Are Increasing Cable Expenses Busting Your Budget?

Entertainment costs form an important part of the monthly bills of any household. And cable bill is one of the first items to attract attention when it comes to reducing expenditure on entertainment services.

According to the Pew Research Centre, after house rents, one of the largest recurring household expenditure reported by American consumers is entertainment and communication. Cable and satellite television, cell phone services and internet services, all fall in this category.

Rising prices

Despite the recent economic crisis and large scale unemployment, service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner have continued to increase their prices. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the price of basic cable service has increased more than 122% between 1995 and 2008. In the same period, the Consumer Price Index has risen by just 38.4%, which shows how rapidly cable expenses have been rising.

Opt for service bundles

The good news is that there are ways through which you can reduce your cable bill without giving up watching your favourite shows. Review your current bill and ask the company if there is any promotional offer going on that could lower your existing bill. Or you can strike a better deal with the cable company by taking more services from them. Many companies provide you bundling facility, which is a combined package, including cable, internet, and telephone. You will find that a bundle of services is almost always cheaper than buying separate subscriptions.

Benefit from competition

Check availability of multiple cable providers in your locality. If there are more than one cable companies operating in the area, then you should always compare their offers and packages. Consider all aspects of their service – number of channels, after sales service etc – before finalising a deal with a provider. If you wish to continue with your existing cable connection, contact the provider and inform him about the offers of other companies. If you are lucky, you may receive a counter offer.

Optimize your package

You may have a connection which gives you access to hundreds of channels while you would only watch a very small number of those channels. Find out if you can discontinue the channels that you don’t watch. This will help you save money and you can always add back a channel when you want to start watching it. You should also consider other alternatives to watching movies such as renting DVDs, through Blockbuster or Netflix, which may give you better value for your money.

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