Scissors cutting a computer wire on gray background (wireless or blackout concept)

Tip of the Day: Avoid The Temptation to Make Cord Cutting About Replacing Cable TV


Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating retired people cancelling cable TV serviceI am hearing a lot of talk about how cord cutting is not less expensive than cable TV. I could not disagree more because my family saves over $2,000 a year and our studies have shown that on average cord cutters save over $1,000 a year.

When I talk with people who say they cannot save money I often find they are subscribing to five or more services. One person had a very high package of PlayStation Vue, CBS All Access, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and Amazon Prime.

That raises a major mistake I often see people make. They try to make cord cutting just like cable. Cord cutting can be a great way to save money and still watch your content but you need to look at it differently.

So here are a few guidelines on how you can avoid the trap of trying to make cord cutting just like cable.

#1 Stop looking for channels and start looking for shows.

I often hear how someone is paying for the most expensive package of PlayStation Vue, or they got an add-on for Sling, just because they wanted access to one show.

If all you want is that show why not do one of two things? First, buy a season pass to that show on Amazon or iTunes, which is far less expensive than paying monthly for that one show.

Second, only subscribe to that package or service when that show is live. Want HBO just for “Game of Thrones”? Why not subscribe to HBO Now only when “Game of Thrones” is on?

Get past the idea that if you want a station you need to pay for it year-round. Cord cutting gives you the freedom to add and drop services any time you want.

#2 Don’t overpay for Internet.

This is a big one because most cord cutters make two big mistakes when they become a cord cutter.

First, shop around for your Internet. Do not just go with your cable provider. Often they will charge down graders considerably more than someone who is new and only wants Internet. By shopping around and jumping back and forth between cable and DSL, you can save hundreds of dollars every year.

Second, streaming does not need a ton of speed. When I cut the cord I only had 10 Mbps down from our local DSL company. We find 20 to 25 Mbps down is more than enough to stream Netflix and other services. I run Cord Cutters News with just 40 Mbps down.

Often when you downgrade your TV service reps will try to talk you into a faster Internet package. Avoid that temptation.

#3 If you went back would you really cancel Netflix?

There are about 20 million cord cutters in the United States but over 60 million Netflix subscribers. That means about 40 million cable TV subscribers also pay for Netflix. There are roughly 50 million Amazon subscribers, meaning 30 million cable subscribers also pay for Amazon Prime.

So ask yourself if you went back to cable TV would you really cancel all of these services or would you be paying for cable TV and several streaming services?

#4 Don’t be fooled by the offer on the phone.

Often when you call in they will tell you the bill will be the same; however, they don’t tell you the full story. Here are a few things to ask them.

First, what are the rental fees on the devices? Some cable providers are charging you a fee for every TV in your house because they require a box on every TV.

Second, what are the taxes and other fees?

Third, how long is this rate good for? This one is tough because they often will say the life of the contract, but get it in writing. If it is not in writing don’t trust it. When I talk to people and they tell me this I always ask to see their contract. When we get it they are shocked to find out the promotional rate won’t last for the life of the contact.

So don’t be fooled. Stay strong! Cord cutting is less expensive than cable.

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  • R.J. Spears

    When we decided to cut cable, it came down to the shows we really watch. When looked at the shows that were on cable (not OTA), I discovered we really only watched 3 shows. Yes, we watched other things like sports, but when it came down to it, we really only watched 3 shows on cable. So, I did the calculation and we were paying $600 a year to have cable to watch only three shows. I was able to buy those shows for a fraction of the cost off Amazon.

  • Allen

    I think this post nailed it. Lots of people want to have all the channels plus all the services. Instead they should focus on the contents that they will really watch.

    I was paying for a triple bundle cable package for years without ever using anything but the internet. I signed up for an introductory promo with $300 gift card after three month. Guess what? I got too lazy and never cancelled after three months. So for two years I have phone service that I don’t even have a landline phone for. I have a 200+ channel tv package that I watch naked and afraid and ESPN. Probably less than 2 hours per week. Then I moved my furniture around and my tv box is now across the room from the tv so I return the cable box, but still get charged every month for it because it’s part of the package. I have to beg them to take it back because I don’t want to risk losing it. I got a Roku Stick with the TWC app to watch my tv subscription. I ended up watching less than an hour per month, because watching ESPN rhetoric got boring. Then my one year promo price ended and now my service jumped by $30 more. My advertised package was for $99 with 200mbps internet, 200+ channels, and phone. One would expect to pay about $110 after tax right? Nope. I had to pay for the tv box, $8. I would have to pay a router rental had I not have my own. Then the fees are just ridiculous. I paid like $20 in telephone fees that I did not use at all. Then all the other regulatory fees, my bill was $140. Then after the first year it ballooned to $180. I finally had enough and cut it. Reduced my internet to 100mbps for $50. I’m not going to count Amazon Prime to the cost because paying it for the shipping anyway. I don’t need to replicate my cable channels because I didn’t watch anything.

    Now I look for contents. Amazon provides a good catalogue. I subscribe to HBO now for Westworld and Game of Thrones. I will suspend my account during the off time. My older son loves Pokémon so we watch it with the few Pokémon TV app. My younger son watches YouTube. We have so much to watch, we don’t have time to channel surf or sit through commercials.

  • Bob Smith

    I can say from my own experience that dumping cable 2 years ago was the best choice for me. OTA programs such as PBS and local news are really the main channels I like to watch.
    NBC, CBS, and ABC come through crystal clear as well.
    My time is more valuable and worthy of saving from channel flicking.
    Saving $1200/yr is nice too.

  • Kansas Penguin

    I had Amazon Prime before I cut the cord. We need it for things besides their video content. I pay for Netflix, and PSV. It has saved me a boatload of $$!

  • TheEnd

    This hits the nail on the head go over exactly what shows you watch and figure out what services you need to watch them and then BINGO it hits you that you really don’t need need much lol