As Bobby Boucher’s mama would say, cable is the devil. More specifically, cable costs are. People are purging unnecessary expenses in their lives, and the rising cost of cable is one of them. Smart TVs, streaming services and streaming players have opened up how we watch movies and TV, proving that you no longer need to be chained to a cable box to enjoy them.
Downsize Your Cable Bill
Thanks to new technology and competition among service providers, you are in a good position to bargain with your cable provider. When starting new service, a company will usually give you a nice discounted price for six months to a year. When that time is up, your bill gets jacked up to full cost—all of a sudden your bill goes from $60 a month to $165 or more a month. This is when you call your cable provider and request to find ways to reduce your bill.
Maybe you can cut the bundled service of phone, high-speed Internet, DVR and the high-tier movie packages. Ask for cheaper plans or tell them you are considering leaving the company. Asking for their “retention department” will get you in touch with staff who want to keep you and are authorized to offer you a less costly package.
Switch to Streaming
You could also cut the cable cord completely; there is, after all, a reason the cable industry recently reported its worst 12-month stretch in history, as reported by Business Insider. Streaming over the Internet has become the new (and cheaper) way to get your entertainment programming. With high-speed Internet, smart TVs, mobile devices and streaming gadgets, you can get the latest movies and TV shows and avoid the swelled costs of cable. Two popular choices:
- With Netflix, you can stream for only $9 a month and have access to a plethora of movies and TV shows. Netflix offers popular series like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black,” which can’t be accessed through cable TV.
- Hulu costs about the same as Netflix and the streaming setup is the same, though there are other differences. But having an account with both of these services is still only a fraction of what your cable bill would be.
Enhance your streaming experience by adding a Roku to your TV. With an additional connection like this, you plug into hundreds of free channels and rental options through M-GO, VUDU, Redbox or Amazon Instant Video, and you get access to Showtime Anytime, WatchDisney, WatchESPN and FoxNow. You will even be able to pick up local TV stations.
Let’s Not Forget YouTube
YouTube alone can provide hours of free entertainment. Full-length shows like Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” are available on YouTube, and you can download apps like The History Channel, too, where you can purchase and download full seasons of shows like “American Pickers” and “Ice Road Truckers.”
You have significant options when it comes reducing your cable bill or getting rid of it entirely. Who knows—as more people migrate from cable, the cable companies may cut their prices even more. Then you could always go back, if you wanted to.