Finally caught up :) Hoping to do a better job staying on top of things the second half of the month.
My advice for today is to always question any rise in your rates on things like cable, internet, etc. Earlier this year, our Dish bill went up ... we're talking another $10 a month, more than doubling what our original monthly payment was. So we called and basically said we can't afford this. Their rates had gone up, but they did give us a credit for the first year, equal to the rate increase.
The area where we live had a bash time negotiating the contracts between the CBS affiliate and DISH, so we did without this station for a couple weeks. We called again ... and got another credit!
With that being said, we know this is only a bandaid approach. When we lived in town, we actually didn't have cable and just used the antenna, which worked well. Now we are in the country, our signal goes out if the wind blows over 10 MPH. Not only that, we are quite spoiled by our DVR :) That being said, once these credits expire, you better bet we will be having them extended, or looking at other options.