It’s not at all unusual to spend hundreds of dollars a month on home entertainment. If you’re already spending less than that, good for you. But if you’re like most people, there are probably ways to reduce your costs without sacrificing too much in terms of the content you enjoy. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Take stock of what you spend. The first step is figuring out how much you currently spend on TV, internet and phone service so you can set a goal for your monthly budget. Look back at your bills and credit card statements to get an idea of where your money is going, then try to find ways to cut those costs.
- As a general rule of thumb, if you aren’t using something, cut it out of your budget. If you aren’t watching all those channels that come with your cable bill or haven’t used the gym in months, don’t pay for them.
- Assess what services are important to you. Do you have a cable subscription but only watch a few shows? Do you pay for streaming services but rarely use them? For example, if Netflix is vital to your entertainment needs but Hulu is just taking up space on your bill (and your hard drive), consider canceling it and using the savings toward another service that’s more useful — or just put it into savings.
- Watch TV for free. Oftentimes when people think about cutting their home entertainment costs, they immediately turn off their cable or satellite package. However, there are other options out there that don’t require you to miss out on your favorite shows. For example, many channels have their own websites where you can stream television content for free. If you have a digital antenna or an HDTV with a digital tuner, it’s also possible to watch some channels without paying anything at all.