I am hearing a lot of talk about how cord cutting can cost more than cable TV. If you have been a long time reader you know how the average cord cutter saves between $87 a month and over $100 a month.
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. Yet over 91% of cord cutters subscribe to 4 or fewer services and over 70% subscribe to 3 or fewer streaming services.
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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