I’m a Cord Cutter, Are You?

What Started the Madness?

There is a lot of hype over being a cord cutter. A little over 2 years ago I received my Verizon Fios bill and it went up over $50. From approximately $139 to $189. So I did the normal reactionary move, and called Verizon and asked for the latest discount, or to waive the new increase. The rep said my current pricing is the best they can do for me. Meanwhile, I had in my hand an ad they mailed me that said $79.99 for TV, Phone and Internet. “That’s for new customers.” The rep claimed. So I did my usual empty threat of “I’m going to cancel and close my account” To my surprise, the rep said, OK, just one second and I’ll transfer you…. This is what started my cord-cutting experience. I’m now a Cord Cutter.

That’s Dad Stuff @thatsdadstuff

What did I do?

So I canceled Fios. Now I needed Internet. So I went with Comcast. $39.99 for 200mbps. I thought it was a pretty good deal. To my surprise, I got it installed in 5 days. It was a great price, speed was good too. My only complaint was during peak hours, the speed dropped significantly. I actually did my own speed test and numerous times it PEAKED at 10mbps during 4-8 pm. I made several calls to tech support only for them to tell me it “looks good on their end”. A tech came out and replaced my line and that only improve the Mbps only by a small percentage. So I canceled, and luckily I signed up again with Fios as a new customer and got 100/100 for $39.99. I now had a reliable internet again.  However, I thought about it and wanted to try the Gigabit service for $79.99. I tried, LOVE it, and kept it.

Let’s move on from the drama of dealing with internet providers, let talk about TV services.

A Cord Cutter’s Antenna

I know some of the services provide locals, but I live 20 miles from 2 metropolitan areas. The TV services only provide 1of the locals, not both. I love football, and I wanted both local channels. Having no clue on what kind of antenna to buy, I did buy a pair of rabbit ears, but they were worthless. I bought a widow antenna, and that was fine, it picked up the majority of the locals, but the reception was spotty. So I went to Amazon and bought this one. A 360 degree omni directional antenna with 150mile radius. (The one in the link is a newer model. The exact one I bought was only a 75mile radius.) It does look like something like the Starship Enterprise, but it’s no bigger than a dinner plate! I installed my antenna on the top of my gazebo, which attached to my deck, and wired it through some vent pipe and connected it to my TV. I now have 60 local channels. CRAZY! 

A Cord Cutter’s TV Service

I signed up with Directv Now. I got 100 channels for $35 and HBO for $5. That was a fantastic Deal. I am an ATT wireless customer so I can stream on my cell or devices for free. Which is great for my kids and car rides! However, this WAS a great deal. Since I signed up in late 2016, my price has doubled. Come December I will be paying $65 for my service. Is it worth it? Is it worth the free streaming on devices? I think the answer is no, especially if I switch to an unlimited plan. I need to check out Hulu Live TV, Youtube TV, and SlingTV. (Coming soon, I will review the one I switch to)

I already had the streaming staples, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Now I need to start thinking about ESPN+, Disney+, and HBO Max. Rumors out there claim that Disney will package Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. I subscribed to Hulu for only $.99 a month for a year. ESPN+ is $4.99, but I’m not sure if the teams I watch will be on it. 

A Cord Cutter’s Pricing Break down

Is it Worth It?

Fifty bucks is Fifty bucks, but is it worth the pain and headaches of switching services? I could probably save some money on what I am paying now. I could lower the Internet speed, and I could find a new TV provider. However, with all the price increases from ATT and the increased options for streaming services you need to consider your options. One thing is for sure, with so many streaming services, and price increases by the TV providers, what was once a cost savings alternative, it’s becoming clear, it’s getting expensive to save money.

Dave Ramsey for Kids?

Dave Ramsey for Kids?

Saw a deal on Amazon for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace for Kids… It’s called Financial Peace Junior. Seriously… Financial Peace…. For KIDS.

So I ordered it…

When it arrived, the kids opened it, and they thought it was a board game..HA! WRONG!… My oldest daughter is always asking for money and recently started babysitting. I figured this may be a good idea…

I’ll let you know…

Has anyone used it for their kids?

That’s Dad Stuff

Kids and Money – Give Save Spend

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That’s Dad Stuff

Kids and Money – Give Save Spend 

My wife and I have been on and off the Dave Ramsey bandwagon for 5 years now. The Dave Ramsey Baby Steps have really changed how we manage our money. (Be on the lookout for my Dave Ramsey post in the near future!) The way you manage your money will be the financial foundation for your kids. Believe it or not, your kids are watching you and how you manage your money. Talk about the credit card? Use the credit card? Your kids will believe that credit cards are good and OK to use. Use coupons? Always looking for a bargain. Your kids will learn how to be thrifty as well.

