Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card and banking offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies and banks from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. does not include all banks, credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.




Dig Deeper


Become a Money Crasher!
Join our community.

How to Save Money and Time on TV and Internet



When you go into an all you can eat food buffet, you are filled with excitement. Unlimited food! But after stuffing yourself to the seams, you regret your decision to overeat even though it only cost a few dollars more. Ordering buffets encourages us to overconsume and overpay, and this situation occurs in more places than just food.

TV and Internet Buffets

Outside of the ubiquitous food buffet, life is full of buffets asking us to overconsume. Two of the most common in life today are Television and Internet.

  • TV plans charge one flat fee – typically $50-$100 per month – for all the TV you could possibly imagine.
  • Home Internet and some Phone Internet plans allow for essentially unlimited usage of the world wide web at a fee ranging from $20 to $100 per month.

How TV and Internet Buffets Endanger Finances

Buffets know how much the average person will consume and are priced accordingly, but this doesn’t mean your goal is to consume all you can to get your money’s worth. Instead, step back and ask yourself what you really need and how much that is worth.

It’s great that you have every episode of every TV program ever at your fingertips, but if you had to pay $1-$2 per episode, how much would you really watch? In this scenario, let’s say you decide to limit yourself to 4 shows a week or 16 a month ($16-$32 monthly at the per episode rate). Would you be happy with that amount of content? If so, ditch the $80 cable plan and go get an Apple TV, TiVo, other media player, or just use a laptop to buy shows online a la carte and start saving money. I am currently giving this a shot and it has helped me prioritize my TV watching while saving money. Plus, there are plenty of awesome ways to get cheap entertainment.

The same financial concept also applies to the internet. AT&T now offers iPhone users tiered plans. No longer do you have to pay $30 for internet access. You can limit yourself to low usage or high usage and save $5-$15 every month (up to $180 per year), just by cutting the internet buffet. I have recently switched to the iPhone low usage plan and it has helped to keep me from overusing my phone while saving me money. Also, at my house, I have switched from high-speed to low-speed internet (heaven forbid) and am saving roughly $30 a month. Gamers aside, this is a great way to save on internet costs without giving up much (I still get online video, email, and blogs in great quality).

How TV and Internet Buffets Endanger Time

Just like buffets suck away some of your money by convincing you to consume useless content, they also suck away your time. We can all agree that we have wasted hours in front of a TV and couldn’t remember what we watched. Once you start paying a la carte for TV/Phone Internet, you don’t just save money, but you are forced to prioritize what you watch and how you surf. Now you get the content you really want without all the fluff.  More importantly, you get your life back!

Buffets are a trap for us to overconsume and overspend. Consider how you would do things differently if you no longer had all-you-can-eat TV and Internet. Let me know your thoughts and what other buffets suck our lives away. It’s time to help ourselves live better and giving up buffets is a great place to start.

Ryan Knight
Ryan is a business analyst in Atlanta, GA and proud supporter of Georgia Tech. He enjoys blogging as a way to share with others ideas about finding time, saving money, and having fun. He regularly contributes to ObsessedAnalytic and MoneyCrashers and has been featured on ChristianPF and RedeemingRiches. In his free time, Ryan enjoys playing and watching sports including running, soccer, football, and disc golf. Follow him on his twitter account: ramblinknight.

Next Up on
Money Crashers

Couple Holding Sports Tickets

13 Places to Buy Cheap Discount Sports Tickets Online & Off

There are plenty of legitimate places to buy genuine tickets for top-tier professional leagues - often at a substantial discount. These are the top places to find good deals on cheap sports tickets.
Types Common Craigslist Scams

7 Types of Common Craigslist Scams to Watch Out for

It used to be that when you wanted to find an apartment for rent, buy a used car, or pick up used, secondhand items...

Latest on
Money Crashers

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

See why 218,388 people subscribe to our newsletter.

What Do You Want To Do
With Your Money?