Sane savings

I posted previously that we had cancelled our cable, so it’s kind of fun to click through the various cable channels while on vacation. While the husband was watching a football game that had become rather one-sided, I went into the bedroom to see what else was on television. I came across a show on TLC called Extreme Cheapskates.

I consider myself to be frugal so I watched – for a while. The subject of this episode was riding around on his bicycle stopping to pick up dropped coins. His grand total at the end of the day was a little more than $7 in change. He exchanged his “score” at the grocery store for two goat heads, which he fixed for dinner that evening.

As kids, we occasionally walked down to the parking lot of our very small town’s tavern on Saturday mornings and picked up the money that must have fallen out of the patron’s pockets as they fished for their car keys. My friend’s brother once found $20! As an adult, I believe my time has value so I was NOT on board with the idea of scrounging around all day for such a minimal amount of money. Furthermore, if I had found $7 I would be exchanging it for something better than two goat heads!

I was hoping this show would provide some innovative ideas for saving money; after all, it was on The Learning Channel. Unfortunately, it was just like every other reality show. It appears the more bizarre the person, the greater their chance of getting screen time.

Cable may provide more channels than the free channels provided through our HD converter box, but it doesn’t provide more interesting options. I am more convinced than ever that cutting cable was the right move.

Pulling the plug on cable

A little more than a year ago we decided to cancel our subscription to cable television. The price kept increasing and we just couldn’t see the value in the service. We were spending $60 a month, and mainly watching the local news and reruns on WGN, TBS or TNT, so we decided to pull the plug.

Before we cancelled we needed to invest in some antennas. The husband did some research and chose two that would work in our attic. The price was equivalent to our cable bill for one year, so we decided we needed to commit to being cable-free for at least that long to break even. We figured after that time we could always go back to cable, or look into satellite service if we missed having a wider selection of channels.

We’re six months past the one year mark and we aren’t even close to considering going back to cable. Every once in a while we think about satellite service when we see an advertisement, but the more we consider it, the less appealing it becomes. I miss HGTV and the husband misses his favorite news channel, but we can always catch up online if we’re having withdrawals.

An extra $60 a month may not sound like a lot of savings, but when you think of it as $720 a year it sounds more impressive. What are we doing with that extra cash, you ask? We’re livin’ life with a little more *finesse!

My saving finesse level: 
Novice     Advanced beginner     Competent        Proficient        Expert      

What’s your saving finesse level?

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)