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How To Save $2000 Per Year

This past month we finally had enough after receiving our cable bill that again crept up to over $280 per month from our local cable provider which was littered with equipment, taxes, and random unexplained charges.

For years the cable companies operated like the monopolies that earned them that moniker, yet every year we would call in to the service line playing as good of an Oscar role as we could muster to bluff like we were calling into cancel. We would say that we had some place better to go, while knowing there was someone on the other end laughing their ass off, mocking us while hitting the mute button thinking we were full of shit, as there was no other island we could travel to.  Until now!

It went something like this:

Me: “Ya, our cable bill is now $280.00 again, we are thinking of canceling. We don’t need 270 channels, you made us get a house phone, we never use it except to pick up political marketing calls, the robo calls try us on our mobile now… my wife makes me throw a towel over that stupid effin’ cable box light in our bedroom because it keeps her up at night, $280.00 is half a car payment for most, we have two houses with cable so multiply my bitching by two.”

Cable guy: “Sorry sir, I see you have called in before, we gave away all the free shit we want, you will never watch local TV again, those sports teams you like, ya no, you cant watch them anymore, and too bad about the lack of sleep with our annoying light and fan from our cable box, we are not lowering your cable bill”.

The gig was up, or so I thought…..

After that call, I finally explored our options fully.

For years, the cable guy was accurate, you could have switched to Hulu, Sling Box or various direct apps to local programming that were more or less ala carte and was a lot of work to log in, but nothing worked all that easy without requiring a spreadsheet of sign-in’s on your nightstand.

After researching, I settled on YouTube TV which has over 70 channels including local networks aggregated by entering in your zip code. That means not only local news, but my Sports!!! We do like one or two series on HBO and Showtime, subscriptions that can be added and dropped easily.

I decided to call back into our cable company armed with my newfound power to stick it to them one more time and guess what, their service rep came out with the “hail mary” script. Surprisingly they had an offer that they will never tell you about, a similar service much like YouTube TV although it is still $50 more a month and it does not allow up to six devices like YouTube TV does.

So here it is per month:
YouTube TV $50
Showtime $7 (Can be added/dropped monthly)
HBO $7 (Can be added/dropped monthly)
Internet $40
Total $104 per month vs (Cable $280 per month)

Savings: $2,112.00 per year

So I gleefully headed to the cable center (also known as the DMV) to turn in my equipment and observed a bunch of beaten down people with cable boxes stacked under their arms. I was stirring up the place making friends with cable cutters. By the time each of us were called after waiting 45 minutes, we were high fiving each other, because we own this shit now!!!!

In closing, it has been over a month, and it took on a few days to learn how to use YouTube TV along with the unlimited DVR. We have two houses, so everything I noted above regarding savings can be multiplied by two.  We saved over $4,000 per year! That’s a pretty nice IRA contribution right there!!! With Elon Musk and various other tech pioneers launching low orbit satellites, my guess is that there will be more internet savings in the future. 5G is right around the corner so the savings should be even better down the road. It’s a good lesson to periodically go through each house item that goes out in billing each month!

About the author  ⁄ Mark Scribner

Mark Scribner

Mark F. Scribner is the Managing Director of oXYGen Financial, Boston Office. Mark grew up in Melrose, MA and now lives in Boston. He has an amazing wife Michelle, who supports all of his crazy endurance endeavors, including a solo attempt to swim the English Channel! Mark is the father of four children - Mark, Bella, Olivia and Emma. He loves being an assistant NFL photographer and cancer fundraiser, along with creating and running various companies.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation.

Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

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