A few years ago, I implemented savings jars for my daughters. I bought some mason jars from Amazon, cut a small opening in the lids for the coin slot, found some “girly” labels from Pinterest, and before you know it, we had our own Give Save Spend jars. 

I’ll be honest with you. This, in theory, is great, but as kids are brainwashed about money these days, my girls literally want to spend the money as soon as they get it. There are times where its really a fight to get them to save. BUT to their credit, they love giving. We have taken their give money to the Salvation Army at Christmas, the local needy Baby and Mommy support group. I’m really proud of them for love to give. But saving… it’s a struggle. They are 13 and 10 and they really love to shop and spend spend spend. While some parents really push a certain percentage goes into each category; I’m happy with whatever the money goes into the savings jar. 

I give credit where credit is due, threelittlemonkeystudios.com has a great write up on the jar concept along with the labels I used. 

How have you taught your kids about saving and giving? Any tips? 

That’s Dad Stuff

Water Heater Math and Kids

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Water Heater Math

That’s Dad Stuff  @thatsdadstuff

I have a 10 and a 13-year-old. They both like showers and that’s a good thing and all, but man, they take very long showers. It never fails, after they take their shower, there isn’t enough hot water for me. Now before you say, “You need a bigger water heater”, its 55 gallons and simply put it boils down to the amount of time in the shower. 

So I gave the kids a lesson in “water heater math”. 

I took the kids down to our basement and showed them what a water heater is. Then I explained what the water heater does, and how much water is in it. Next, we talked about what uses hot water and specifically focused on the showerheads. 

To make the math easy on them, I said the showerhead gave them 5 gallons of water per min. If the water heater is 55 gallons, how long would the water heater last? With wide eyes, my oldest quickly answered 11 mins. “Wow Dad, I’m sorry, I had no idea.” Then I asked what if 2 kids are taking showers at the same time? My youngest quickly answered “Even LESS!” (I was looking for minutes, but I will take that answer.) 

My oldest said she would take shorter showers now she knows this. 

I know shower heads gallons per minute are much better than 5 gallons, and there are some water-saving showerheads at decent prices on Amazon, but I wanted to really get the point across and make the math easy. 

Try Water Heater Math with your kids if you have long shower takers… let me know if you see a difference.

That’s Dad Stuff

Easy Money

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Easy Money…

That’s Dad Stuff @thatsdadstuff I am usually pretty skeptical when it comes to ways to make easy money. I have heard friends say that they got a check for $50 for simply buying stuff online. My first thought was… yea right. What’s the catch? Another friend made $125. After interrogating them for a while about their get rich quick scheme, they dangled the carrot in front of me a little more. All they were doing was going to their favorite online stores, buying what they would normally buy, and they are getting a percentage back. They claim it’s just too easy. So I decided to investigate.

How are they doing this? Is it actually that easy? Do I get money right away? How much can I earn? So many questions… So let’s get to the answers.

They are using Ebates! Ebates is a company that partners with your favorite online retailers and offers cash back for purchasing something through one of their links. 

How does it work? If you go to Ebates, click on a retailer they have listed, then they refresh your browser with a unique URL. The unique URL shows a code within the URL that lets Ebates and the retailer know that you used the Ebates link to purchase the item. Then a certain percentage will be deposited into your account. Then once a quarter they take the money you have earned and send it to you via PayPal or via check. 

The best and easiest to use tool to help earn money is the Ebates browser extension. The browser extension lets you know when a site you are on has any cashback opportunities. For example. If you wanted to buy a Kindle on Amazon, the Ebates extension will let you know that you can get 4% cashback. Shopping on QVC? Once you go to QVC.com, Ebates will let you know that you can get 6%. The Ebates extension will show a little pop-up or a little bubble in the top right-hand corner, OR it will the Ebate icon on your browser will change color, letting you know that the website has a cashback offer. If you click on the icon or the bubble, your browser will refresh you will be taken to a new unique URL, buy what you need, and you will be notified by email when the cash has been deposited in your Ebates account. Sometimes you get your money within mins, or a few hours, or a couple of weeks. Most of the time, I get it within a few hours. It really is… that simple. 

In a little over 2 years, I have earned hundreds of dollars. It is really that easy. It is not a scam, it is not a get rich scheme, its not too good to be true. Try it. Use this link and get started. 

On a budget, but still buying online? Don’t worry, Dave Ramsey approves!

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