy with that and decided to give my cable company a piece of my mind, since I was already giving them a pretty hefty piece of my paychecks. When I spoke with Javier, (Nope, not even making that up…that was his name…) HE informed me that they could charge surcharges, fees, sales tax, and any other little charges they felt were necessary on cable services all they wanted…but they couldn’t charge ANYTHING on internet services. So of course it infuriated me that the bulk of my bill was coming from my $54.00 cable services and all of the fees and frills they were tacking on to it! Jerks. At that point I realized that if I completely cancelled our cable services and kept only our high speed internet, which we needed for work, school, XBOX Live, etc…my cable bill would only be $38.99 a month…every month, without ANY fluctuation…and I really really liked the sound of that. :)

But at the same time, I was NOT keen on giving up my Grey’s Anatomy and my Glee cold turkey in the middle of seasons…So I started researching online and started finding and bookmarking websites that had unlimited streaming or uploading of television shows, football games, movies, and so on and so forth.

And let me switch gears on you really fast…I know, I'm blowing your mind.

We have an XBOX 360, and we also pay for XBOX live on a yearly basis, which is like $100.00 give or take a little, but that actually breaks down to be pretty cheap considering how much we actually use it…so in my opinion, if you do NOT have an XBOX 360 or a Wii or something along those lines that allows for web-streaming of videos, buy one. GO GO NOW. It is the best investment you will ever make, I swear.

Now if you already have an XBOX 360 – none of this is going to be news to you. But basically on XBOX Live you have tons of video options from Zune, to Netflix to Hulu Plus, to College Game Day streaming, just to name a few. Not to mention the wonderful internet that is available on your computers, and surprisingly enough, all of these are pretty cheap and user friendly.

And we’re back.

So once I did my research and found out that I could access a lot of the television shows we were currently watching either through our XBOX Live account, or the internet I was pretty sold on cancelling the cable services.

AAAANNNNDDDD here is how it broke down for us…

We decided that the boys still needed their cartoons now and again and we would like to be able to watch the occasional movie, so Netflix unlimited streaming for $10.00 a month was a go. We also decided that I would be a very unhappy mama if I could no longer watch Glee…so Hulu Plus for $7.99 a month was also a go along with our regular internet services for $38.99 per month.

So what is that you say? I LITERALLY cut my cable bill down by almost 75%?! You’re darn skippy I did!!!

Here is how my bill looks now:

Internet: $38.99
Netflix: $10.74
Hulu Plus: $7.99
GRAND TOTAL: $57.72 per month VERSUS the $140.00 it was previously!


And just in case you are REALLY that curious, here is how we have it all hooked up. We have our computer tower hooked up through our ginormous television screen that way if there is a show on Hulu Plus that is “Web Only” we don’t have to all crowd around my little laptop to watch a show online, we can simply switch our Input channel to PC and watch away! Then we also have the XBOX 360 hooked up through the television which makes viewing on that piece of technology more simple, and fortunately for us, our television is less than 3 years old so it actually has the digital antennae built right into it so we can pick up a few local channels, providing us with the local news, sports and shows. I think we actually get FOX, CBS, ABC, and NBC…which is all ya need right?! J There are some local access channels sprinkled in through those as well, which surprisingly enough have some decent shows on them!

There are lots of wires, but that’s what power surgers and zip ties are for right? I know, I'm a genius.

All in all, I thought it was going to be a really difficult transition going from having the ability to turn on the food network and watch Rachel Ray, and then switch to FX to watch Sons of Anarchy…but it really hasn’t been that bad at all. Given, you generally have to wait about 24 hours before videos are uploaded to the websites and things like that…but for the most part we are pretty busy and just take one night after dinner to catch up on everything and use our other nights to do fun stuff with the kiddos!

So in  my opinion investing in the XBOX 360, along with the yearly subscription to XBOX Live is a beneficial investment that you will get your money’s worth in the long run…AND, if you're going to buy your XBOX 360, go to GameStop...for an extra $20 bucks or so you can get a protection plan where if your two year old spills juice down into it and it starts having an electronic seizure, you can literally take it BACK up to GameStop and they will hand you a BRAND NEW one. It's worth it...but the protection plans.

And my other advice to you would be to CHECK OUT YOUR BILLS. There are all kinds of things they can be charging you for without you even knowing it…and there are ALWAYS ways to cut back and make changes, and I promise it will not be the end of the world if you decide to get rid of cable there are tons of places to watch television now aside from price-hungry cable companies!  J

Now that I have gracefully fallen off of my soap box for today…I will leave you with this bit-o'-information…


And I would like to thank Trey for posting about this on his Facebook page and giving me an awesome blog topic for today! J

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