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"Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank Lloyd Wright

"Stick It" to Cable & Dish!

Let’s face it: watching television is nothing like to experience it used to be, oh so many years ago. Neither is watching a movie. Why go out to a movie when we can watch it at home? It’s all pretty convenient now, but did you ever take a hard look at just how much are you paying a month for the privilege of watching television and movies? Do you feel you are getting your money’s worth? If not, I may have a solution for you.

Two Christmases ago, my husband gave me a Kindle Fire tablet and his sister gave us a Roku. That was the start of an epiphany. The Roku enabled us to connect with our Netflix account and free channels like Crackle, Pandora and more. The Kindle was great for reading but I soon discovered that it was quite a powerful tool, especially after I signed up for a free trial for Amazon Prime and added the Amazon Instant Video channel to our Roku!

More on that in a moment… Let's first look at some numbers. Whether you have cable or satellite TV, you're probably paying about $80-$100/ month. That's $1000/year just to watch TV! And do you get everything you want – or are you limited by a “package deal”? Whatever the case, there’s a better way to spend your hard-earned money.

What I'm going to suggest is for you to invest just $39 and purchase an Amazon Fire TV Stick, sign up for a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime and check out all the movies and TV shows you can watch ...oh and did I say without commercials? After 30 days, if you want to continue, Amazon Prime is just $99/year and also includes free, 2-day shipping on most items, unlimited photo storage, streaming music and more! Let’s say you even want to really splurge and get Netflix streaming unlimited movie plan (which can also be accessed through the Fire Stick) for $7.99/month. You would be paying just $194.88 annually for both Prime and Netflix, or just over $16/month. Compare that to what you’re paying now for cable!

We are now able to watch shows like Vikings, Warehouse 13, Showtime and HBO series and movies like Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Transformers, World War Z and hundreds more all without commercials and whenever we want! No equipment to rent, no technicians to wait around for and no hassles!

There is no monthly fee to use to either Roku or Amazon Fire Stick; you just need to have a wireless internet connection in your home. It plugs into one of the HDMI ports. We actually have 2 Rokus (one for each TV) and an Amazon Fire Stick in our house. I personally found the Fire Stick easier to set up and start using. Amazon sent it to me already pre-registered to my Amazon account and ready to go so, set up was minimal. The Stick is also convenient enough to take with while traveling.

We also still use free TV – all the major networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, PBS, etc.) are available at no cost with just an antenna and a TV that accepts digital signals.

While not everything that's on cable will be available with your streaming TV device - especially sports, this is definitely a much less expensive option. But if you already have a broadband internet connection in your home, I recommend you give it a try. There’s little to lose and a lot to gain (especially in additional monthly dollars). To me, (and some of my family and neighbors) it's a no-brainer! If you do decide to cut the cable, you'll save almost enough in a year's time to take a mini-vacation!

So, how will you spend your extra thousand next year?


Get the Gear!

The products referred to in the article are listed below. These are links to the actual products and services that I have purchased and used!

Sling TV

 Try pairing the Sling TV app with your streaming device and watch some of your favorite cable channels (ESPN, AMC, TBS, CNN and more) without the cable bill! Cost: Just $20/month

What About My DVDs?

Should you decide that you no longer need/want your DVD collection, see my article on Decluttering for Dollars and get paid for your DVDs!