So you just received yet another monthly cable bill?… only this time, they’re going to raise the price of their service again!
You’re probably seething or at the very minimum – annoyed. After all, you pay good money…and you’re usually at work or too busy to watch all the 100-Million channels they have anyways, right?
It’s time to get rid of cable my friend. It’s time to cut that cord once and for all, and pocket those extra bucks. Or, at the very least, put those extra dollars toward something you can watch on YOUR terms – on-demand.
This article will be your guide through the entire process and will outline all the options out there to annihilate that cable bill, once and for all!
Let’s do it, what say you my friend? 🙂 Time to cut that cord!
What Is Cord Cutting?
Cord-cutting is the new revolution that’s sweeping the nation. Consumers are fed up with paying over a hundred dollars a month for channels they don’t even watch. They instead are switching to streaming services.
It’s easy to get into streaming things, but if you’re not big on tech, it can seem a little daunting. Cable is pretty easy; after all, you just pay the bill, turn it on and watch. But cutting the cord leaves YOU in charge of deciding what you want for entertainment, and believe me, you have TONS of options out there.
Yeah, it gets a little overwhelming.
That’s where we come in. We are going to show you the basics of cord-cutting and some great programs you can use to do just that – and then from there, and you can figure out what works for you. There is also the option of simply buying an indoor antenna, which is a nice and easy “back to basics” approach to television.
And don’t feel ashamed or weird about the fact that you’re cutting the cord. I know some friends I’ve spoken to felt disappointed about not being able to afford it, but the fact of the matter is that you’re going to save money, feel better about what you’re watching and best of all enjoy it on your terms.
First, let’s go through some questions about cord cutting together to see if this is going to be a good option for you.
How much do you pay per month?
Most streaming services we feature here are upwards of $10 per month. Supposing you buy just Disney+ and Netflix, that’s about $20 per month before taxes. This could easily be cheaper than what you’re paying now. But suppose you pay $50 per month and you want Hulu’s Live TV option-that comes at $62 a month and would only have you paying more money. The bottom line? Figure out what you’re paying and then make a list of what you want to see if it’s a good deal for you.
Do you have high-speed internet?
If you have the Internet, and many of us do, cutting the cord will probably be good for your wallet. However, simply adding the Internet to cut out cable TV will probably just have you breaking even. For my personal situation, it worked out well: we have high speed internet thanks to my family being huge into online video games.
Are you okay with learning new tech?
Cord cutting is NOT like cable. Sure, you will be able to watch lots of good stuff, but you have to be willing to install streaming services on your phone, TV, or other devices. You may not have access to the same shows that you used to watch before. You will have to make sure to update the apps on which you get your shows. If you’re not tech-savvy/don’t have somebody around who can help you set it up, it may not be the best option for you. This is not meant to discourage anybody-I just know that my grandma, for example, doesn’t really follow tech and, therefore, just liked the simplicity of turning on her TV to watch it.
Will I Save Money By Cutting The Cord?
Says Leichtman Research Group, the average consumer spends about $109 on paid television. There are probably savings you can take advantage of if you’re willing to do some give and take. You might find a lower cable price elsewhere, but keep in mind that you have to rent the equipment associated with the company, and also pay taxes and fees.
This leads to an inflated monthly bill and an aggravated consumer.
So in most cases, many of us will save money when we cut the cord. However, there are a few things to consider when you decide to make the move from cable to streaming. Let’s talk about them now.
- What Do You Need? How much do you value watching live sports or your favorite shows? Do you have to see that stuff right when it airs? If so, look for a streaming service that offers it, like Sling TV or DirecTV Now. However, consider the pricing. Basic SlingTV service comes in at about $20, and the smallest DirecTV package is priced at about $35. These basic programs get you what you need, but you may not get EVERYTHING. The bottom line? You have to figure out what you need and see if the cost of a streaming option is justified compared to what you’re paying now.
- You Will Have To Downsize. As the old song goes, “You can’t always get what you want.” And part of that means letting go of some of the stuff you currently watch to save some money. But the pros really outweigh the cons. For starters, you get what you want when you want it. There are also no contracts, and you can cancel whenever you want. If something comes up and you can’t afford the service one month, all you have to do is call them and tell them, or just go online and remove your credit card so they can’t charge you.
Can I Really Get Rid of My Cable Bill?
Yes, you can. The first thing to do is to evaluate how much you’re really using the cable. I unplugged my cable and left it unplugged for a week, using only my Netflix account when I felt like watching something. I told my family to do the same.
After a week, we all decided that nobody was really watching this stuff, so we called up the cable company and told them to cancel it. I admit it took me about 45 minutes to get through this, as I was bounced around to various personnel promising me a great deal.
They gave us pushback and offered us some low prices, but we just stood firm.
I settled the bill and was told to dispose of my cable box myself. We finally got rid of cable!
Making the switch over to the streaming services was very easy, and I also added in an over the air antenna (we feature one later on in the article) just to make life easier and still have access to our local channels and nightly news/weather forecasts. This works because we are just outside of our state’s capital, where the local channels are based.
This is just my experience, and yours will vary-but I promise the process is not difficult, and you can do it all in a day.
Can I Completely Eliminate Satellite and Cable?
Yes, you absolutely can. It’s all about planning. The most important thing to do is write down what you HAVE to have, and see if a streaming service offers it.
Next, you have to compare the prices. Compared to your current bill, Is it cheaper to have Netflix and then another service like SlingTV? Or, will you just be breaking even?
