Cable television

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Cable television costs average around $40 to $50 per month. Some people pay significantly more.

Many people would improve their lives significantly by canceling cable and spending time exercising. However, entertainment does have a place. If you want to keep your television entertainment, here are some ideas on how to shink your cable bill.

Understand the value you get from Cable[edit]

It's very helpful to quantify the value you get I'm a cable subscription. If you watch cable television for 20 hours a month and pay $40 a month then you are paying two dollars per hour for the service. If you only watch five hours a month you are paying eight dollars per hour for the service. You can use this number to compare to other methods of entertainment and you may find that cable is the more expensive option–particularly if you watch infrequently. For example, if you only watch a few hours per month it might be cheaper to go to the movie theater.

Watch Online[edit]

There are a number of sites like Hulu that let you watch television shows online. If you follow two or three shows and they are all available on Hulu, you may be able to get everything you need without the cable subscription.

Buy Only The Shows You Want[edit]

If you don't have to see a show immediately, you can save a lot of money simply by waiting until it comes out on DVD and buying or renting it then. The cost of an entire season is likely to be less than what you'd pay for a single month of cable television.

You can also buy shows as they come out through sites like Apple's iTunes store and Amazon.com. The cost will probably be $1.00 to $2.00 per show. Still you can follow many shows this way before you spend as much as you are likely to on cable television.

Broadcast Television[edit]

Depending on where you live, a $40 antenna might pull in everything you want to watch at no charge. Even if you can't get good reception in your house, most cable companies offer a $10 package that only contains local channels. They don't usually advertise this because it isn't a big money maker so you may have to ask about it.

Subscription Services[edit]

Services like Netflix give you access to a number of movies and television shows for a monthly fee that is usually well below the cost of cable. Netflix sends CDs through the mail, but many of their plans also allow you to watch movies and television shows online.

Many new televisions are compatible with Netflix and Amazon's streaming services, so you can watch on television instead of using your computer screen.