Changes I Made to Improve My Financial Life

5 Top Changes I Made to Improve My Financial Life


What are the top changes we made to improve our finances?  Below begins a discussion of the top 5 things we did that I feel had the largest and most immediate impact.  We will detail a different change in each of the next five posts.


  1. Cut the Cord

When I started analyzing my expenses I knew there were some easy wins to be had by analyzing and changing our entertainment expenses.  We subscribed to an all-in-one cable package where we had Cable TV, Internet and Telephone through our local cable company.  I had been trying to convince my wife for years to eliminate the telephone since this was only used by her and even that it was seldom used when compared with her cell phone.  She was very attached to this and came up with several very creative excuses.  My favorite was that she liked to cradle the phone between her ear and shoulder while multi-tasking and could not do this with a cell phone.  I basically just wrote this off as a loss and moved on.  However, when I became dedicated to making some changes in our financial lives, she reluctantly agreed to eliminate the home telephone, at least on a trial basis.  At this time our cable bill was approximately $248 per month.  Add to this our monthly Netflix subscription of approximately $10 per month and our annual subscription to Amazon Prime at $100 and our total annual expenses in this area came to roughly $3,200.  We decided to keep our Prime membership and Netflix subscription and also to add Sling TV service.  We chose Sling since it offered key channels such as ESPN and others.  The level of service that we selected came to $20 per month.  Next we had to tackle our internet.  We decided to stay with our current provider but upon reviewing our monthly bill we noticed that we were paying $15 per month to rent their cable modem equipment.  Through some quick searching we found a cable modem on Amazon (luckily taking advantage of Amazon Prime Day deals) for $40.  We purchased this item and with one quick phone call had it set up with our provider and returned their equipment.  Our internet only charges were $40 per month.

Total cost before the changeover:

  • $2,976 per year for Cable, Internet, Phone
  • $120 per year for Netflix
  • $99 per year for Amazon Prime
  • Total: $3,195

New costs:

  • $40 one-time charge for new equipment
  • $480 per year for Internet service
  • $239.88 per year for Sling TV
  • $120 per year for Netflix
  • $99 per year for Amazon Prime
  • Total: $978.88 the first year, $938.88 thereafter

Total Annual Savings:  $2,256.12


*NOTE:  Internet service prices were raised to $46/month.  One phone call to my service provider and I was able to negotiate that down to $36/month if I signed a 2-year contract.  Since I have had the same provider for 14 years, I didn’t think this was an issue.  Additional annual savings of $48.