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Managing cable, internet, and wireless bills
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sdilley14
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Sep 5, 2012, 09:51 AM
 
I feel like I am missing out on some opportunities it trim my monthly budget with my cable, internet, and cell phone services. Right now I have Charter cable and internet (best and most affordable providers in my area). For my package including HD and DVR I am paying roughly $85/mo. As for wireless I have an iPhone with Verizon. I still have the unlimited data plan and I have the voice plan with as few minutes as possible. After company discount I am paying about $85/mo for that as well.

I feel like there are other alternatives out there that could help me trim this budget...I'm just not sure what the best options are for me, and I'm not sure that there are options that will fully suit my "needs".

Getting rid of the iPhone is pretty much out of the question. Love my iPhone and I feel I have the most affordable plan out there for it right now (though I haven't checked in months...maybe there are cheaper plans now with capped data?).

What could I do with my cable and internet? I plan on doing some online gaming with my Xbox 360 once Halo 4 comes out. Otherwise I don't really do a lot of data intensive internet work...mostly the standard browsing, downloading music/movies/TV shows here and there. I have an Xbox 360, PS3, and the most recent Apple TV...so I definitely have some streaming media options there. My biggest concern is live TV. I watch ESPN, FSN North (Brewers baseball), and all of the other standard channels for football, baseball, and basketball games. I watch a few sitcoms regularly as well. I also really enjoy having DVR capabilities, and HD is a must.

I feel with all of the devices I have and Hulu, Netflix, MLB/NBA/NFL apps and subscriptions, watch ESPN, all of that, I feel like maybe there are better/cheaper options I am overlooking that could help trim my budget.

Thoughts?
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ShortcutToMoncton
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Sep 5, 2012, 10:28 AM
 
I got rid of cable entirely. Every show can be gotten online, and the vast majority of cable TV is crap anyway; the only big downer is sports. There are online/AppleTV options for MLB etc. - but if you bought a package for each major sport, it'd cost far more than cable in the first place. (And the blackout restrictions can be very, very annoying.)

Me: I'm simply less into sports than I used to be. But if you don't want to give up sports, I don't think getting rid of cable should be your option.
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The Final Dakar
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Sep 5, 2012, 10:35 AM
 
As an adult this is my lament of the consumer driven economy. It seems everyone is trying to get you on some kind of subscription plan in addition to monthly necessities. When i figured out one season of Mad Men on amazon cost half the rate of having cable for a month I was happy to cut that cord. I used a flip phone and a data only plan that's $35 a month. I have DSL coupled with a home phone. I have Netflix and that's about it. Oh, XBOX Live once a year ($60).
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Sep 5, 2012, 11:15 AM
 
My cell phone is work-paid. I've got a 150GB-capped cable internet connection. That's it. I ordered cable for 2 months last year and then cut the cord after one evening I found myself sitting down with my wife, watching one of those reality barbeque shows. I lost it and went on a rampage and cancelled everything. Haven't regretted it in the least, though.

(Again...beyond the loss of sports, though - basketball in particular.)
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sek929
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Sep 5, 2012, 12:14 PM
 
First things first is get rid of cable television, as Shortcut said the only downside is no sports, but there are ways around that if you don't mind heading to a friend's house or a local watering hole for a big game.

Past that I save money by not having an iPhone, or a big-time data plan, and make do with a free Android and limited amounts of data. The only thing I would consider top-shelf is my internet connection, 20Mbps Comcast for about 50 a month. I heavily use Netflix, HULU, XBL, and :cough: other things to view media. Luckily I'll get to watch Patriots on the over-the-air HD channel in my area.
     
The Final Dakar
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Sep 5, 2012, 12:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
First things first is get rid of cable television, as Shortcut said the only downside is no sports, but there are ways around that if you don't mind heading to a friend's house or a local watering hole for a big game.
ESPN3 if your ISP provides.
     