After that, think about what you actually watch. Is there a cheaper way to see this content somewhere else? For a close friend of mine, she swears by Hulu for her Seinfeld reruns and for her 90 Day Fiance fix. This costs her just $12 a month, compared to the $60 she was paying before.
If this still sounds great, but you’re on the fence, try cutting the cable for a week to see what happens – why not?
Can your family do without it? You might also install a streaming service for your family to try out in place of TV to see how they like it. If you do well during this trial, chances are cutting the cord will be fine for you. Many of these companies, like Netflix and Hulu, offer free trials, so take advantage of them.
Now, if you’ve come this far, chances are you’re ready to cut the cord. Listen close, grasshopper: The cable and satellite TV companies may give you a lot of sweet offers to try and get you to stay. Just stand firm and politely tell them you would like to cancel, and you’re not interested in further business.
After that, just enjoy your streaming services, and possibly get yourself an OTA antenna. You will get to enjoy local programming for free in addition to your streaming content. And the best part is that you will be saving money.
What Is The Best Alternative to Cable?
Streaming services are the best. You might already have one in your home already, but if you don’t, we have a “crash course” in them just for you. Read on!
Streaming Services are the main ways people around the world are cutting the cable. You have likely heard of many of these-Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others. There are even streaming services dedicated to niche genres, like Crunchyroll for anime lovers and Shudder for horror movie fans. Let’s talk about some of the main ones and what you can expect to pay.
Netflix: This streaming service comes at a cost of $13 per month and has plenty of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and even kids’ programming. You can create profiles on the service and set up your own playlist based upon your interests, so everybody in the family gets their own personalized experience. Netflix is known for having TONS of great programming, and plenty of families love having it.
Hulu: Their pricing comes at three tiers-$6 for basic, $12 for premium, Basic and Live for $55, and Premium and Live for $61. The latter option is great for sports fans that want to see games live, and you also get access to cable news networks. It is pricey but cheaper than cable.
Amazon Video: This is included with your Prime Membership fee. Many families have opted to get Amazon Prime, and not only do you get that great 2-day shipping, but you get access to some quality programming, too. There are plenty of great movies to watch, plus original shows like The Marvelous Ms. Maisel and even good shows for kids. There are also tons of movies to “rent” where you get access to them for 48 hours, and you can watch them as much as you like within that time period.
These are the three big hitters when it comes to paid services, and you will find that their programming is really great. You need a high-speed internet connection, a device such as a desktop or a laptop, SmartTV, or tablet/smartphone to enjoy these services.
You simply install the program or app, pay, and then settle in to watch all you want. It’s easy! Once you learn more about these, try looking into a service that offers streaming for your favorite genres, such as horror, anime, documentaries, or sports.
The best things in life are free, and we can’t help but agree. There are actually free streaming services out there that you can install on your SmartTV, phone, tablet, or computer. The programming on these may not be the most up to date stuff, but it is still a lot of fun to watch and keeps you entertained. Let’s look at our top picks.
PlutoTV: This is an interesting free TV App. I mean, a channel devoted to cat videos? Another channel devoted solely to weather called WeatherNation? Count us in. Yes, you will get some ads, but it’s free, and the programming is varied up. Sports fans will enjoy watching older games, and music lovers will enjoy the various music channels that are part of PlutoTV. They even show old cartoons and movies. It’s fun all around.
TubiTV: Tubi requires no subscription, credit card, or payment to enjoy it. You still get ads, but they are fewer than cable TV. There are shows for kids, some comedies, and even classic movies and TV. There is no doubt something for everybody on Tubi.
Crackle: Here is a place where you can find many great TV shows, movies, and more, all for free. There are new releases and classic movies, even original shows. You can filter the programming by genre and make a list of what to watch later on.
I want to be clear that there are hundreds of ways to enjoy free and paid streaming content. Here are some other alternatives. They are not as popular, but still great.
YouTube: YouTube is immensely popular as an app, but many people use it for viral videos, music, and are not aware of all the great stuff on there. Whatever you’re into, chances are somebody has made a Youtube series about it. Whatever your niche is, there is likely quality programming by an independent creator on Youtube for you to enjoy.
Indoor Antennas: If you like to kick it old school and you want to use an antenna, you can! Best of all, you don’t have to go out on the roof to adjust it. You can buy these right on Amazon, and you get to experience the free over the air channels that provide you the basics: local news, NFL games on Sundays, and ABC, NBC, and CBS. Here is one we found that has a 35-mile range-there are more powerful options out there, but this will show you what they look like and how they work.
What Is The Best Service To Cut The Cord?… And Get Rid Of Cable Once And For All!
Ultimately, getting rid of cable comes down to your personal preferences. If you want my opinion, I think Netflix is the greatest service. I say this because their programming is varied and interesting, and I like that you can select just the Kids’ option. (That way, the children can go wild and watch what they like, with no fear of them clicking on something you don’t want them to see).
I think the pricing is fair, and there are no ads, either. I like that I can make a list of my stuff and then watch it. My family has their own profiles, and we all just enjoy it at our own pace. I also have Netflix on my smartphone, so I can watch it anywhere.
Don’t just take my word for it. Try out different services and see which one works for you.
Final Thoughts On Getting Rid Of Cable
I hope this guide has shed some light on what it means to cut the cord. Cutting the cord is not hard. You just have to research the streaming services, find one you like, compare prices, and set it up. All you need is fast Internet and a device on which to watch it, and you will be good to go.
Good luck and enjoy watching what you love!