When Mike and I decided that I would become a stay at home mom, I knew that we would have to start doing some things to cut costs. Almost immedietly, I started researching ways to save money and I came across many things that helped make the transition easier for us. I thought I'd start a regular post to share some of the things that we've been doing to help us save. I am by no means an expert, but every little bit helps.
Our first step to saving money was to cancel our cable and home phone service. This may seem drastic to some people who find their DVR a necessity, but when we examined the amount of time we actually spent watching TV, it really wasn't a great value add for us. We spent a lot of time flipping channels and there were a ton of channels we never actually watched. Cable was close to $60, which seemed like a lot for something we rarely used. Also, we decided we no longer needed our home phone. We actually got more wrong number calls then calls for us. Plus, we were getting bombarded with collection calls for people who had used our number previously. The final straw was when we started getting collection calls in the middle of the night! The home phone was close to $20, so by cutting both of these services, we are saving close to $80 a month.
After cancelling our cable service, we decided to subscribe to Netflix. We have a plan for 2 DVDs at a time with unlimited streaming that costs about $16 a month (this price is about to go up and we might reevaluate our plan type when it does) that works very well for us. We are able to get the new movies we want to see quickly and there are a ton of TV series that I have been able to stream including favorites of mine including Pawn Stars and Say Yes to the Dress! Also, I frequently use Hulu to watch current TV series and find that the majority of what I watched before on cable is available to watch for free the day after it airs. The only network I really miss is TLC, who for some reason refuses to air their shows free online.
As for phone service, we both have cell phones with a ton of minutes that we never seem to use all of. We also decided to get a free Google Voice number that we can give to people who we don't want having our cell numbers. This number gives up the option to forward calls to our cell phones and also has a great voice mail feature. It pretty much does the job of a home phone for us.
With the availability of Netflix, Hulu and Google Voice, I just can't imagine paying $80 a month for home phone and TV service. Have you cut out cable? Do you have a home phone? What are some of your favorite cost cutting tips?