Netflix Prices Have Gone Up: 5 Netflix Alternatives For You To Try

A week or so ago Netflix announced that they would be raising their prices on all of their streaming and DVD rental plans.

There was a bit of an outcry throughout the internet with people talking about how they were going to cancel or drop part of their package to reduce costs.  Nobody likes to pay for more for a service that they’ve been signed up for and using for such a long time.

It’s understandable to not want to pay more, but what are your alternatives if you don’t want to pay for Netflix anymore?

Today I thought I’d look at how the Netflix pricing is changing, and what entertainment alternatives you have to replace them.

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Netflix Prices Going Up

In their announcement that prices were changing Netflix told how pricing was changing, and what was going to be available for plans going forward.  You can either do streaming only or DVD only.

Here is their new pricing.

Netflix Price Increase

Netflix Price Increase

Netflix Streaming Plans

  • Basic – Streaming video only – 1 screen at a time: $8.99
  • Standard – Streaming video only – 2 screens at a time + HD: $12.99
  • Premium – Streaming video only – 4 screens at a time + Ultra HD: $15.99

Netflix DVD Plans

  • Standard – 1 DVD at a time: $7.99
  • Premier – 2 DVD at a time: $11.99
  • Standard – 1 HD Blu-ray at a time: $9.99
  • Premier – 2 HD Blu-ray at a time: $14.99

For most people who had basic streaming the pricing is going from $7.99 to $8.99/month.  So a price jump of about $1.  The other streaming plans went up by $2.

To find out if you think your plan is still a good value even with the price jump, check out our post: Is Netflix A Cost Efficient Entertainment Option For You?

Netflix Alternatives

Netflix Price Increase - Alternative Services

Netflix Price Increase - Alternative Services

With a lot of people talking about canceling Netflix or moving to another provider, just what other streaming and DVD providers are there out there?  Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more visible options.

Redbox DVD & Game Kiosks

Redbox Kiosks are located at a variety of gas stations, department stores, grocery stores and restaurants all over the United States.  You can rent any new release or classic movie from the kiosk for $1.75/night plus tax. They also have video games and Blu-Ray movies for slightly more.  If you try hard you can also find codes for free rentals at the Redbox kiosks, although those are becoming harder to find.  Still, $1.75 per movie is an affordable option, especially if you’re close to a Redbox location like we are.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV has an app for most streaming devices that allow you to watch a 100+ channels of free video entertainment from movies and music to TV shows.  Pluto is the free TV streaming service, but it feels like a premium product. They also have some free streaming movies available to watch, although you do have to watch commercials.

Amazon Instant Video

Amazon launched a video streaming service a few years back. The best part?  It’s free for all Amazon Prime members.  So if you’re already a member of Amazon Prime’s unlimited free or reduced price shipping on the site, you’ll get the video streaming service for free (not if you’re on one of the free Prime memberships for students or parents, however). The cost?  $119/year for Amazon Prime, or about $9.92/month.  Not too bad, especially when you also get all the benefits of 2 day shipping on all Amazon items.

The only downside that I’ve found is that they only have a fraction of the titles available on Netflix, so options aren’t as varied and some more popular and new release movies may not be available.

In addition to their Amazon Instant Video streaming options you can also purchase or rent selected movies and TV shows via Video On Demand.  Rentals start at about $3.99, and movie purchases cost $9.99 or more.

HBO Now

HBO programming has only been available via a cable TV package for the longest time.  Since 2015 HBO Now has provided HBO programming outside of a cable package.

If you’re a fan of certain HBO shows this makes cutting the cord much more possible. You can get HBO Now for $14.99/month.

Hulu

Another alternative, especially for folks who like to watch a lot of TV and classic movies is Hulu.  It costs $7.99/month and you can stream the video content to a variety of connected devices including Xbox and Playstation consoles, Fire TV, Rokue, as well some Blu-Ray players and TVs.

If you want to get a little more down and dirty, you can set up a streaming video solution like we have at our house using a Playon Media Server.

Philo TV

Philo is quickly becoming the go to option for people who don’t want to pay a lot for cable TV, and don’t care about sports (they don’t carry sports or major news networks, making it much cheaper).

