Penny Wise, Pound Foolish: Cable
One investment I see people making over and over again is in their diversion. I have heard repeatedly from friends that they’d freak out if they lost their most precious resource: TV. I’m here to tell you that even though you may love it and you may spend all your time with it, paying for TV is foolish.
The biggest question to ask yourself is what cable package you have. If you have the super mega deluxe package with 1,500 channels and HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax, why? How could you possibly watch that many channels in your life? In my hedonistic college days, the most I ever had was 100 channels and even then nothing was on. Take a long hard look at what channels you actually watch. I’m sure you’ll be surprised to find that you don’t get a great bang for your buck. If you watch five channels regularly, is that worth $150 a month? You are paying $360 a year (or about a dollar a day) to watch each of those channels. That works out to nearly five bucks a day just to watch TV.
The fact of the matter is that most of what you now watch is online instead. I’ve been without TV for nearly five years but I’m hardly out of the pop cultural loop. I have had the ability to legally download TV and movies for awhile now, but recently I’ve been able to stream them via Netflix and Hulu if I don’t care about ownership. Frequently, I find that I don’t care about ownership, so I’ve been happy to stream instead.
For that matter, why do you spend so much extra on the ability to rent movies at home when you can do the same for only $10 a month through Netflix? If you don’t want to watch it on your computer, invest in a $10 cable from your computer to your TV and watch it there. You don’t even need to sink $100 in a Roku box, but you certainly still could if you wanted.
Which would you rather spend: $40 to download and own a season of your favorite show, $10 to stream it whenever you like, or $150 a month just to watch it? The cable company is blithely fleecing you. And you’re lining up to get sheared until you divorce yourself from the ancient institution of the cable company. Join me and save literally over a thousand dollars a year, then go to Cancún with your savings. Doesn’t that sound nice?