It’s time to admit that over the course of a year, our cable provider successfully lulled me to sleep and pillaged our bank account. I have to give credit where credit is due, they won the battle. By the time I “cut the cord” and canceled their service we were paying $180 per month for cable and internet.
I initially took my anger out at the cable company. How dare they treat customers that paid their bill on time every month with systematic thievery!
If they would have left our bill at the introductory rate they would still be cashing my checks. I feel like they kill the golden goose by pushing the price increases a little too far on a good customer.
But, in the end, I was the one who was not keeping a close enough eye on the increases. Our sweet “new customer” deal ballooned by a 5-10 dollars every few months. And boom. Mr. AE was caught pants down, feel like I should turn in my personal finance card.
Part of me is glad they did it, I was pretty tired of dealing with their abysmal customer service.
This is an example of automation working in the wrong direction. Automatically paying yourself first works, automatically paying a service provider when they have the green light to raise your rate over time doesn’t.
A Half-Assed Cord Cutting
Here’s my issue with completely cutting the cord
I know myself enough that in the very near future some event will be on TV that I want to watch. Hint: It will be MN Wild game. And when I don’t have access to watch it at my house, I will end up watching the game at the bar down the road. Then I will have a few beers, maybe split an app with Mrs. AE and end up spending over $25.
I can’t pretend that it won’t happen and that I am going to be disciplined enough to skip it completely. It goes against my spending philosophy to pass on things I enjoy doing.
Half-Assing instead of Whole Assing
When it comes to spending, if you can’t whole-ass cut it then half-ass cut it.
For me, that meant still paying for some service that met our bare minimum requirements.
After a few hours of research, we found a cable-like solution that had most of our go-to channels (including the channel I needed to get my hockey fix) for $30 a month called Sling TV. I had heard of it before, but was pretty skeptical it could stream seamlessly consistently. Trying to watch anything that skips is a special form of torture for us Millennials.
I asked around and found that most people had positive things to say about it so I decided to roll the dice.
New Solution Cost
- Sling TV ($35/Month)
- FIber Internet Provider ($45/Month – flat rate for life!)
- Roku (One-Time $30 Cost)
- Digital Antenna (One-Time $25 Cost)
We have been using this solution for 4 months now and it has been working great. We don’t miss the reduction in channels, the Roku is really easy to use, and Sling TV has been streaming without any issues. The normal Sling package is $30, and we added the ability to record shows for $5, because…….babies and schedules don’t really mix. That was one feature we felt like we had to keep.
We are saving a $100 every month (and it is $30 cheaper than our introductory rate with our old provider), still have a form of cable and the same speed internet.
I am going to be lame and put some conclusiony (made up word) lessons since I think some of this goes beyond a cable subscription
- Look at the cause and effect of the decisions you make. What seems like a cheaper solution might propel you into spending more if it forces you to change your habits. I think of this when someone tries to half-ass DIY something and it blows up in their face. You get points for trying, but less money for not doing it right.
- I put changing our cable provider off an extra pay period because I hadn’t figured out a solution to handle it (ie. Procrastinated). Instead of letting it happen again, I called and had them cancel our service at the end of the current billing period giving myself a deadline to make something happen.
- The half-assed approach can be a solid stepping stone to getting rid of expensive habits. Instead of eating out 4 times a week for lunch, cut it back to two for example.
Any other half-ass cord cutting ideas out there?