Getting Rid of Stuff …

So, my post-Christmas mania has been getting rid of services I don’t need. I’ve been chafing at my cable bill for almost a year now — it went through the roof, nearly 90 bucks a month (I had HBO and all that). For a while I thought about getting rid of the premium channels, but that would only save me about 10 bucks a month, so it hardly seemed worth it.

And then when sorting out a mess with my TiVo bill, I noticed that TiVo had a new thing — if you hook your TiVo to your home network (either with a cable or with a wireless adapter you have to buy separately — I bought the adapter since the TV is in a different room from the router) then you can stream directly from NetFlix. I love NetFlix but I have to say, sometimes what has arrived in the mail isn’t exactly what I was hoping to watch at that point. TiVo also claimed you could get content from Amazon and YouTube, so I figured I’d see if it worked, and if so, then I’d get rid of cable. Even though there were some startup costs — a new TiVo box, the wireless adapter, if I could get rid of that huge cable bill it would all pay for itself in about three months.

It works! So I called Bresnan and got rid of everything except the basic networks/PBS channel package. They were shocked, of course, and kept trying to upsell me, but I said thanks but no thanks — just the most basic package — 20 bucks a month. I’d consider getting rid of that too at some point — we’ll just have to see. But a girlfriend of mine who has Apple TV said they kept the basic channels for local news and that, so that seemed reasonable.

I dropped off the cable box yesterday and I feel weirdly like I’ve been liberated from something. I have a huge number of interesting movies in my Instant Netflix queue on the TV — some TV series too. And I’m no longer stuck with that awful thing where you scroll through the million channels annoyed because there’s nothing to watch. Or wind up watching something dumb because it’s on. I just feel like I’ve been set free.

I’m also getting rid of my land line and going to my cell phone only. I bought a Bluetooth device so I can talk to my two best girlfriends while cleaning the kitchen or folding the laundry — that had been my hesitation. Cell phones are so slim you can’t hold them with your shoulder. Well, although I feel like a huge geek with my goofy Bluetooth thing hooked over my ear, it’s much nicer than getting a crick in my neck.

So there’s three money-savers for 2009. Got rid of most of my cable bill. Got rid of my long-distance carrier. Got rid of the land line. Yay!

3 thoughts on “Getting Rid of Stuff …”

  1. Woohoo!! I sort of want to chuck the sattelite, too. It’s usually cheaper than cable, but I still hardy ever use it. (Sure the kids do, but they’d live without it. Muahaha…)

  2. I got rid of my satellite service almost two years ago. It was $60+/month and I *almost never* watch TV. I figured for the 4 shows I watched via DVR every month, there had to be a way to replace them for free — or a lot less money — via internet and borrowing from the library. Got rid of my land line at the same time. Haven’t ever regretted either decision for so much as a single second. Got the Netflix thing last summer and it fills in on those nights (rare) when all I want to do is sit on the couch with the dog and be entertained. Try Hulu TV (online and free) for those series you might be missing on cable…

    I also ditched the newspapers, magazines, and purchases of books. I read the news online, don’t miss the drivel and/or elitism of the few magazines I did subscribe to, and borrow books from the library, saving me a ton of money. May start moving towards a middle ground with the books, though, since my ex gave me a Kindle recently and the dog keeps eating the library books (it’s his bad boy behavior). Still, $6-10 occasionally is a whole lot less than I use to spend on books, and hopefully the dog won’t eat the Kindle.

    I re-subscribed to the New York times a few months ago, after about 18 months away. It sat on my table, unread, almost every day. I’ve become so accustomed to reading it online that the paper version seemed like something I just couldn’t find the time for anymore. So I cancelled it again.

  3. Interesting viewing solution. So do you have high-speed Internet? And with whom? We want to consolidate a bunch of stuff but have a commitment for a few more months with Qwest…

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