Save Money on TV
We all know that in order to pay off debt, or get wealthy (they are one and the same, but paying off debt is important, and some people don’t have any debt, hence the distinction!) we need to earn lots of money, and save lots of money. But it’s not always that cut and dry is it? Or we would all be mega frugal and there would be no debt, just a bunch of wealthy people.
There are plenty of reasons why money is viewed so differently across different people, and the psychology of it all is incredibly fascinating. But a lot of it can come down to the fact that money management is something that people haven’t been taught, and they plod along thinking that what they are doing is the best that they can do. But trust me, we can do much better – even if you are on a small salary now with debt stacking up, know that we can turn it all around by paying off the debt quickly, and start earning more.
The first step in paying off debt is looking at the things that you are currently paying for (expenses) and seeing if you can reduce the costs. A cost that can get pretty big quickly is that of TV packages. There are lots of different ones available and these can cost families a lot of money over time.
For example, looking at Sky, the ‘Sky Movies’ package is £37 a month, which works out as £444 a year. Wow, a lot of money that can be used elsewhere – and that is just for the Movies section, not just the normal Sky TV packages, line rental, broadband etc. Even if you pay £50 a month for your TV package and think that’s a pretty good deal – it works out to be £600 a year. Eek! I’m sure that we could all think of something much better to spend £600 (or more!) a year on.
Not only that, but the money that you save wouldn’t just be the flat amount e.g. the £600 like in the example above. If you put that money saved towards your debt, you would be saving even more money further down the line due to interest rates.
Even if you don’t have debt, this money should go into savings where the interest rates can be as high as 5% which would earn you money over time. If you invest this instead, you could get even better money back over time.
If you look at your savings, don’t forget to also factor in the electricity used to play your TV. How many hours do you have it on a day? The average in the UK is around 4 hours per day.
So what are my options?
Cancel your TV subscription
Not going to be a popular one I know! And I totally get it. There are a bunch of programmes that I like to watch and they are actually ones at stimulate my brain, that I usually have on in the background whilst I’m doing my work (I work from home).
Giving something up is something that we don’t generally like to do as human beings. We like the things that we do, and they become habits; behaviour that we become accustomed to.
If we are already in debt, this can feel like a step back instead of a step forward, but just think – if you have a break from it and decide that it’s something that you do really enjoy having, then you can always sign back up. I don’t mean the week after however – I mean after a few months at least so that you can see the benefit of the extra cash in your account, and to see what you have been up to instead of watching TV.
However if you are fully embracing going frugal extreme, cutting your TV cord (not literally!) is a great way to start down this path.
There’s Freeview available in the UK, which is £0 per year. Yes, you read that correctly! No cost at all to you for the TV channels. With Freeview you get more than 60 standard channels and it says that you can use Freeview Play where you can scroll back in the TV guide to watch programmes you missed from the last 7 days.
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I am personally pretty frugal, but I would love people to manage their money as effectively as possible, which I believe is done with a mixture of frugality and sensible spending. I propose that there is no point in saving yourself £10 a month on something and then blowing £50 a month on something else that you can get for much cheaper, or even free.
If watching TV is an activity that you enjoy, there are probably better ways of doing it than you currently are – there are a ton of different sources to enjoy your programmes on now, instead of perhaps just going for the better known brands out there. A little bit of initial effort can save you hundreds over a year, and thousands over a lifetime.
Check which channels you actually watch, and then you can choose the right package for you.
You can get a Now TV box and buy monthly passes – £6.99 per month for an Entertainment Pass, Sky Cinema Pass for £9.99 per month, Sky Sports Pass for £33.99 per month, Kids Pass for £2.99 per month. The box costs £14.99 from Now TV, but if you look on Amazon you can buy a box from there that comes with a pass (I checked with Now TV and they said it will still work). Here’s a link of the channels that are available on there.
Have you heard of Amazon firestick? It actually sounds really good! This is what they say about it:
- Just plug in and start streaming in minutes. Take it from room to room and turn your HDTVs into streaming media centres.
- Tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies, from Amazon Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more, plus games, music and apps.
You can also get the Kodi app for streaming on this.
I’m sure you have all heard of Netflix, because it’s really been taking off in the last few years (‘netflix and chill’). The basic package is £5.99 per month. It has box sets and films for you to binge watch.
This is a digital media player – a dongle which allows you to stream content to your TV from the internet (such as from your mobile). Make sure that you check any reviews before buying anything.
They have 73 TV and radio channels. There is an excellent feature where you can scroll back for 7 days. Simply connect your existing aerial cable to the aerial connection on the back of your YouView box. Then connect your box to the TV using the HDMI cable supplied.
Haggle with your current provider
I know for a fact that if you tell Sky you are cancelling your subscription that they will ring you back with better deals. I would aim to get at least 50% off your current bill.
It is always worth haggling because they want your custom more than they want to you leave, just remember that. If you feel a bit nervous about haggling over the phone, then check if your provider has an online chat facility where you can communicate with them on there. They may ring you eventually though! I have done this and I reduced ours by more than half.
Tip: if you cancel your Sky, download the sky service app and it will show you the discount that they have available for you (wait for it to change to 50%).
*Sky currently have 60% off codes through MSE so you can get a full package including movies and sports for £30 a month if you are a new customer, only ’til tomorrow*
Use Cashback sites
Top Cashback – Check cash back sites such as Top Cashback before signing up to anything to check if you can get any cash back (free money!) with your purchase.
The best benefit of reducing your TV subscription
The number one benefit of getting rid or reducing the size of your TV subscription is free time. It is so incredibly easy to get sucked into watching hours and hours of TV every single day, but what could you do instead of watching TV with your time? There is a reason why the high earners of the world watch a tiny amount of TV per day – in fact, it is generally the poorest of people that watch the most TV. Things that you could do instead of watching TV:
- Reading. I am a big advocate of reading – it keeps your mind active and constantly learning new things.
- Exercising. You could work out at home, go for a bike ride, go on a long walk with your dogs.
- Cooking. Cook up an elaborate meal for your loved ones – have friends over or family.
- Blogging. This is a very addictive hobby/business for thousands and thousands of people. I thoroughly recommend starting your own blog, I personally love it and the community is fab.
- Make extra money. This could be small things such as mystery shopping (yes they do have evening ones) or putting together a business idea for a small business that will make you money.
So to sum it all up, cutting the cable cord will save you thousands of pounds. This will be incredibly important when paying off your debt. If you are in debt anyway, there is no way that you should be watching a lot of TV, because you should be working your butt off to pay off your debt – sorry, but it’s true.
If you are living with a ‘spender’, they can put up quite a fight over the TV, trust me, I get this! But if you aren’t going to get rid of the TV subscriptions, that’s fine, I can’t force you to! But I just want to make you aware of the obscene costs of TV subscriptions and the realisation that you can use the money for something much better in another area. Instead of just looking at how much it is per month, make sure you add it up per year or the costs over 10 years. I guarantee they will increase their rates over the years as well. Don’t forget the electricity used to run the TV, and the TV licence cost too.