I am very lucky that my husband now has an income that covers all of our expenses. However, these last few months, I have found that our balance after our expenses are paid has been shrinking. Because we are trying to build up our savings, the increase in our monthly expenses is less than desirable. When trying to stick to a budget, there are certain expenses that can't be cut.
For a little while, we had a TV and Internet bundle from a well known service provider that I won't be mentioning. We wanted to cut the TV portion of our services, but they would increase our fee for Internet service if we did that! Later, we found out we had the option of changing our service provider. Yay! I was able to get faster Internet with no contract for less per month. I call that a win.
However, no cable meant no TV. When I was working and a student, that wasn't so much of a problem because I didn't have time to watch television. My husband on the other hand, can't go a day without screen time. This meant we needed to look into some options for watching TV and movies without paying the hefty price for cable.
Today, there are a few options for watching TV without a cable subscription. We have tried almost all of them.We currently subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime Video.
NetflixI have mixed feelings about this service. The programs and movies offered has improved over the years. My husband loves Netflix, however his taste in programming is well different than mine. He likes to watch documentaries, adult cartoons, and movies that are bad. Yes, he purposefully watches terrible movies. I on the other hand prefer to watch chick flicks, tasteful television shows, cooking shows, and interior design shows. Netflix has a small selection of the type of shows I watch, but not nearly enough. One season of Fixer Upper is not enough.
HuluWe started out with the free version of Hulu which was okay but had a very limited selection. We then moved up to the paid version and have recently sprung for the commercial free version. I like being able to watch current television shows and this service allows me to do that. While it doesn't have everything I'd like to watch, it does have a lot. One caveat is that shows will expire. So you might have only a few days to watch an episode before you can't watch it anymore. For those who make time to watch shows that shouldn't be a problem. I don't always have time. My husband and I were watching the first season of Agent Carter when all of a sudden season one was gone. Not fun.
Amazon Prime VideoWe get this as a perk for having Prime. I love Prime. I'm not sure I could live without it anymore. However, I wouldn't sign up for Prime to have access to the video service. Aside from my kid watching seasonal movies or Bubble Guppies, we don't use this service. The interface is unfriendly making it hard to find shows and the selection is very limited.
As I mentioned I love cooking and interior design shows. That being said, I was really looking for a way to watch some of my much loved shows. That is when I heard about Sling TV. It allows you to live stream cable shows. There are several packages to select from. The base package is $20 and you can add on other channels for $5 per package. Part of the main package includes HGTV and Food Network. Needless to say, I was EXCITED. For five dollars more I could also have a couple more food and interior design channels. I was really hoping this service would work for me, but I ended up cancelling for a few reasons. I did have technical problems with the service never loading or taking forever to load. I know it isn't our Internet speed because I can stream, use my iPad, and my husband use his computer all at once. So I know it was the service. Also while I had access to around 25 channels, I found that I was only watching three of them. At $25 a month, that wasn't a good deal. The main reason I decided to cancel didn't have anything to do with the service but the channels I watched. There are only so many episodes of Property Brothers and Fixer Upper. If they play a marathon of Property Brothers and I binge watch all the episodes, I no longer have new episodes to watch. Major bummer.
Our overall entertainment bill: Internet $50, Hulu $11.99, Netflix $11.99 = $73.98
Our old service provider's TV and Internet Package= $99.99 plus taxes and fees
That is a monthly savings of $26. 01 or a yearly savings of $312.12!
For some that might not seem like a lot of money, but to me that is a good chunk of money. Pair this money saver with some other money saving strategies and your savings account will look good in no time.