Do You Consider Little Increases When Making Monthly Subscription Decisions?

I am in a constant fight with cable companies, cell phone companies, and most other monthly fees I am forced to pay.  Granted they may not know we are fighting, but trust me, we are.  Other than the internet I don’t feel like I ever get enough utility or satisfaction from most monthly services so any increase bothers me.

I was talking to a buddy this past weekend and we were talking about why The Wife and I chose not to get a television in a certain room in the new house.  Besides not wanting to shell out the $800+ for another new television I had no interest in paying $15 or $20 a month for yet another HD Receiver Box which increases my monthly bill another 10% or so.

While he understood the TV purchase problem it seemed foreign to him I would even think about the other part of the equation.  It obviously isn’t the money, $15 or $20 is not breaking my house, but rather, it is just more money I am sending to a cable company I don’t want to send any!

I feel like if I can optimize those monthly bills I don’t even begin to think about I am ahead of the game in terms of saving money that isn’t being spent on monthly subscription services.

18 Responses to Do You Consider Little Increases When Making Monthly Subscription Decisions?

  1. Two things to consider. One is that every ‘litte’ extra can add up to quite a big chunk of your monthly budget. A $5 increase may not seem like much, but that’s $60 per year and if you pay a similar increase to five different companies, suddenly it’s $300 a year. Second thing is to look at how that affects revenues of companies when you consider the number of subscribers. A $5 per month increase for Comcast works out to about $90 million extra per month, or over a billion dollars a year. That’s outrageous when you think of it in those terms.

    • Completely agree in terms of it all adding up. The more money that is set automatically to go out every month is simply the less I have to save or invest. Its really that simple.

  2. Your friend is the reason companies offer to add on additional features/devices/services/etc. for a small additional fee. Most people think they’re getting a great deal by adding on extras for less than the standalone price, so they’ll upgrade and add on all sorts of things they don’t actually need because they can’t pass up the great “deal.” If you want to save a ton of money, you need to be aware of all the gimmicks and say no to things you don’t actually need.

    • I think that most people don’t read the breakdown of their bills and probably don’t know exactly what they are paying for. They just pay the total owing and probably don’t notice small increases.

      My local cable provider is famous for increasing the little subcategories of the bill every so slowly but always managing to increase their revenue.

      • Ha it seems like all cable providers (and probably cell phone providers) figured out the game! If they increase it 2 bucks a month no one is going to notice

  3. I too definitely get that nagging feeling whenever I want to increase a monthly liability or subscription. In my own experience, Cable companies are some of the worst to deal with so I try to avoid them at all costs. What makes me the most upset is when they are looking for a little margin and jack up your rate $5 for a “modem rental”.

  4. I always try to negotiate the fees away and then cancel them when the promo period is over. Then I normally get them back. The one exception is my HD box on the only TV we watch… tv looks so bad without it… :(

  5. I got Mohu Leaf antenna (the company sent it to me to review and to my amazement it was awesome) which gives me free HD without the need for a box. Sure, I can’t watch ESPN in that room, but I get to watch 95% of what I would want to watch at no extra cost.

    Also, there are some good 55″ TVs that are under $700 if you shop around. Follow CNet’s Cheapskate and you’ll find deals like this one: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13845_3-57567071-58/get-a-55-inch-led-hdtv-for-$679.99-shipped/. If you are willing to go with something like 42″ the price gets even cheaper.

    • If I didn’t have The Wife I would love to do some of the stuff you have on your blog. The self made DVR, the free HD, etc. but the fighting wouldn’t be worth interrupting her terrible terrible tv shows.

  6. All of our bedrooms and the living room have televisions although only the master has a PVR hooked up which we got free to keep from our cable company. The living room has an HD PVR which is free every year and the other bedrooms get basic cable as I will not shell out the cash for the boxes. It all adds up and every year I haggle with our company to get a good deal. I know what you meant mate.

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