Saving for Spring!

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Spring arrived officially on March 20 th though the weather hasn’t caught up with my calendar as
of yet. We had snow this morning! Eventually, winter will end and warm weather brings a lot of outdoor distractions. Some of my warm weather distractions cost money. Just as winter relents and my utility bills begin to fall back closer to their monthly averages and maybe even below average, my summer fun begins pushing my spending up. Summer will come eventually, so recently I was looking for ways to cut some expenses out of my budget.

I have been thinking about making two moves in particular for over a year! I had been putting them off because it just seemed like hassle and just no fun. The status quo is easier than the unknown even if it promised monthly savings. Really, I just have no good excuse so recently I took what amounts to a big leap for me. Are you ready for my really big cost cutting moves!

I changed my cell phone carrier and cut the cable cord! Alright, I know what you are thinking. “He’s a little late to the party!” There are lots of articles comparing cell phone plans and how to cancel your cable. Just Google it for heaven’s sake! This is true. I’ve been reading them for over two years but I found them very abstract. I couldn’t jump. Frozen with cold fear! Will my cell phone service be reliable? Will I be able to watch the Bachelor when I want in beautiful high definition? How will I get a TV antenna up on my roof without rolling off and splatting in
my driveway? All very important questions! So, I want to share what I’ve done in my situation and maybe it will help motivate your to make you own cost saving moves.

First, I changed my cell phone service. I was with a major carrier that has a reputation for
reliability. The service was great and I never had a problem with my signal, but the cost was high. I was paying around $210 a month for 5 lines since I included my parents on my plan. That price included unlimited talk and text and 12GB of data. I had been with this carrier for a long time and I didn’t consider it a bad deal. What really got me motivated to make a move was our decrepit phones. My wife had to wrap the charger cord around the phone just right and then do a rain dance to get it to charge. My phone charged just fine but once unplugged only last a half an hour before it needed plugged in
again or it would go black. We needed new phones in a bad way. New Samsung S9 phones are $800 to $900. Nope! We went to Cricket Wireless and got new Samsung Halo phones for $19. That is $19 dollars total not $19 a month! We also got 5 lines of unlimited talk, text and data for $125 a month. That is a savings of $85 a month and we didn’t have to shell out another $30 a month for a new phone. Score! At $19 everyone got a new smart phone and so far so good. My phone can go two days before it needs plugged in. Cricket uses AT&T network and the signal has been great. They will throttle down your data service after 22BG but we aren’t likely to use that much anyway.

Next I ordered Directv Now to try out a streaming service. As part of their promotion they sent
me a 4K Amazon Fire stick. Streaming worked great but their channel selection at the lowest rate of $35 a month didn’t have the sports channels I wanted. I would have had to upgrade to $60 a month to get what I wanted. So, I canceled Directv Now and kept the Amazon Firestick. No contract means no commitment, no risk and no loss. I then signed up for Sony Vue Core packet. At $45 a month that has all the sports channels I need. It even has DIY networking and the Cooking Channel! Oh, how I love to veg
out on those shows, while getting hungry and neglecting my own home improvements. Never mind
about that! It also includes the local network channels so I don’t have the risk falling off the roof in an ill advised attempt to install an antenna! There are lots of streaming services as television becomes increasingly a la carte. Since most offer free trials, you can keep your cable while you start streaming.

New comparisons come out regularly so keep googling. You can always change again. I was
paying $192 a month for Cable and internet. Now I am paying $45 for my internet service and $45 for
my streaming service. With taxes, I pay less than $100 a month.

So to summarize, I saved approximately $85 a month on my phone service while upgrading my phones and $100 a month on my cable for a total of $185 a month. I have to say that kind of savings makes me feel great even as I wonder, what took me so long! Better late than never. Have you switched to a discount phone carrier? Have you canceled your cable? Saving money is fun!

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