Five Minute Finances #16: Cancel The Channels You Don’t Watch

Five Minute FinancesFive Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save significant money or reorganize your financial life in just five minutes. These tips appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on The Simple Dollar.

One thing I did recently that started saving us about fifteen dollars a month was that I made the useful observation that I don’t watch that many channels at home. We had a package that included Starz and I never watched it.

When we signed up for cable, my wife selected the package with the idea that we would have movies always available, but during the time that we have the television on, we’re usually watching specific shows or else watching C-SPAN or the news.

So, all I did was call my cable provider and simply ask what channels were on their most basic plan. They listed the channels and I discovered that 90% of the programming I watch was in these channels, so I simply switched to that plan. It took about four minutes and now I’m spending $15 a month less than I was before.

All you have to do is think about what you actually watch on television for a minute and then make a list of the “top” channels on a sheet of paper. Then give your cable or satellite provider a ring and ask for the cheapest plan that includes those channels. You can almost always save some cash each month by doing this.

Trent Hamm

Founder of The Simple Dollar

Trent Hamm founded The Simple Dollar in 2006 after developing innovative financial strategies to get out of debt. Since then, he’s written three books (published by Simon & Schuster and Financial Times Press), contributed to Business Insider, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and Lifehacker, and been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and elsewhere.