Over lunch with some co-workers a while back, it came about that I was the only one in the group that didn’t have more than basic cable to satisfy his/her television viewing cravings. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely days when it would be nice (I can only catch my Minnesota Twins games on Sunday afternoons – and most of the time I’m not inside on a Sunday afternoon). But my lineup of the networks, along with some oddly entertaining community access channels, as well as WGN (if only I were a Cubs fan!) and MSNBS (no clue why this shows up – if only that were Fox Sports Net or ESPN!).
Why am I telling you this? In total, I pay about $50 per month for Internet access and basic cable. I’m sure there are people that would question why I would have basic cable when I could pretty much pick up most of those channels from an antenna. I had the same thought. Turns out, it’s the exact same price to have Internet with basic cable and to simply have Internet access. Guess you get a discount for Internet when you have cable. Fair enough, plus I don’t have to deal with the good old bunny ear antennae – as well as the change over to a digital signal in Feb. 2009.
For me to add the next package up, the “Digital Starter” package, I’d be paying $50 MORE per month. And no, that doesn’t include the premier movie channels or any other subscriptions. Or HD (sorry, that’s another $7 per month). (Another tip for those of us who don’t have movie channels – McDonald’s Redbox has the latest releases for only $1 per night – or FREE if you use promo codes that you find by searching on Google!)
Now maybe this isn’t resonating with all the readers out there, but think about that for a second: $50 per month? If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m fairly young. One thing I have figured out, however, is that with the power of compounding interest, a little now can go a long way in the future. Say I took that $50 every month an invested it. Every month, for 40 years. In reality, that $50 difference is like to increase (with inflation). And let’s say I average 10% per year on my investments. In 40 years, that $50 per month will net me over $300,000! Yes, that won’t go as far in the future, but still, even if it were $50,000 in today’s dollars – that’s a lot of money!
If you’ve never taken the plunge – or thought about how you really don’t need all those channels – now is the perfect time to try. What do you have to lose? You can always get your channels back (they’ll be more than happy to get you back on that higher package!). But I’m from Minnesota and our summers are not that long. Why not enjoy them rather than sitting in front of the TV all summer? Plus, this Everyman is saving a lot of money in the process!