For my second year post experiment (seeThe Year Long Experiment With Roku Is Now Over: Results & Personal Observations), I decided to expand on and explore further the idea of money saving through streaming device usage, especially Roku, much further than I did before. For that, I simply changed not only my attitude toward overall spending, but the hows and whys of money transference (i.e. where it actually goes) in order to better keep track of and control what little we have here in this household & help dig myself out of financial worry.
You might be asking yourself how sub-100 dollar (US) streaming devices could be an important step to better budget control.
In a few words: Knowledge/Confidence Builder!
It is not the full answer, but an important signpost guide pointing everyone in the right direction.
To start, I (and the rest of you) should set a formal (no<I guess verbally>here) budget of not only entertainment, but all of your expenses written down on paper or on screen. Then add formal savings via the savings account (adding even the piggy bank/cookie jar/spare change method). No amount is too small and method is too crazy here!
This is where streaming devices such as Roku seems to do the best come in. After the obvious basic living needs are met, then your own sanity should be addressed. You read right. That means take it easy! Relax! Don’t worry! Entertainment is a socially acceptable way of temporary escape. And you should NOT cutting back on something so vital to mental health (translating to physical health eventually). Your goal is to channel your own wishes and finances to maximize your and yours enjoyment with little or no money heading out of your pockets (where most of the stress comes from in the first place).
If you already own the devices you want, then just concentrate on meeting the internet/electricity bills only and not the device. The cost of purchasing 1 or more Rokus are one time only deal and now done. I-and many other- think of Internet Access as a utility now and not a luxury-even though I still refer to the streaming devices as my “little luxuries”. Electricity is another utility that never was not part of the expenses even before I was born.
If you are in the market for a new Roku, I made a huge mistake initially buying weaker signal catching basic streaming sticks with the poor DSL I am limited to now. I buy any Roku that “boosts” & strengthen the signal to my devices. Yet not boost the month to month cost of Internet Access over what I’m spending now. So if the Streaming Stick Plus & Ultra (as of this writing) currently in use here offer better stable connections, I now would buy them over the cheaper priced models. Plus add additional accessories like the very long extenders, or whatever else helps gain stronger signals and/or prevents overheating. Even using such accessories such as stands, hard travel cases to extend the life of the device by protecting it.
Recently, I added a special card for this part. I weaned off my former high interest rate credit cards for most online use. I now use a reloadable, secured bank issued card to pay for CBS All Access annual subscription, paid Vudu Video On Demand, secure my Roku account & buy some of the Roku accessories I discussed previously on other posts. No more worries about paying off overly inflated fees credit cards now with no hidden charges you forgot about. I can still enjoy the products offered online that does not exist anymore offline without that monthly dread.
Now that you see how I set up my Roku usage, perhaps you can join me exploring your own needs and usage in the privacy of your own residence. I cannot say where I-or others if they choose to experiment further-all will end up, but I would bet that it will be a liberating one with little or no money exchanged!
Don’t forget to read:
6 tips: how to save money when streaming with your Roku device [guest post]