They are only $16/month for their basic cable package, with 40+ channels from Discovery, TLC and History to HGTV.  Add 10+ more channels for only $20!

Read the full Philo review here.

There Are Other Options, But Are Any Better?

As you can see from the list above there are several other options of video rental services to use instead of Netflix if you aren’t happy with the price increases, but the question remains – are any of them better or more affordable options than Netflix?

Even after the price change I still think that Netflix offers a pretty good value in comparison to the other sites and video rental services.  It still costs less than a full cable TV package, and their streaming options, while still only being OK – are still ahead of most other sites offering the service.

Can you find cheaper options? Maybe, but their combination of ease of use, DVDs and streaming, leave them hard to beat still in my opinion.

Right now we’ll probably continue on with our streaming plan and pay the extra money just because we’ve been pretty happy with the service.

How about you – are you cancelling your Netflix plan, and if so are you going to be using something else instead?  Tell us your thoughts on the price increase, and about what alternatives you might be likely to try.

Source: biblemoneymatters.com

What You Need to Know About Budgeting for Maternity Leave

Follow these four steps to financially prepare for your maternity leave.

Prepping for a new baby’s arrival might kick your nesting instinct into high gear, as you make sure everything is just right before the big day. One thing to add to your new-baby to-do list is figuring out how to financially prepare for maternity leave if you’ll be taking time away from work.

Lauren Mochizuki, a nurse and budgeting expert at personal finance blog Casa Mochi, took time off from work for the births of both her children. Because she had only partial paid leave each time, she says a budget was critical in making sure money wasn’t a source of stress.

“The purpose of budgeting for maternity leave is to have enough money saved to replace your income for your desired leave time,” Mochizuki says.

But the question “How do I budget for maternity leave?” is a big one. One thing’s for sure—the answer will be different for everyone, since not everyone’s leave or financial situation is the same. What matters most is taking action early to get a grip on your finances while there’s still time to plan.

Before you get caught up in the new-baby glow, here’s what you need to do to financially prepare for maternity leave:

1. Estimate how long you’ll need your maternity budget to last

To financially prepare for maternity leave, you need to know how long you plan to be away from work without pay.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave from work per year for certain family and medical reasons, including for the birth of a child. Some employers may also offer a period of paid leave for new parents.

The amount of unpaid maternity leave you take will determine the budget you’ll need while you’re away.

When estimating how long you’ll need your maternity budget to last, Mochizuki says to consider how much unpaid leave you plan to take based on your personal needs and budget. For example, you could find you’re not able to take the full period offered by FMLA after reviewing your expenses (more on that below) and how much you have in savings.

Even if your employer does offer paid maternity leave, you may decide to extend your time at home by supplementing your paid leave with unpaid time off, Mochizuki says.

Keep in mind that despite all of your budgeting for maternity leave, your health and the health of your baby may also influence how much unpaid time off you take and how long your maternity leave budget needs to stretch.

As you’re financially preparing for maternity leave, make sure your spouse or partner is also considering what benefits may be available to them through their employer. Together you should know what benefits are available for maternity or paternity leave, either paid or unpaid, and how to apply for them as you jointly navigate the budgeting for maternity leave process. You can then decide how to coordinate the amount of time each of you should take and when that leave should begin.

Contact your HR department to learn about your company’s maternity leave policy, how to apply for leave and whether there are any conditions you need to meet to qualify for leave. Ask if you’re able to leverage sick days, vacation days or short-term disability for paid maternity leave.

2. Babyproof your budget

When budgeting for maternity leave, make sure you review your current monthly budget to assess how budgeting for a new baby fits in.

In Mochizuki’s case, she and her husband added a category to save for maternity leave within their existing budget for household expenses (e.g., mortgage, utilities, groceries).

“We treated it as another emergency fund, meaning we had a goal of how much we wanted to save and we kept working and saving until we reached that goal,” Mochizuki says.

Figure out what new expenses might be added to your budget and which existing ones might reduce to financially prepare for maternity leave.

