Today, I just have a couple of updates about our mission to keep the budget in line.
Cutting the Cord Update
At the end of March, we made the decision to cut Cable TV from our budget. You can read about what led up to that decision here. We bought an antenna and a Roku streaming box. Both have been very good. We started out with a subscription to Netflix for about $8 per month.
We really like Netflix, but there are a couple of things that are lacking as far as we’re concerned. We like home improvement and cooking shows and I like sports.
As it turns out, there is a solution to the home improvement and cooking problem. I signed up for a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime because I needed to get something delivered quickly. With the Prime membership, you also get access to Amazon Instant Video. When I was comparing this service to Netflix at the start, I had some trouble differentiating them.
I figured out the difference. There are lots of shows on Amazon that aren’t on Netflix. Amazon Instant Video has lots of shows from Food Network, Travel Channel, and HGTV. One caveat that I have to mention is that there are seasons of shows that are free and others that are paid, so you have to pay attention if you don’t want to pay extra.
Amazon Prime costs about $80 per year, so that’s a little less than Netflix when annualized. With the membership, you get access to all of these shows and free 2 day shipping on Prime eligible Amazon orders. With Christmas coming up, you might want to give it a try — remember, you get a 30 day free trial.
Net10 Wireless Cell Phone Update
When we switched to Net10 Wireless, we upgraded from old flip phones to Android based smartphones. We have 2 of them for a total of $90 per month with unlimited talk, text, and data. At the time, they only offered up to 3g speeds, which wasn’t a huge deal for us, but could have been a deal breaker for you.
They now offer up to 4g LTE coverage for no extra cost. I found out the I needed a newer version of Android to run a couple of apps, so I upgraded my phone (already…). I figured since I was already going in, I might as well see if I can get the faster speed to see what it is like.
I found a Samsung Galaxy Express for $249 that I have been very pleased with so far. It runs on the AT&T system and has 4g LTE. It also has plenty of power and storage. My only issue with it is that it is kinda big and with my hands, it is difficult to use with one hand.
So now, you can get a smartphone, Android, Apple, or Windows based, with up to 4g LTE speeds for about $50 per month with no contract. Not a bad choice if you ask me.