Life without Sky TV

There's a chance that those of you reading this blog outside of the UK, won't be aware of Sky TV. It's a Premium Satellite TV company based in the UK. It has over 600 channels. As of June 2013, the company had over 10.5 million customers for it's TV offering. The UK has over 63 million people, so 1 in 6 households have it. We were one of them.  

Freeview is a free to air digital terrestrial TV service. It has just over 50 channels. Freeview had just over 11 million customers, just passing the numbers produced by Sky. It's cost somewhere between £30-£80 to set up as a one off cost, and that's it. Most modern TV's will have Free View built into the TV or some other form of free digital terrestrial TV service. 

The Sky TV package starts from £21.50 per month, and has a lot of options to enhance your viewing pleasure. It has additional channels which are put into 'packages'. The sports pack for example, will now set you back an additional £22 per month, which is more than the initial price. you can pay extra for having High Definition channels, and the 'multi-room' option, where you can watch different channels on the same box in various rooms in the house.  

Me and my fiance moved into our home in December 2009. Within the first few days we went to set up our TV and Free-View box. We plugged in the box and nothing was happening. It just so happens that the family that were living in the house prior to us, literally moved next door (to a bigger version of our house). So, we went over and asked them about the signal. They confirmed that the TV signal is poor, and they've just had Sky TV so they didn't need to get it sorted. 
We called an Aerial company to come out and have a look. They said that we would need an additional aerial in the attic if we wanted to use the Freeview box or the standard terrestrial TV which would set us back around £150.

We had a think about it, and decided as big sports fans, we would try Sky TV and see how it goes. So in Feb 2010 we signed up to Sky. 

We paid a £30 installation fee, a reduced first month of £20.50, followed by £45.50 until April every year where they put in a price increase. Our bill went up to £54.25 at it's peak, and I'm ashamed to say, but we only called them twice in 4 years to fake cancellation to get the bill down. 

I haven't tracked the full cost, as we ordered box office movies and sports on one off occasions, but as a guide, if I multiplied the initial £45.50 by 50 (the months we've paid for it) it comes to - £2,275. That is a conservative guess too, so it's likely to be somewhere over £2300. That's a lot of money for evening and weekend entertainment. 

I follow a great blog dividendmantra and the writer, Jason, explained how breakdown's his expenditure into what he will need to have invested to cover the cost. For example, Sky costs £54.25 a month or £651 per year. To cover the cost of Sky, we would need to have invested £16,275 if the dividends were paying our at 4%. That's a lot of money for TV!

My fiance and I decided that Sky TV wasn't worth that much to us. So, we've decided to part ways and save that additional money to invest in other things instead. 

Sky TV is a great product, and I will miss some of the shows, and sports it offers. That said, we have been watching it less and less, and we've talked about finishing with them for a while now. Our mindsets have also changed over the 4 years, and I'm as big a fan of TV as I once was. I think there are far more satisfying things to do in your life than sit and watch TV for hours on end. I think I'll always watch TV to some degree, but moving forward I intend on watching it far less. I'm looking forward to spending more quality time with the 'other half', rather than just sitting together in silence for hours. 

We both pay £520 each into a joint account which covers the cost of our mortgage, and other house bills. Sky was in here. So, I'm pleased to announce that we've now reduced our monthly standing order by £25 each from £520 per month down to £495. That was a very satisfying thing to do! 

That's an additional £300 a year I can invest with, and £7,500 less I need to invest in order to become financially independent.  One step closer! :-)

Have you finished with Sky? How is life without it? How did it change your lifestyle?

Thank you for reading!