Well, I hope that everyone would understand canceling their cable. You’re paying to watch ads! Why?!
The reason I had cable was because my roommate had it when I moved in. It was an extra $10 for me per month, so I just let it go. I figured we’d watch cable occasionally, right? Well, we watched it 3 times in the 2.5 years I was there. It’s not my place to tell her she shouldn’t have it, but I had occasionally hinted things like,”Hm, we don’t use cable that often. Maybe we should cancel it.” She would nod in agreement, but never cancelled it. I never really pushed to follow up to make sure it was cancelled either, so I guess it’s on me as well.
So, when I moved out, obviously I wasn’t going to try and find cable. I got Verizon Fios for $54.99. The Fios installer guy came on time (he quoted me arriving between 2PM-4PM and texted me at 1:50PM saying he was about to arrive) and was a cool dude. We actually talked about some stocks — I told him my picks of Chinese tech stocks were mostly Tencent (the Chinese version of FB, but much, much better), and Alibaba (kind like Amazon, but also, much, much better). He spent about 4 hours installing all the various wires and boxes as the building had never had tenants before. The speed is lightening fast, and best cost per use I get out of anything is my internet.
I was curious as to the cost of the installation as there were a ton of boxes, wires, and other random stuff. He responded with napkin math, something like $300 for on the market cost of hardware (probably 1/2 price wholesale to Verizon), plus the cost of the technician ($300 for the numerous hours he was there and him driving around to our place, plus he did a lot of overtime, of which I’m assuming Verizon must pay him time and a half). Plus the cost of laying out all the fiber for high-speed internet (which the government did subsidize to a large degree, but I’m assuming wasn’t nearly enough as infrastructure projects always run over budget). He guessed it was 3-5 years before they even broke even just on the variable costs. But most people, once they get fiber internet, don’t switch. Normal people don’t have 4 hours on a weekday to spend in their home getting internet installed. You just keep your old internet.
A word of advice though, don’t upgrade to the fastest internet. Just get the slowest one. It’s way more than you’d probably ever need, a comment that the tech guy even made. Most people just watch shows, Youtube, or browse the internet. You don’t need ridiculous speeds for that. 100 Mbps (the lowest tier) is perfectly fine. No buffering, even if there are multiple people in your house.
Google Fios costs the same, but doesn’t exist in my market. It seems Verizon and Google are not competing in the same markets so for larger cities, you might only get one of them. The price is the same though.
You could argue my second best cost per use item I have is Hulu. There are nights I get home and marathon some random TV show while also writing my blog or doing extra work. It’s not the most effective though. Watching Hulu puts me in my “flow” mode, and I tend to want to play video games or just veg out instead of being productive. I’ll flip between being productive an playing video games instead of writing my blog or working on another side hustle. So, for 2018, I’m canceling my Hulu account for 6 months until the summer. I’ll reassess if I’m actually missing anything. Same goes for Netflix.
As for Netflix, I don’t watch many shows on it. It seems to be lagging behind Hulu in terms of newer cable TV content as episodes are not watchable until the entire season is over. It used to have Veronica Mars and Psych, but they are no longer available on Netflix. The only show I really watch is Master of None, with Aziz Ansari, one of my favorite comedians (I wrote this article before all the recent backlash – not sure what to make of it). Oddly enough, his shows aren’t funny, but revolve around modern issues, such as dating apps, gender norms, pay discrepancies across genders, racial portrayals of minorities in television, LGBT issues, etc.
So. New Year. New experiments. I cancelled my Netflix and Hulu. I think I’ll have more free time AND more productive time, and I’ll save $22 a month. I don’t think it’ll be taken up by listening to more music — it’s just not my thing. I’d rather have silence than music playing in the background, even for fun. Hopefully I’ll be more productive. If I am, maybe I can rewire my brain for healthier habits with Hulu/Netflix.
How much are you paying for cable and internet? Do you have Hulu + Netflix + other online streaming instead?
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Olivia worked in finance and wants you to learn the secrets of financial independence. She’s on track to reach financial independence before 30, and she wants to teach you how you can retire in less than a decade as well.
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