Activity Idea: Lower That Cable Bill!
How about asking your students to bring in a cable/satellite TV bill from home and asking them to decipher it first and then develop strategies to save money? You will be introducing them to a world of product bundles, channel packages, regulatory recovery fees, equipment rentals, universal service fees…and there’s more! This activity also provides an opportunity for a conversation with a parent (a rare opportunity during the teenage years).
The good news is that Consumerist blog has a special section dedicated to dissecting line by line the bills of major cable/satellite providers including Verizon, Charter, DirectTV, Time Warner Cable and Comcast.
A few questions you might want to have your students answer:
- How long have you/your family been a subscriber to your cable/satellite provider?
- How does the price of your cable package compare to what they are currently offering new subscribers (a simple google search should yield current new subscriber offers)?
- Name at least three items on the bill that make it confusing/deceptive?
- Do cable companies charge ahead of time for cable programming or at the end of the month?
- What opportunities do you see to reduce you/your family’s bill?
- Here’s a Consumer Reports article to help you negotiate a better deal.
About the Author
Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.
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