Shaddim
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Sep 5, 2012, 04:28 PM
 
We have the Dish "Everything" package ($100/mo), with Hopper and Joeys. Simply amazing, nothing else touches it (especially not Comcast). We have no home phone and use the unlimited Verizon family plan for mobile ($250ish /mo with unlimited data). It's too expensive, but it's very good. For internet we have unlimited AT&T U-verse business service (great quality for $90/mo), because Comcast sucks *****. If we lose service, in theory, they fix it within a couple hours, but it hasn't gone out since we've had it so I can't comment on that part.
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andi*pandi
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Sep 6, 2012, 05:47 AM
 
Agreed that Comcast sucks.

We have the Verizon Fios combo... for $100/mo or so. Works pretty good. Considering downgrading the cable just for finances, but Hulu etc wouldn't be enough for me.

We had verizon wireless, but there was no advantage. They are separate accounts. Now we are trying Virgin Mobile, with its cost/signal tradeoffs. We had to get a burner trakphone for our recent trip to the sticks... but still, cheaper than a VW plan.
     
Athens
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Sep 7, 2012, 10:48 AM
 
I dumped my Cable TV 2 years ago. I got it back for the playoffs last year and then dumped it again after that.

Phone Service
- Unlimited Canada Wide Calling + 6GB Data is costing me $100.00

Internet Service
- Cable Internet company, unlimited bandwidth for $50 a month.

For the sports I do like to watch I found it cost effective to hit the nearest pub, have a drink and watch it live there. I found that really improved the sports being in a crowed watching it.

I have seriously thought about dumping my internet totally and tethering my iPhone for data needs. Its fast enough. But at 6GB only its not enough bandwidth to do that yet.
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Phileas
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Sep 7, 2012, 12:03 PM
 
We've ditched cable three years ago and have never looked back. The landline that hadn't been used for years went at the same time.

VPN connections to the UK and the US are available at around $40/year each, allowing access to the BBC iplayer and hulu.com, if you're outside the US/UK and so inclined.

Otherwise, we're using netflix and iTunes for video as well as the individual channel's streaming sites. Rogers, my data provider, is also getting better at streaming content.

We pay $80/month for $150Gb of data. We maxed that out during the Olympics, but that's the exception. My phone gets paid by my work, so that's the only cost.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Sep 7, 2012, 12:10 PM
 
Hah! I'm with Rogers and paying $53 a month for their 150GB Extreme Plus plan. Just sayin'.

I've started other threads in other forums about maximising the use of streaming services available in HTPC boxes...like the AppleTV or Boxee or Roku, etc. Anyways, it's definitely the way the Future is going, but it hasn't quite got there, yet.
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shifuimam
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Sep 7, 2012, 12:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
VPN connections to the UK and the US are available at around $40/year each, allowing access to the BBC iplayer and hulu.com, if you're outside the US/UK and so inclined.
I didn't know that!

I might look into that. Then I could watch new episodes of The IT Crowd...
     
boy8cookie
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Sep 7, 2012, 01:03 PM
 
Easy, work for the cable company. $18/mo for every channel in HD w/ DVR + 50/10 internet.
     
sdilley14  (op)
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Sep 7, 2012, 01:14 PM
 
You suck! Jk, you don't...but that would be awesome!

I thought about cutting my internet service and using my iPhone as a hotspot. I've heard of people doing that but have never tried it myself. I do have the old unlimited plan on Verizon, so monthly data shouldn't be an issue, yes? My concern is that I wanted to do some online gaming with XBox live this winter (something to keep me inside at home rather than going to the bars and blowing $80-$100 a weekend!). Though I did just move into a new apartment and found some unprotected networks...but then again who knows how reliable and unportected those will remain. I think I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here. By the time I pay for all of the streaming service equivalents for what I'm getting from cable, it's going to be a wash, but with slightly more hassle. Damned this stupid entertainment and connectivity dependency we create for ourselves!
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