As you financially prepare for maternity leave, consider the following questions:

  • What new expenses need to be added to your budget? Diapers, for instance, can cost a family around $900 per year, according to the National Diaper Bank Network. You may also be spending money on formula, bottles, wipes, clothes and toys for your new one, all of which can increase your monthly budget. And don’t forget the cost of any new products or items that mom will need along the way. Running the numbers with a first-year baby costs calculator can help you accurately estimate your new expenses and help with financial planning for new parents.
  • Will any of your current spending be reduced while you’re on leave? As you think about the new expenses you’ll need to add when budgeting for maternity leave, don’t forget the ones you may be able to nix. For example, your budget may dip when it comes to commuting costs if you’re not driving or using public transit to get to work every day. If you have room in your budget for meals out or entertainment expenses, those may naturally be cut if you’re eating at home more often and taking it easy with the little one.

3. Tighten up the budget—then tighten some more

Once you’ve evaluated your budget, consider whether you can streamline it further as you financially prepare for maternity leave. This can help ease any loss of income associated with taking time off or counter the new expenses you’ve added to your maternity leave budget.

Becky Beach, founder of Mom Beach, a personal finance blog for moms, says that to make her maternity leave budget work—which included three months of unpaid leave—she and her husband got serious about reducing unnecessary expenses.

Find ways to reduce costs on bills like insurance and groceries to help save for maternity leave.

Cut existing costs

As you budget for maternity leave, go through your existing budget by each spending category.

“The best tip is to cut costs on things you don’t need, like subscriptions, movie streaming services, new clothes, eating out, date nights, etc.,” Beach says. “That money should be earmarked for your new baby’s food, clothes and diapers.”

Cutting out those discretionary “wants” is an obvious choice, but look more closely at other ways you could save. For example, could you negotiate a better deal on your car insurance or homeowner’s insurance? Can you better plan and prep for meals to save money on food costs? How about reducing your internet service package or refinancing your debt?

Find ways to earn

Something else to consider as you budget for maternity leave is how you could add income back into your budget if all or part of your leave is unpaid and you want to try and close some of the income gap. For example, before your maternity leave starts, you could turn selling unwanted household items into a side hustle you can do while working full time to bring in some extra cash and declutter before baby arrives.

Reduce new costs

As you save for maternity leave, also think about how you could reduce expenses associated with welcoming a new baby. Rather than buying brand-new furniture or clothing, for example, you could buy those things gently used from consignment shops, friends or relatives and online marketplaces. If someone is planning to throw a baby shower on your behalf, you could create a specific wish list of items you’d prefer to receive as gifts in order to offset costs.

4. Set a savings goal and give every dollar a purpose

When Beach and her husband saved for maternity leave, they set out to save $20,000 prior to their baby’s birth. They cut their spending, used coupons and lived frugally to make it happen.

In Beach’s case, they chose $20,000 since that’s what she would have earned over her three-month maternity leave, had she been working. You might use a similar guideline to choose a savings goal. If you’re receiving paid leave, you may strive to save enough to cover your new expenses.

Setting a savings goal and tracking expenses before the new baby arrives is an easy way to save for maternity leave.

As you make your plan to save for maternity leave, make sure to account for your loss of income and the new expenses in your maternity leave budget. Don’t forget to factor in any savings you already have set aside and plan to use to help you financially prepare for maternity leave.

Once you’ve come up with your savings target, consider dividing your maternity savings into different buckets, or categories, to help ensure the funds last as long as you need them to. This could also make it harder to overspend in any one category.

For instance, when saving for maternity leave, you may leverage buckets like:

  • Planned baby expenses
  • Unexpected baby costs or emergencies
  • Mother and baby healthcare

“The purpose of budgeting for maternity leave is to have enough money saved to replace your income for your desired leave time.”

– Lauren Mochizuki, budgeting expert at Casa Mochi

Budgeting for maternity leave—and beyond

Once maternity leave ends, your budget will evolve again as your income changes and new baby-related expenses are introduced. As you prepare to go back to work, review your budget again and factor in any new costs. For example, in-home childcare or daycare may be something you have to account for, along with ongoing healthcare costs for new-baby checkups.

