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Changing Channels.

Think you’re alone in wanting to cut the cord? Tons of U.S. citizens (500,00 and 750,000 in the last two quarters respectively) are saying goodbye to cable services. Ok, by weight, tons of tons of tons with our country’s obesity problem, but you get my drift.

Right now, Amazon Prime is doubling subscribers, Netflix has amassed 50 million customers and Apple plans to spend $1 billion this year on content. That’s telling when it comes to guessing how subscribers are voting with their wallet. Hint to cable providers smiling over their market monopoly tactics: it’s not with you.

When cable bills add up to $2000 a year or more for Roanoke residents, go figure, locals and those across the country are thinking – do I need this? Maybe not. You can buy that coffee that everyone talks about in their sales pitch or charity plea and then so me with what you save. Maybe you don’t like coffee. That’s OK – you can save a whale or switch to organic vegetables.

TV channels often offer free online viewing of live broadcasts and certain shows. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, Showtime and Starz have streaming video for about $9-$15 a month.

Of course, there’s that pesky internet service provider thing, but we’re making some strides here too. In fact, the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority is currently laying fiber optic cables in a effort to reduce connection costs regionally.

Have you visited your local library lately? If you’re a card-carrying member in Roanoke County, you can borrow DVDs, audio books and print books too from all of the libraries in the County system. Just ask and they’ll be sent to your favorite branch for free pickup.

So, the next time you sit down with your financial advisor and talk turns to reducing budget expenses, why not ask home about new technology alternatives to your entertainment needs? You might be liberated by alternatives that remove the tether while freeing up a  good chunk of cash.