How to Stop Throwing Your Money Away on Cable TV

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It's easy to get lulled into a TV-induced stupor with the dizzying number of cable channels and packages. Everything's fine until you get your monthly bill and realize you're throwing away money on obscure channels and special events. A consumer looking to reign in their spending can do so without sacrificing their favorite TV shows or movies. A little inventive cost-cutting can save you time as well as money.

  • Re-evaluate your TV-watching time, and drop all the channels and extra services you don't use. It's tempting to pile on all the channels you can in a premium package, but do you really watch the Chess Channel and all those sports and movie channels?

  • Eliminate pay-per-view. All those spontaneous, late-night viewings of cheesy horror movies costs you more than a good night's sleep. Consider alternatives, such as DVD rentals or borrow DVDs from the public library.

  • Sign up for bundled services. Cable providers offer discounts for customers who combine phone, cable, Internet and other communication services. You get one bill from one provider instead of bills from different companies, and save lots of money in the process.

  • Haggle with customer relations. If you do your homework and explain your financial situation to the customer service rep, you can negotiate a better deal. If the rep won't budge, ask to a speak to a supervisor.

  • Shut off the TV. Cut down on watching sports and start participating in them. Take a class at the local community college. Go on a picnic with the family instead of eating popcorn in front of the TV.

Tips & Warnings

  • Look for free movie nights at local community centers or outdoor screenings.
  • Watch free movie and TV clips and previews on the Internet instead of paying for programs you watch infrequently.

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