Escaping the Cable TV Trap

Your entertainment budget might be costing you a lot more than you’re aware. Have you taken a look at your cable bill lately? They have a tenancy to creep up if you’re not careful.

One of the first steps for new budgeteers looking to trim their entertainment spending is to take a good, long look at their cable TV usage and spending. Now, before you TV lovers shake your fist at the screen,  I’m not telling you that you have to cancel cable TV altogether.

Personally I believe that the only truly successful money saving tips are those which allow us to preserve the lifestyle we enjoy.

So the question isn’t “what can I give up to save money?”, but rather “what can I do to save money, but continue to enjoy my lifestyle?” - or, in this case - “how do I save money on cable TV and still have access to the shows I enjoy?”.

Negotiate your way to a better bill

Simply give your cable provider a call and let them know you’re considering canceling your subscription to save money. Cable companies are constantly at war to woo away customers with stories of greener pastures – so customer service agents are usually pretty quick to offer you incentives to stay.

It doesn’t work every time, but when it does you can end up with free premium channel upgrades, lower monthly cost and any number of other juicy incentives. Keep your cool and be a savvy negotiator.

Trim premium channels for a fat wallet

If you find that negotiating is not your strong suite, fear not, there is still hope for you. Take a good look at what channels you actually watch and what packages you really use.

Many professed TV lovers are surprised to discover that despite having paid for dozens, even hundreds of channels, they were really only watching a handful of shows on a handful of channels.

Who knows, you may be paying for some premium channels or a package you’re not even using. Shedding those from your lineup could trim $15-$20 a month off your entertainment budget, and you can still keep most of the shows you dig.

Fire your cable company, I’m just saying…

Okay let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way - while it’s not a popular option, you really can save a TON by simply canceling your service. The average American household spends roughly $75-100 a month on cable – quitting cold-turkey would net you over a $1000 a year back in your pockets.

Perhaps that’s not enough incentive to quite, but hopefully it does give you pause to at least consider how much you really need your subscription. Is it possible that you could continue enjoying all of those same shows, but cut out most of that cost?

Watch your movies & TV online

Online movie watching has come a really long way in the last couple of years. You might be surprised with the selection, quality and convenience today’s online movie & TV sites have to offer.

While it started out as a bunch of pirates sharing bootlegged videos out of sketchy forums, digitally streaming movies has become a legitimate, Hollywood-backed industry.

Check out Hulu ( for FREE movies & TV shows. Upgrade to Hulu+ ( or Netflix ( for $7.99/month for access to thousands of movies and TV episodes. You can even access most platforms on-the-go via your laptop, smart phone or iPad – can’t do that with cable.

Explore digital downloads

If you prefer to ‘own’ the content instead of streaming it, you should check iTunes ( & Amazon ( to see if your favorite shows are available(most are). Ordering the episodes online can save you the expense of a whole channel package and keep you up-to-date on your shows.

TV lovers can see big Cable TV savings

Tightening your belt can be a little tough sometimes, but it doesn’t have to mean giving up on all of the things you enjoy. Applying these simple money saving tips, you can keep up with your favorite shows while significantly reducing your entertainment budget.

Give it a try, let us know what works for you!

Saving Money on Entertainment posts

A series of posts with tips for saving money on entertainment.