by Susan Paige
One of the hard and fast ways to cut your monthly spending and improve your savings is to slash your entertainment budget. It’s an unfortunate reality that the cost of entertainment continues to rise. We’re not just talking about paying to physically watch live entertainment like concerts and live sporting events either. Simply watching television at home can be a costly experience for households, particularly with the cost of cable so high.
The reality is that most people disagree with how much they pay towards their TV and in-house entertainment, but equally they don’t want to miss out on the action either. What if we were to say to you that it was possible to keep your finger on the pulse of your favorite shows and sports without breaking the bank each month? You simply need to learn which services to use to provide cost-effective viewing without having to sacrifice on the caliber of entertainment on tap.
Cut the cord once and for all
If you have been a long-time subscriber to a cable or satellite network, cutting the cord and ending your association is one of the easiest and fastest ways to save money every month. In 2018, the FCC found that American households could save over $70 a month just by ending their basic cable packages. The same study also revealed that cable costs are rising 5.7% year-on-year on average – that’s significantly higher than inflation. Take the plunge and reap the benefits of increased disposable monthly income when paired with one of the following alternatives.
Get a digital antenna for a one-off cost
If you are comfortable living without cable, you could always invest as little as $20 in an indoor digital antenna. Of course, these antennae will provide significantly fewer channels to select from but if you are close enough to a broadcast tower you should be able to get dozens of suburban channels without having to invest in a more expensive and powerful outdoor antenna.
Consider the various on-demand streaming services
The entertainment industry is now littered with excellent on-demand streaming portals that allow users to pay a fixed monthly fee to gain access to live and on-demand content. Sling TV is one of the best for live channels, with its premium live streaming package even including cable channels like ESPN, available at around half the price of a conventional cable package.
There’s also a raft of free on-demand streaming services like Pluto TV, which will give you a string of NBC and MSNBC series to watch. The only difference being the inclusion of commercials to help fund the platform. Card players can also sit back and watch the action back from the biggest recent live and online poker tournaments. PokerStars TV is free and available to watch via mobile devices in the same way as its mobile apps for the brand’s world-renowned online poker site. We pay just $12 to access Amazon Prime, which gives us access to all the on-demand shows and series, along with the benefits of being an Amazon Prime shopper.
Ways to slash your internet bill
Did you know? The average American pays almost $60 a month for their internet plan. Sure, today’s internet speeds are greatly enhanced from the days of dial-up and are embedded into the heart of our everyday lives. But it’s still possible to avoid paying a premium for the same connectivity.
The biggest issue some users have is that they pay for more than they need. If you only use your internet for casual surfing and on-demand streaming through a desktop, mobile or smart TV, the chances are you need no more than 50-100Mbps download speeds. Many of these so-called “unlimited” speed packages are just an excuse to charge more and give less. Look for competitive packages with ISPs like Xfinity and Spectrum and we’re sure you’ll find something for those average speeds that’s much less than the average internet bill.
You could also consider bundling your TV and internet plans into one cost-effective plan. With providers like Cox, it’s possible to save as much as $40 a month, while others like AT&T DIRECTV, U-verse and Spectrum can also help you cut costs by combining your payments into one overall bill.