I Pay for 4 Different Streaming Services Plus Cable, and I'm Not Sorry. Here's Why
- Many people have cut the cord with cable and replaced it with streaming services instead.
- I happen to pay for both cable and streaming services, but there's a big reason I do.
It may sound like a lot, but to me, it's all reasonable.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, a lot of people had a hard time with the idea of having to stay home and isolate. I didn't.
As someone who's always been a bit of a homebody, I can easily be happy spending many nights in a row curling up with a good book, watching a classic movie, or catching a hockey game on TV. And while it's not like I don't leave the house -- I love a good hike or beach outing -- I'm not really the type who enjoys going out at night. This especially holds true during the winter, when it's cold outside and warm inside my house.
As such, I tend to spend a fair amount of money on entertainment inside my home. And while some might regard it as a waste of money, I can easily justify it.
Cable isn't enough
Although my family doesn't have the top level cable plan, we have more than a basic plan. We also subscribe to four different streaming services -- though to be fair, one of those is Amazon Prime, and the main reason I have Prime is for the free two-day shopping.
At first glance, this might seem excessive. But there's a reason I pay for these different services.
My cable plan gives me access to my favorite hockey team. That's not something I'm willing to give up, as it provides many hours of entertainment for me on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, I have young kids at home, and Disney+ serves as a great source of content for them.
Then there's HBO Max. What started out as a free trial a few months ago wound up being a service we've kept due to having found some content we like. And while I don't pay for ESPN+ regularly, there are times when it gets the right to hockey games exclusively -- games I wouldn't normally have access to. Since ESPN+ only costs $8 a month, I'll pay for it any month there's a hockey game airing that I'd otherwise have to miss. I figure $8 is worth multiple hours of entertainment.
Does my family need all of these services? No. But we keep them around because we actually use them, and also, because the money we spend on them pales in comparison to what we might spend if we actually left the house at night more often.
Furthermore, these streaming services and cable fit into our budget. We've able to cover these costs and still eke out money for our savings every month. And so I refuse to feel guilty about paying for them, even though these are some months when we don't get great use out of every single one.
It's all about priorities
Some people spend a large chunk of their income on a big house or a nice car. We don't. Our house is modest relative to our income, and both of our cars are old, including a Prius we've had for over 15 years.
Because we don't spend excessively on large expenses, we have more wiggle room in our budget for smaller ones. And it's those little things that make us happy on a regular basis.
Some people might get more enjoyment out of a larger home or fancier car. And that's how they should spend their money, provided they can afford those things without racking up unhealthy debt. But to me, it's life's smaller luxuries that give me the most enjoyment. And so I'll continue to pay for my cable package and multiple streaming services -- especially during those long, cold winters when all I want to do at night is curl up with a blanket on the couch.
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