Frugal Friday: get rid of the satellite

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I have been trying for years to get my husband to cancel our satellite subscription. But as an avid NFL fan, he couldn’t see his way around getting rid of this bill and not being able to see his beloved 49ers play. He needed the satellite to watch the Sunday Ticket and see his team.

But I wanted to decrease the amount of TV we were watching anyway. And, I don’t see it as a necessity to have satellite. Like the manifesto says, “if you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.” And I certainly feel like I don’t have enough time sometimes.

So, in our last round of budgeting, I asked him to see if there were alternatives for some of the “fixed” costs that we have. I didn’t specifically ask him to look at the satellite, but rather asked him to question all his assumptions about what we really needed and wanted.

To his credit, Jason came up with an ingenious solution.

He also got us to cancel our Telus services, which I have been trying to get out of for years. Just so you know, I don’t slam companies easily, even ones with as poor of customer service reputations as Telus. But when my grandfather passed and my grandmother had to deal with them… What a nightmare.

Anyway, we figured out that all the shows that I watch are available on the internet, via the network websites. I like the sat PVR, because I don’t have to watch commercials on the satellite system. But that certainly is not worth a couple hundred of dollars a year. So we canceled the satellite, and canceled our Telus internet and phone account.

We signed up with Shaw, which has much faster internet service. To give you an idea, their middle of the line service is 20 times faster than what we had with Telus. We added the phone on to top of our internet service. This may not seem like it saves us money so far, but with the higher internet speed, we could cancel the satellite service.

The other added component is that Jason found way to change our IP address on command, so that he can watch the NFL free from the Netherlands or from the US. If you have questions about that specifically, leave the question as a comment and I will get Jason to answered your specific questions on that.

Canceling satellite, along with changing our mobile phone plan so that it included the minutes that we actually use, looks like it will save us about $113 a month. The investment for this endeavor, included purchasing a used laptop for $250, should pay itself off in two or three months of savings. We thought about canceling the landline all together, but another cell phone would be more expensive than our one cell and landline.

So I will sum it up: cancelled satellite, check usage and minutes and adjusted our plans so no overage fees, bought a laptop, sign up for an IP address out of country, and made best use of freeTV online. Total savings? Probably around $1000 this year.

4 thoughts on “Frugal Friday: get rid of the satellite

  1. Please share the IP thing, my hubby spends lots each year to get cricket and Aussie Rules footy over here. Even the ABC radio cricket is no longer available! I have (mental) pictures of him shovelling snow in an AB blizzard whilst listening to the cricket on his radio earmuffs, via our FM transmitter! I even got him a WD live thinking that would work for the cricket on YouTube but no *live* sport on their YouTube channel! Thanks heaps!!!

  2. Hi there. The service is not free, but it works really well. It costs about 6 dollars per month. It is called hide my ass pro or hma pro vpn service. You sign up for the service and it can connect you with servers from around the world. This way, it looks like you have a foreign IP address in the country of choice and you can access everything the people of that country can access. I also use it to access American Netflix as well as Hulu.

    I don’t know if you could get the Aussie rules free or not. Only if it was shown free somewhere else, like if it is shown in Australia over the Internet there?..

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