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Will Cutting the Cord to Cable Really Make You Happier

This month, I share with you an interesting twist to bring more happiness into your life by putting money back in your pocket.  To me, lightening the load on financial pressure, is a great strategy for bringing more joy your way.

Last year, my good friend Colleen shared that her husband recently cut the cord to their cable television.  They were now streaming all their television entertainment via their internet connection and it was working out seamlessly. 

“No way!” I said.  “I want to do that, too!” 

I had heard the buzz that many millennials were forgoing the high cost of cable and going for this thing called “streaming”.   Feeling like I may be missing out, I set out to learn more. 

Colleen’s husband was kind enough to teach me the “streaming” ropes.  When all was said and done, I saved our family over $160/month.  Amazing…right?  Now I want to share these cost saving tips with you. 

  1. First, write down every channel you enjoy watching.  This should include all your live channels, as well as your cable channels.  
  • Next, buy something that’ll let you watch streaming services on your TV. If you have a smart TV, then you’re probably set.  If your TV isn’t smart, you’ll need to make sure your TV has a HDMI port so you can attach a streaming media device like a Roku Media Player, Apple TV, PS4 or Amazon Fire TV Stick, for example.    Do your research here and determine which option is best for you. 

I purchased an Amazon Fire TV Stick for each of our TVs ($39.99/each).  In order to use this option, I needed an Amazon account first, which I had, so from purchase to installation, the process was extremely (and I do mean extremely) easy.

  • The next step in the process is to equip your home with internet service.  Although most homes have the internet, the speed of your service is very important.  Many of the streaming apps require minimum speeds of 0.5 Mbps; however, speeds of at least 1.5 Mbps or higher are optimal.  For the highest image quality, you may be looking for speeds as high as 12 Mbps. 

When I called to increase my internet speed, my service provider had a promotion running.  I was able to up my speed significantly and went from paying $57/month to $30/month!  I hope this happens for you as well. 

  • Finally, reference the list you created in Step #1.    If you had live TV channels on your list, your list of streaming options, as of this writing, will be narrowed down to Hulu Live, Sling TV, DirectTV Now, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV.  Again, do the research with each of these apps to confirm they offer your “must have” channels.   (A television app works exactly like a smartphone app; similarly, there are free and monthly subscription options.)

Take advantage of the 7-day free trial period offered by each app.  It’s a great way to experience what each has to offer and it’s a wonderful way to win over the skeptics in the household.  In my case, it was proving to my husband that he could still watch the Warriors live!

Habits to happiness come in many different forms.  This month it comes by way of putting money back in your pocket.  Enjoy!

Dena Betti is a graduate from the University of San Francisco, Executive Director of #hersmile Nonprofit and Certified Life Coach. Limited personal coaching slots available or sign-up for a Habits to Happiness workshop, visit http://strongerthanyouknow.com