According to an article on CNN Money, the average cable customer pays about $75 per month ($900/year!), though many customers pay over $100 for extra channels (~$1200 a year). With a savings of $900-$1200 a year, you could take an international trip or pay off a good chunk of your debt! The article also states that cable costs typically rise about 5% each year and we should expect them to continue to increase. With all of the free or cheap options available to watch shows these days (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.), it is astonishing that many people continue to pay so much for cable. According to “The Lifetime Cost of Cable” on 20SomethingFinance, when you factor in for inflation and consider the amount that you could gain in a ROTH IRA instead, you could save between $634K to $4.2 million if you’re paying cable from age 23-80. Wow. Talk about an eye-opener.
By watching less television, you will also reduce your electric bill and might save money by avoiding impulse purchases through television ads (think of how many times you’ve seen something delicious on TV and decided to go out and get it). By reducing or canceling your cable package, you will also spend less time in front of the television and hopefully more time engaged in activities that you enjoy. I know that a lot of my friends complain about “not having enough time” to do things, but yet spend at least an hour or two watching reality shows on TV each night! To put it into perspective, if you spent one less hour each day watching TV, you’d end up with 7 extra hours each week (or 15 days each year)! The average American actually watches 81 hours of TV per month (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics), or 40 days per year! You could be getting into better shape, learning something new, networking, or taking on a part-time job during that time — all steps toward living your best life!