Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Years Resolution to cut the fat...

This time of the year, people tend to create a new years resolution. Some have the resolve to work out more, some it's eating better, and some their resolution is to create a budget and "trim the fat", in other words cut out those expenses that just aren't we will be discussing ways to save money on your cable/satelite tv, phone, and internet monthly costs.

Back when Ashley was finishing up her bachelors degree in elementary education at good ole WKU, we had to go thru a period of time were she would be required to do what is called "student teaching", I called it the time of FAMINE!!! She had to resign her full-time job as manager of Bath and Body Works making $45k per year...AHHHH! Going from two salaried jobs where she was the bread winner making about $10k per year more than I made as a firefighter...needless to say, we had to trim the fat. Some of the actions we took we are still implemting today because is seemed just smart.

Cable/Satelite TV & Home Phone:
Here is what I did, I went out and bought a High Definition TV antenna ($90 purchase), and got a Roku box ($50 purchase), this is not nessisary if you have a blue ray or x-box 360 that can be connected to the internet. I ordered a Channel master DVR ($300 purchase, however I own it and it can be used with your local cable company and save the monthly cost of thiers) to replace the cable companies DVR box that my wife absolutly loved. Once I got all those items I cancelled my cable TV. I was paying approximately $145/month for my cable tv, internet & home phone. I kept my cable internet, this lowered the bill from $145/month to $40/month, I hooked up the Roku to my entertainment system and was able to get instant netflix (for my kids to watch thier cartoons) for $8/month along with Hulu (to watch our regular programs such as Discovery Channel, TNT, Ect)...I think that was around $6-$10/month. The only thing left that I had with the cable company that I don't have here is the home telephone. If you have cell phones you really don't need one, however our cell service at the house was not the greatest so we went ahead and transfered our number to Vonage, for as much as we used it, we went with the limited use plan at $15/month. All this combined we now are paying $73/monthly....that is a $72/month savings!!! I did have to fork out some money at the begining to do this, but if you take the amount I save per month and divide that by the initial investment made it would just over six months to pay for the equipment that you just purchased and YOU OWN IT!

I am currently looking into canceling my internet from the cable company and making my cell phone a mobile hot spot, this would allow me to get on the computer and surf the web from my cell phone. This option would only cost me $15 extra per month than I am already paying on my cell it would in turn save me $25/month if I cancel my internet from the cable company...haven't done it yet, but seriously considering it.

Cell Phone:
It's kinda hard to save money on cell phones becuase if you go too cheap you could go over your minutes and that would cost you way more than if you just kept the plan that works for you. Though you should check with your Human Resource department where you work, and see if they have a "Foundation Account Number" with a cell phone company, this is a discount program that a lot of cell phone companies will offer businesses/employers hoping that it will draw business to them...the discount is usually a percentage off of your cell bill per month. A lot of guys here at work did not know about this program, I told them to check it out, they got with HR, got hooked up, and they are now saving 15% every month on thier cell bill without obligating themselves any further with the cell phone company. In order to get the service you have to have your service with that particullar cell company that offers the savings...obviously. NOTE: if your HR department doesn't know what you are talking about, you should check with your cell phone company and they can look it up as well.

If you have any other suggestions or ideas please feel free to comment so everyone can enjoy!

Thanks for reading!


  1. I love all of your posts so far! They have been a good reminder of simple things to do to help cut the budget. Anyway - I had a suggestion for the cell phone. We have Straight Talk phones (pre-paid phones from Wal-Mart with pre-paid minutes) My plan is $45 per month and everything is unlimited! Calls, Texts, & Web Services all UNLIMITED for 30 days. I have a touch screen style phone & it doesn't "look" like a cheap phone. My husband has a smaller plan that is 1000 minutes, 1000 texts, and some Web Service for $30 for 30 days. We were spending $250+ a month on 2 cell phones so obviously this has saved us over $150 a month. What a change! This company is part of Verizon so our signals are good & we NEVER go "over" our plans. It's a great alternative for those on a budget =)

    1. You know I had never thought of prepaid being less expensive than a contract phone. This is GREAT info, I know my wife and I spend a small fortune on our cell phones every month. Thank you soooo much for the tip, I will be publishing a post with this tip in it in the near future, thank you for the tip it will be shared with everyone and could really change things for the positive for some people. This is GREAT stuff!

  2. I got rid of our home phone and internet several months ago, and I can use my cell phone as a mobile "hot spot," but I have to warn you if you do that, and you don't have great cell phone coverage (like you said), it doesn't work very well to run your Netflix and Hulu....I tried to use my cell phone for netflix after we got a Blue Ray DVD player at Christmas, and it never quite had enough signal strength to download a whole movie! Just an FYI. You can always try it before you cancel your home internet. Just activate your mobile hot spot and then go through your TV box (blue ray, etc.) and switch the internet service to "find wireless." My cell phone works pretty well to run my laptop, just not for the TV. Just an FYI!