Then, schedule a regular date going forward to review your budget and expenses as your baby grows. You can do this once at the beginning or end of the month or every payday. Take a look at your income and expenses to see what has increased or decreased and what adjustments, if any, you need to make to keep your budget running smoothly.

Budgeting for maternity leave takes a little time and planning, but it’s well worth the effort. Knowing that your finances are in order lets you relax and enjoy making memories—instead of stressing over money.

Discover Bank, Member FDIC

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The Best Bill Negotiation Services: Bill Shark Vs BillCutterz Vs Truebill Vs BillFixers Vs Trim Vs Bill Advisor

Looking to lower your monthly costs? These bill negotiation services can help you to save hundreds of dollars on your recurring monthly bills.

The post The Best Bill Negotiation Services: Bill Shark Vs BillCutterz Vs Truebill Vs BillFixers Vs Trim Vs Bill Advisor appeared first on Bible Money Matters and was written by Peter Anderson. Copyright © Bible Money Matters – please visit biblemoneymatters.com for more great content.

Source: biblemoneymatters.com

The 5 Best Eye Shadow Palettes

Woman using best eye shadow palette

Just because you’re going out less frequently doesn’t mean you have to let your eye shadow game slip. I mean, you want to glow like a goddess on those Zoom meetings, right? And now you have plenty of time to perfect your look and find new colors to make your eyes pop.

You know your go-to colors, sure, but why not try something fun and new? Here are some excellent eye shadow palettes that offer a wide range of shades and won’t break your budget. (See also: The 5 Best Stay-At-Home Beauty Essentials)

Top 5 Eye Shadow Palettes

Lamora Nude Eye Shadow Palette

The Lamora Eye Shadow Palette in nude is a best-seller for a reason. It was created with high-quality ingredients into a waterproof cream formula. In order to enhance the wearer’s natural beauty, this palette offers 16 rich colors from rose gold to dark brown. The palette comes in a sleek case that’s small enough to take on-the-go. 

It includes a message inside that says "Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful," which is a reminder we all need, and it’s backed by over 9,500 five-star reviews on Amazon.

Currently $15.95 at Amazon.com

UCANBE Twilight and Dusk Eye Shadow Palette

The UCANBE Twilight and Dusk Eye Shadow Palette includes 18 incredible shades — 10 matte, seven shimmer and one metallic glitter colors that will make your eyes catch everyone else’s. All shades are waterproof, easy to blend, safe for sensitive skin, and has not been tested on animals. With the wide range of colors, you can easily take your look from day to night.

This palette is also backed by over 1,500 five-star reviews on Amazon.

Currently $9.98 at Amazon.com

L.A. Girl’s Beauty Brick Eye Shadow Palette

L.A. Girl’s Beauty Brick Eye Shadow Palette is the ideal palette to take on-the-go because of its magnetic case, double-sided applicator, and mirror so you can apply your shadow wherever you are. It has 12 highly pigmented nude shades featuring smooth mattes and dimensional shimmers. You can create a look for every occasion using the double-sided brush to contour, line, and highlight your lids.

It also has over 5,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.

Currently $6.99 at Amazon.com

Beauty Glazed Shimmer Eye Shadow Palette 

The Beauty Glazed Shimmer Eye Shadow Palette offers 15 gorgeous colors in a long-lasting formula that you’ll never want to take off. It’s waterproof too, so no need to worry about the weather interfering with your look. From light pinks to bold blues, this palette is bound to make your eyes pop.

And it’s backed by over 2,000 four-star reviews on Amazon.

Currently $9.99 at Amazon.com

SHANY Bold and Bright Eye Shadow Palette

If you want a complete palette to meet all of your makeup needs, the SHANY Bold and Bright Eye Shadow Palette is it. This palette has 120 bold colors to match every item of clothing in your closet, every mood, and every occasion. Each color is highly pigmented and won’t smudge. Whether you’re a beginner in eye makeup or a polished veteran, this palette will be your new favorite makeup item.

It’s backed by outstanding online reviews, including over 1,000 four-star reviews on Amazon. 

Currently $17.96 at Amazon.com

And those are our recommendations for the best stay-at-home kitchen essentials. As always, be sure to check Wise Bread’s Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!


Source: feeds.killeraces.com