Cable Is Killing Your Budget
According to a report by the FCC, the average monthly cost of cable bills in the U.S. is about $65 per month, but many of us pay a lot more! $65 per month might not seem all that bad, but each year this adds up to $780 per year. Not only is the price high, but it has been rising much faster than the rate of inflation for the past 15 years; the price has more than doubled since 1995. There are plenty of reasons to cancel your cable subscription today and never look back.
1. You Probably Don't Use It
How many channels come with your cable package? 100, 200, maybe even 500? A good rule of thumb is that you cannot watch more than one thing at once. Of course you may be in the mood for different types of shows at different times, but you are essentially paying to have many hundreds of choices at any given moment. I cannot think of a single person who watches all of their channels, most people seem to have a few favorite shows and watch only those. Does it really make sense to pay for several hundred channels when you only watch 5? NO!
2. There Are Better Things to Do
Not only are your hundreds of TV programs competing for your attention, but so is the rest of your life. Everyone needs time to relax, but if you fill the majority of your leisure time with watching television, you are likely not leading a very fulfilling life. For every hour you spend watching TV, you could be exercising, catching up with friends, cooking, reading or doing almost anything else. But, if you have your giant plasma screen TV with it's hundreds of channels, you may feel the incessant lure of your couch.
We really only have one shot at life, so it's probably better to spend it focusing on our own lives rather than the invented realities of fictitious characters. Next time your TV calls, challenge yourself to do something else.
3. Cheaper Options Exist
If you aren't feeling up for the radical challenge of completely ridding yourself of televised entertainment, there is still a cheaper option! Since you can't possibly watch several hundred channels, why not try a service like Netflix instead? For less than $10 a month, you can enjoy all of the comforts of your favorite shows without the exorbitant bills. And if you're really adventurous, you could spend a one time $99 to purchase an Apple TV, a small box that hooks up to your TV, to project your Netflix onto. That arrangement gets you the same TV watching experience for around $50 less per month.
Even after accounting for the cost to purchase an Apple TV, this setup would save you somewhere around $500 in your first year and then $600 in subsequent years. If you invest this money and earn 5% for 10 years, at the end you will end up with $7,800! You could use this money to buy something else, or you could pat yourself on the back and recognize that you are one step closer to financial freedom!