The Cable Challenge

I made a post similar to this a few years back when we decided to get rid of cable entirely. However, times have changed and we fell back into our old cable-lovin’ ways and jumped back on the overpayment wagon.

This weekend as I was lining out monthly expenses and looking at everything we had going into our bank accounts and out of them, I realized cable was one of the higher bills, aside from our vehicle and house payments. Isn’t that ridiculous?!

I thought so too.

Let’s talk about what we had and then we can get into what we have now, shall we?

We had already invested in the Google Chromecast devices for the playroom, living room and master bedroom. These were $35.00 each and it allows us to stream basically anything to the boob-tubes, including Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. I am a bonafide Netflix junkie and would rather binge myself on series than have to wade through four minute commercial breaks.

For cable/internet we went with Time Warner Cable as they were the lucky ducks who has monopolized in our area. We signed up for their ultra-high speed internet (I work from home, so that is a non-negotiable need) along with the cable package that came with a box and two hundred some-odd channels.

The grand total per month for that was around $160, but with taxes and fees it was closer to that $180 mark. If you add in the expense of the Netflix and Hulu our combined cost for visual-entertainment was over $200.00 per month.

There were always issues with the box, we had to trade it out once and it still didn’t resolve the problem, which was disheartening. Regardless – we only watched a handful of channels anyways. This was our breaking point. The only reason we had cable was for one show and one show alone…The Walking Dead.

My initial decision was, “Once Walking Dead is over, we can get rid of cable.” I just wasn’t willing to risk not being able to see skull-smashing zombie slaying. Sorry. I’m human.

This is the part where we talk about what we did to solve this problem.

So my hubby started doing some reviews and research – he is the KING of reviews, fact-finding and consumer product testing, no lie. After talking to a friend, we discovered this great fantabulous service called SlingTV. Seriously. Best thing ever. Go look…I’ll wait.

Done yet? Good.

I can’t even being to tell you how awesome this service is. They have a ton of live-streaming channels for $20.00 a month, including AMC which aires The Walking Dead. This means I didn’t have to wait until the next day to watch, which was awesome. I hate spoilers. They also have a kids package you can add for an additional $5.00 per month. Since we have tiny humans who enjoy Saturday morning cartoons we sprung for this option as well.

However, SlingTV won’t be available to cast via Chromecast for a few more months, so this required us to invest in a ROKU. Not entirely bad, we ended up paying three months in advance for the SlingTV and got a free one shipped to us, plus we went to Walmart and bought a second one. Total spent around $50.00 for the ROKU we bought and about $75 for three months of service, which ended up being cheaper than if we had initially paid per month and bought that second ROKU.

Don’t worry – I’m going to itemize everything for you so it’s easier to follow. I know it still looks like we’ve spent a lot of money, but I swear we haven’t. Like any good plan you have to make initial investments and buy hardware, after that you’re in the clear.

Initial Investment:

ROKU – $50.00
Chromecast – $35.00 x 3

Total devices $155.00 – Keep in mind though, we had the Chrome casts prior to this endeavor and bought them gradually, not all at once. Technically you would only needed the ROKU for this challenge.

Total services:

Netflix – $15.99/monthly (This is their second package that allows up to 4 devices to stream at once)
HuluPlus – $7.99/monthly
SlingTV – $25.00/monthly
Internet – $60.00/monthly

Total services $109.00. BAM! Over 80 thin-sliced pieces of cheddar back in the pocket each month.

I say all of this to say, look at what you’re using versus what you’re paying for. There’s generally a huge difference and a better way to approach it. I’m not saying that this will work for everyone, it’s working out well for us. Play around with your options and see what you can make work for your lifestyle.

I now challenge you to see how you can save. Be sure you share your story!

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