Tag Archives: utilities

Is Cable Television Worth the Cost?

Every evening when I get home from work, I usually run 10 miles and then follow that up with completing a new 500+ page book. Just kidding. I sit in front of the tv and veg out. For better or worse, mindlessly flipping through the channels is what I do. It helps calm me down after a long day. It is a huge waste of time yet it is one of those things that brings a little joy to my life. Who doesn’t love falling asleep to a House Hunter’s marathon?

I haven’t actually watched a ton of TV living with my roommates in my previous apartment because they had control of the living room area and I generally hibernated in my room, where my cable connection didn’t work. I still spent some time when they were out on the living room couch enjoying a few hours of random shows. And I always thought that one day when I moved in with my boyfriend in my own apartment I’d finally have access to the television whenever my heart desired.

Now, however, I have quite a first-world dilemma on my hands — determining whether I should get cable television, an alternative, or avoid tv altogether (maybe so I can run 10 miles a night and read a few classics at the end of a long day.) My bf isn’t interested in television so he refuses to split the cost with me, so it gets quite expensive as a solo bill. With internet connection, for the first year cable (without the fancy channels like HBO and Showtime) will be $70 per month. That seems somewhat reasonable, but that’s just the year one special. It can go up to $100 or more per month the second year. Yikes. Do I really want tv that badly?

There are a few different options… AT&T vs Comcast. Alternatives like Hulu Plus or Netflix or Apple TV. Yet I’m not much of a series watcher, I’m more of a channel surfer. It’s a guilty pleasure and I miss it. Yet the cost, which was reasonable split 3 ways in my last apartment, is no longer something that makes sense when I have to cover it on my own. Cable TV for $600 per year (year 2) OR… well, spend it on something more useful than rotting my brain with repeats of law and order SVU.

How much per month do you currently spend on internet and/or cable?

 

Should I Splurge on an Air Conditioner?

The past two summers in my Silicon Valley studio sans air conditioning have been painful. I can’t sleep when it’s hot in my room, and boy did it get hot in my room. But, being frugal as I am, I sucked it up and dealt with the heat, only to be consoled by two fans that just blew more hot air in my face.

Every summer I put off buying an air conditioner until it’s too late — all the stores have sold out of the ones that I’d want.

Reasons I Should Buy An Air Conditioner

– It gets so hot in my apartment that I have trouble sleeping in the spring/summertime.
– In my current apartment, my electricity bill is included in my rent, and I don’t think there is any rule against using an air conditioner (though they can bill you for “excess electricity usage” whatever that means).
– I work from home 2-3 days a week, and it’s difficult to focus when it’s so hot.
– Every summer by the time August rolls around I am desperate for an air
conditioner, but all the good ones are sold out.

Reasons I Shouldn’t Buy An Air Conditioner

– Air conditioners are expensive
– In my current apartment I’d have to get a portable air conditioner since I don’t have the right kind of windows for a window air conditioner, and those are even more expensive
– Next year I might move out of this apartment, and likely the next place I get will not be “utilities included” so my electricity bill will go up greatly in the summer, if I move.
– So many people live without air conditioners, even in hotter climates. Do I really need an air conditioner?
– I have no idea what air conditioner I should get, as there are many options and they all seem to be imperfect. The window air conditioners would be nice as they’re cheaper, but my windows won’t hold them. The portable air conditioners are gigantic and ugly, AND expensive. Like $500 for the cheaper ones.

So… tell me my readers, should I buy an air conditioner for this summer?