Why I Got Cable (and a Home Phone)

Tomorrow, I’m going to post my March budget. This is something I haven’t done since switching to cash. But I think I’m in a good groove with my new living situation and can now properly judge what I’ll be spending each month. (Weekly spending reports will be making a return appearance this weekend, as well.)

Some of the numbers may surprise you. Rent, especially when you live alone, is expensive in Victoria. The city was recently named the second best to live in, in Canada, and there’s definitely a price tag that comes with that. Nonetheless, I’m able to afford it and pay down my debt, so I have nothing to complain about.

My food and transportation costs are about the same as before. Restaurant amounts have been up but I’m cutting them in March. A gym fee has been added to the budget (yay/boo). And my entertainment budget is ready for a ticket to the Canadian Personal Finance Conference.

All that’s left is bills. Bills, bills, bills. My cell phone is at approx. $78 right now. I’ll put aside a few bucks for the electricity/heating I’m now paying for. And that’s about it. Are you wondering how I’m writing this post, if I’m not paying for Internet (or cable and a home phone)? It’s really quite something…

When I found out I was getting this apartment, I contacted Shaw. My plan was to only get Internet, because that’s really all I need. In December, however, Shaw was running some of the best promotions I’ve ever seen. You may have even seen the commercials for some of them.

Originally, I had budgeted $40-50 for just Internet. This is a pretty standard amount in BC, so I wasn’t expecting much in terms of a deal. But, in December, Shaw was offering Internet, cable and a home phone, for just $49.95 per month. For 12 months. Not 3 months or 6 months. Twelve months. And those commercials I was just talking about? They were also offering a $100 VISA gift card, for every service you signed up with.

So, I said yes. I said yes to cable and a home phone. The installation went smoothly and, a few weeks after I moved in, $300 in VISA gift cards showed up at my door. Holding them in my hand brought up a couple different feelings. First, I wanted to go shopping for new clothes and shoes. Then I wished I could somehow put them on my real credit card debt.

But I think I made the best decision of all. I put all $300 on my Shaw account and won’t have a bill to pay until May/June. When the 12 months are over, I’ll be cancelling my home phone. North American long distance at $0.04 per minute is nice but I don’t make enough calls to justify keeping it. And cable… well, if my credit card debt is gone, I’ll see about that.

What’s the best promotion you’ve ever been offered by a service provider? And would you have said yes to this deal?


  1. Wow, that’s a great deal. I would have signed up for that for sure – we get free cable with our apartment, would never use a home phone, and my internet is about $33 a month though. But that’s awesome!

  2. The best promotion I’ve ever gotten was a 10% employee discount from a friend.

    As for The Bachelor, I keep thinking that her mouth and face are making strange faces because of all the Botox injected into her.

  3. Wow that’s a good deal! I would’ve said yes as well.

  4. That is a great deal. Best deal I ever got was from Rogers with my home phone/cable/internet/cell phone bundled deal. It is less than $100/month.

  5. Wow! That’s a really great deal – and I think it’s a good idea to cancel after the 12 months, unless you can negotiate another deal with them – never hurts to try :)

  6. That is a great promotion! Definitely a good decision.

  7. Great deal! This is my first season of watching the Bachelor (my girlfriends & I get together every week to watch it). I am HOOKED. Ugh. I hate Courtney! So much! Tonight we’re watching Monday’s episode, so don’t tell me what happened :]

  8. Geeze and I thought the deal I had was good! That is awesome. I’m sooo impressed that you put all of the ‘free’ money on your Shaw account. I would definitely have kept at least $100 for fun money. Nice work!

  9. That’s a really great deal! I wish I had a home phone and a TV, because that promotion is less than what they charge me for just internet!

  10. I love your blog. I’m new to your blog but am absolute loving it. I’m recently going through some changes that will affect my family financially so it’s comforting to at other stories I just started blogging as well and hope to chronicle our journey and inspire others. Your writing is young and fresh and for some reason you remind me of Becky from shopaholics books.

    • What a nice compliment, thank you! My favourite part of being in the personal finance community is that, even when our situations are all different, our personal solutions could be useful for anyone. Keep writing your blog! :)

  11. Sounds like a great deal! Our cable is included with our HOA fees, which is sort of annoying since we don’t have the option to bundle it with out internet now….and we pay $42/mo for internet.

    Also wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Liebster award :) http://insomniaclabrat.blogspot.com/2012/02/oooooh-i-got-award.html

  12. That’s an awesome promotion! I see you’ve included the Canadian PF bloggers conference in your entertainment budget? But what about #fincon12 (said in whiny, nasally voice)? :)

  13. I don’t have cable, but I do have a home phone and wireless internet. The home phone is mainly for 2 reasons: I’m a bit old-school and still like to make some local calls on my home phone and because I’m still not convinced that a 911 (emergency in the US) call can be traced as quickly to a cell phone as a home phone, if you’re unable to speak or whatever.

    On the deal front, though–I get a MAJORLY good deal on my unlimited minutes, unlimited text, unlimited everything plan from Sprin* (not sure if you wanted the whole brand name spelled out here). First of all, they’re the only company I’ve ever had for a cell phone, so I get a longtime customer discount plus I get a new phone for basically nothing every two years or less. AND, my company apparently has a lot of accounts with them, because I get an additional 20 percent off my bill every month bjust for working for this particular company!

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having cable, especially when you get an incredibly sweet deal like yours! :) I have only Netflix right now, but I REALLY envy the folks who will be watching first-run eps of Mad Men this month, among other things!

  14. I think that’s a great deal. I would have signed up. We don’t get deals like that around here because there is only one local provider, therefore no competition. I don’t mind that there’s no Rogers/Bell around here though as we get really great service and I can go to the office or call locally if there’s a problem.

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