Did you know there are more than 1.54 million charitable organizations in the United States? Whether you support nonprofits helping the homeless, children’s services or environmental causes, you can create an impact in different ways.
In 2020, Americans gave a colossal $471.44 billion to charity, according to the National Philanthropic Trust. This shows us the essential role charities play in our communities, near and far.
When you donate to causes close to your heart, you naturally benefit the charities themselves. But helping others can also be deeply gratifying, helping you find personal meaning in your life. Giving to charity makes you feel good because you know you’re empowering others. Proving the truth of that old adage, “It’s better to give than receive,” research data links happiness and spending money on others. Scientists believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain that give you “helper’s high.” Giving is also good for your health, promotes cooperation and social connection and evokes feelings of gratitude.
When it comes to giving back to your local community, taking small financial actions can really pay off. Donating money can prompt organizations to purchase equipment, take children on field trips, or provide direct assistance to someone in need. These actions can have a positive effect on your neighbors’ lives or influence others in faraway places.
Make A Change To Free Up Extra Cash
Luckily, there is an easy way to set aside money for a charity that doesn’t involve adding a side gig. You can save money without giving up any benefits: simply change how you access your entertainment. Switching to over-the-air (OTA) television, which is high-definition television broadcast over public-owned airwaves, helps you free up some cash so you can put it to better use elsewhere.
The average cost of cable is about $300 for basic service and $856 for expanded basic per year, according to the 2018 Report on Cable Industry Prices by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Direct broadcast satellite TV is similar in price to expanded basic cable service, according to the report.
Additionally, 78% of U.S. households have at least one streaming subscription, like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu, at $8 and up per service. And 1 in 4 families spends more than $75 per month on subscriptions to streaming services.
If you have both cable and one or more streaming services, you could easily be spending close to $2,000 every year just to have access to a broad range of TV content — much of which you probably don’t even watch.
With OTA TV, you can still watch countless shows, sporting events and movies. Either catch them at their regularly scheduled times or pay a one-time fee for a DVR to record and store them.
Everything You Need To Get Started With OTA Television
Ready to start watching free over-the-air TV? Here are our top picks for the equipment you’ll need — an affordable one-time investment when compared to the thousands of dollars you’d potentially spend on cable and streaming over the next 10 years!
If you live in an urban area or nearby suburb:
$64.99 from Amazon
This highly-rated indoor antenna is designed to receive frequencies 50+ miles away from broadcast towers. It easily grips smooth surfaces like walls or windows for optimal placement to pick up as many channels as possible.
Recommended antenna if you live in a far suburb or rural area:
$130.20 from Amazon
This powerful antenna has a range of 70+ miles and can be installed inside, outside or in the attic. It has UHF and VHF multi-directional elements designed to deliver reception in remote areas.
Pair your antenna with an OTA DVR to record your favorite shows:
Ditch the costly subscription fees, but keep the cable capabilities (record, pause, rewind and fast forward) with an OTA DVR device. Here are the products we recommend:
- Tablo DUAL 128GB Over-the-Air [OTA] DVR: Record up to 80 HD hours and stream up to two free broadcast channels from your HDTV antenna simultaneously.
- Tablo QUAD 1TB Over-the-Air [OTA] DVR: Record up to 700 hours and stream up to four free broadcast channels from their over-the-air HDTV antenna simultaneously.
If you have an external hard drive sitting at home collecting dust, consider these options as cheaper alternatives. Simply connect your antenna and portable hard drive to these Tablo DVR devices and you’re ready to go.
- Tablo DUAL Lite: Equipped with built-in Wifi, it lets you position the antenna and DVR for the best signal reception.
- Tablo QUAD: Record up to four OTA channels simultaneously. This model connects to your router rather than your TV, giving you the option to stream live TV to any device.
If you need to purchase a portable hard drive, we recommend USB-connected portable hard drives (USB 2.0 or 3.0, 1 TB to 8 TB in size). These are the ones we recommend: WD 1TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive and the WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive.