If you’ve ever dreamed of ditching your cable, dish, or phone company, the latest episode of The Handyguys Podcast offers a great primer on how to save money and keep great service by cutting the cable.
Like my fellow DIY Blog Squad-ers, the Handyguys, I’ve also found that my best value in home media and telephony was to pass up the phone and cable company packages and roll my own bundle.
Instead of cable or dish TV, I have a Netflix membership and use a Roku device to stream content to my TV. I also get local TV stations over the air using an antenna in my attic. Instead of phone service through the local phone company or cable bundle, I have an Ooma Telo VOIP device which offers nearly-free home phone service. Instead of an XM or Sirius subscription for the house, I stream internet radio and Pandora stations with a Squeezebox Radio. And instead of the boom-and-bust cycle of low introductory rates and punitive standard rates for high speed internet through the phone or cable company, I get my internet through a municipal wifi service administered through a local ISP.
Here’s my DIY media/service “bundle” by the numbers:
- $24/mo – 6.0 Mbps municipal wifi internet
- $9/mo – 1-disc-at-a-time Netflix membership (+$99 device purchase for Roku)
- $3/mo – taxes on free Ooma local and long-distance phone service (+$199 device purchase)
- $0/mo – streaming internet radio through Squeezebox (after device purchases)
So my total ongoing monthly cost for internet, video, audio, and home phone is $36. In comparison, the standard monthly rate just for stand-alone 1.5 Mbps (1/4 my speed) DSL internet through my local phone company is $40. Although I have purchased some service-specific devices, my monthly expense savings defray those upfront costs. For example, the Ooma phone is the newest part of my bundle and it will take me about 8 months to make up the $199 device cost with the monthly savings from cancelling my service with the local phone company. After that, I’m money ahead on my home phone.
Your results may vary, of course, based on your own media preferences and the services available in your area. However, I’ve found some tremendous value from my DIY media/service bundle. And money saved here means there is more left in my pocket for other priorities like DIY projects around the house.