woman watching cable tv on a tv mounted to her wall

What Your TV Habits Say About Your Finances

We're in a bold new age of television. As streaming services like Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix roll out unprecedented levels of original content, cable looks less and less appealing - unless, of course, you follow sports. You can tell a lot about a person from the options they pick. Let's take a look at some of the possibilities.

"I Don't Own a Television."
There's a chance that you're fiscally responsible, but let's be honest: this option is for the person who cares more about being smug than they care about knowing what their friends are talking about. And sure, there are some people who use their computer to stream, but that's not what we're talking about here.

Homemade Antenna Built Out of a Board and Some Coat Hangers
You are a shining beacon of frugality and ingenuity. You're probably surprised as anyone that it works, but you can't deny that it does work.

One or Two Streaming Services
Ah, the good, old-fashioned cable-cutter. At one point, this was a statement - something you did for the bewildered looks you got when the satellite guy came up  to you in Best Buy and said, "So do you have cable or satellite?" and you got to say "neither" and watch him figure out why someone like that would be in a Best Buy. Nowadays, though, it's increasingly common - and common sense. It saves a ton of money and still gives you most of what you need - if a little slower than you'd like.

You like the modern convenience of not actually owning your media, but you're not ready to let go of the comfort of paying for everything individually.

You just can't wait for the Game of Thrones Blu-Rays to come out, even though you know you're going to buy them anyway. Maybe you're worried about spoilers, or maybe you're just super impatient. Either way, come on. Just watch it at a friend's house and buy the discs like you know you're going to anyway. Spring for the special edition with the dragon statues using the money you saved.

Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, CBS All Access, Showtime, and HBO Now
You like the idea of saving money, but you also don't want to miss anything. At this point, are you still actually saving money? Probably? A little bit? The important thing is, you won't fall behind on any of your favorite shows just because you don't have cable. Plus, you get to watch Bojack Horseman AND Mozart in the Jungle AND the new season of The Mindy Project.

Basic Cable
You're a little old-fashioned. That's fine. Maybe you really like HGTV and can't find those shows anywhere else. Maybe you just can't stand to be behind on the water-cooler talk about Archer. That's cool, too. It may not be a money-saver, but it was good enough for your parents, and it's good enough for you. Still, now that Sling TV exists, it may behoove you to do a little research into your options.

Deluxe Cable or Deluxe Satellite
You spare no expense. That's cool. Either you really, really like feeling plugged into the world, or you like to be the place everyone goes to when they watch the football game or the latest episode of The Walking Dead. You've probably got a TV just a little too big for your room, and you'd better have surround sound to get the most out of what you're paying for the package. Maybe you've just got the money to throw around and don't care who knows it, but odds are that you see the TV less as an appliance, and more as a vehicle to get folks gathered around for a communal experience.

The good news is, whatever your taste (or financial situation), there are options for you. Since so many streaming services are month-to-month instead of contract-based, you can always try them out to see what fits. Keep open eyes and an open mind, and see if there are ways to cut back while still giving yourself the experience that you want. You may be surprised at what you find.