The average consumer spends about $75 a month on cable. That means he spends $900 a year or about $45,000 in his lifetime, just on cable. But why pay when you can watch so many of the same shows for much less or free? There are people all over the country who have chosen to drop cable – thousands of people turned off their cable service in 2010. So why shouldn't you save money by ditching cable?
For many, having cable is just another necessary expense, like groceries or gas, but it doesn't have to be that way. You can lose the expense of cable by switching to free hi-definition broadcast television for the networks and public television, and use a box for other shows. Or you can hook up your television to your computer for access to Internet programming, or purchase a television with wireless capabilities, and use your wireless Internet connection.
You can even go old school and hook up a set of rabbit ears – antenna – to your hi-def flat screen. You should be able to get some local channels, as well as a few others.
There are also services that you can get online that will enable you to see many of the shows you enjoy, like Hulu and Netflix. You can also use Internet sites like Vudu for movies, and Apple TV, Google TV and Roku.
What if you just can't part with your cable – can you still save money? You can negotiate with your cable company. Call them and say your cable is too expensive and you want to shut it off. They'll very likely offer you a discount off your monthly bill if you agree to a one-year contract. You can also review your bill and cut the extras, like a premium movie package.
You can hook up to basic cable by just hooking the cable directly to your television, and getting rid of the cable company's remote and cable box. Then you won't have to pay "rental" fees on those items, and you'll save money.