The following is a guest post from my mom. She actually wrote it to help me out when she saw that I was thinking about hiring a staff writer. I think she rather only read stuff from me, lol. 🙂 She wrote it originally in my point of view, like a ghost post, but I changed it to hers and added headers and stuff like I do with all guest posts. I thought you all would love seeing a post from my mom, so let her know what you think in the comments!
My husband and I have retired a bit earlier than planned. So we are really into saving money on our monthly bills.
Now you may need to understand something about us. Saving is something we have always done. Crystal is the product of that environment. (Yeppers). Paying off interest bearing debt when that interest is more than what you can get on a savings account and buying the most inexpensive products with the best value have always been our cornerstone beliefs.
Our Cable and Internet Choices of the Past
Until five or six years ago, I would not allow us to get cable. It did not make sense to me to pay for something you could get for free. Television was not a necessary item, it was a time consuming luxury that took away from homework time and family time. Due to various life changing events, I did become dependent on the internet though.
Up until 2000, I used various dial-up services. Then the neighbor accidentally cut the telephone line again while gardening, and the phone line was never fixed properly. After a year of complaints and watching the telephone bill increase every month with even more added fees, I gave up. I bought a couple of prepaid cell phones after trying a cell phone contract, which also ended badly (a story for another blog topic); and ended up using a pre paid cell phone that actually worked in the middle of nowhere (also known as my parents’ place). Trouble is you could not get the internet over a prepaid phone at the time, so I went to the local cable company and asked about getting broadband service.
Our First Steps into Cable
They had just started offering broadband, so they gave me a huge discount if I would sign up for a bundled cable-broadband deal. So I signed up, went home and arranged our computers as we wanted them, and had the installation put in without a hitch. I was a very happy camper. Since multiple birthdays and an anniversary was coming up, and my eyes had been getting tired of watching our grainy television, I also began the hunt for the best television for the least price. I used our new broadband.
Well, Amazon had this fantastic deal on a large Panasonic Plasma, but this New York photo site had an even better price on it with a better shipper and great guarantees. So I took the plunge and bought a plasma TV and a huge scissor mount to hold it. I surprised Crystal’s father with the news. He would have this fantastic cable package and a plasma TV. He was deliriously happy. After much sweat, the plasma tv was installed and still works to this day. The cable worked great and my husband even sneaked out and upped the service package to include HD the minute it was available. That was like 4-8 years ago.
Now we are retired and are making less than one third what we were making then. Now we have a daughter in college and another one working towards graduating high school. Now the cable company allows you to have broadband without the cable. So we went out and cancelled the cable and hooked up rabbit ears to our now 8 year old plasma. (When my husband cut the cable, he cut the internet too. Then the clerk offered him a lower broadband rate for 6 months if he would sign back up, which he did.)
I can not tell the difference. The picture comes in clear and we get 21 stations. Our savings is over $100/month. For us, rabbit ears work. I know Crystal likes her cable as you probably know too, but for some, using an antenna may actually free up enough money so that they can afford to pay their bills. So, if you hit a rough patch, maybe you should think about using rabbit ears. Works for us.
Crystal’s Comments: I thought about doing this for a bit, but we really do utilize our DVR multiple times a day, so we’ll stick with cable. Thanks to my mom for offering a personal experience for others! I have seen their tv, and it is a really clear picture with just the rabbit ears!
Do you use an antenna? Do rabbit ears work for you too?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!