Can you live without cable?

To get out of debt you need to find every possible way to spend less money every month and use the savings to pay off debt. That means making sacrifices that you didn’t when you were piling on the debt.

Unfortunately, in America we consider a high-def signal and 300 channels to be a right on par with freedom of speech and women’s suffrage.

So if you still have that widescreen LCD TV that you bought at 0% interest in 2006 but didn’t pay off in time which means you’re now barely making the minimum payments at 23.99% and it’s connected to a pricey cable box or satellite service it may be time to cut the cord. (Figuratively speaking.)

If you are dropping a hundred dollars or more every month that could be better spent on paying off your bills, you need to kick the habit. But you don’t have to go cold turkey, there are ways to save money and still get your content fix.

To get movies and television on the cheap while getting the added benefit of watching shows on your own schedule, here are a couple of options to consider:

  • Get a HD antenna. With a one-time investment of 30 bucks or more you can pull high-def signals of broadcast television right out of the air with no monthly fees. HD Antenna rigs are easy to hook up and you’ll have your national and local stations for free.
  • Network TV websites. You can typically catch the latest episodes of your favorite shows directly from sites like ABC.com and NBC.com. If you’ve got a nice big monitor hooked up to your computer, you’re already in business.
  • Cable TV sites. Need a news fix? Check out CNN’s video service.
  • Streaming video sites. My personal favorite is Hulu.com which has favorites like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Colbert Report ready to view the following day. Another good site that let you watch videos on demand is Joost.com. For comedy clips check out FunnyorDie.com
  • Subscribe to Netflix. Easily the 800 pound gorilla of the DVD rental game, with Netflix.com can build your list of movies and TV shows online, and get them delivered right to your door for only $8.99 a month. It’s more convenient than your local video store, has a wider range of titles and you won’t get hit with late fees. If you need an entertainment fix, pop in a DVD and you’ll always have a fresh stack when the mood strikes.
  • Multi-task your video game console. With services like XBox Live you can order movies and shows directly through the system that’s already hooked up to the nice TV of yours.

If you’re not willing to take the plunge and dump your cable or dish service, at least consider dropping the premium channels. You may find that series and features from sites like the Discovery Network, A&E and Food Network can keep you well distracted from the bills of the day.

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