One of the best ways to generate additional income for investing is to reduce your current expenses. The old idiom is correct, “a penny saved is a penny earned”. While it may be difficult to save money on your fixed necessities such as a mortgage, rent, and car payment; you can save money on unnecessary expenditures like cable. In this age of technological alternatives such as streaming services, cable is no longer the only option for the budget savvy. Getting rid of cable services is a great way to inject an extra couple grand a year in your household budget. I just cut the cord myself eliminating my own cable service this month and switching to streaming. See how you can save money by canceling cable service.
CUTTING THE CORD – CANCELING CABLE
Over the past twenty years, I had been a customer of DirecTV and Xfinity. I had DirecTV satellite service for 15 years and Xfinity for the past 5 years. As with any cable junkie, I was addicted to the service. I had been considering canceling cable for years but never did. I did not watch 90 percent of the channels on cable but loved getting my sports from ESPN, Fox Sports One, NFL Network, NBATV and my news from all of the major news outlets. Having premium networks was a waste for me as I barely watched HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax subscription but I was paying a lot for them. When I added up all my services and bundled the Internet with it; I noticed that I was spending a massive sum for television on a monthly basis. I decided to cancel my service when my last bill came in at a hefty $360.00 after my contract expired. Even with my contract, I was still paying close to $300 on a monthly basis. I spent an hour online with an Xfinity rep checking out different cable rates but was never able to get below $200 for a decent cable package. So I canceled my service, and decided to shop around for a replacement. I looked at the three most popular streaming services out there: DirectTV Now, SlingTV, and Hulu TV.
DirectTV Now offers packages that range from $50 to $135 a month. You receive over 125 channels a month for $135 a month but this package was far more than I was looking to pay. I was looking for a package in the $50 a month range for cable services. The $50 a month package interested me because it gives you 45 channels including HBO. That’s a pretty good deal considering you have no annual contract, don’t need a satellite, and can stream from any location. You can stream on 2 devices at once and get DVR and On-Demand services as well. The primary drawback however is that I am unable to live stream the broadcasts of some major networks (NBC, ABC, Fox) in my area. These can be seen as video on demand but not live. However, I do love that HBO is included with the base package. I liked the offerings but was looking for a few more channels that I do watch.
Honestly, SlingTV caught my attention for one reason only; it’s low pricing. SlingTV is the largest streaming service out and the basic Sling Orange package costs just $25 a month. This gives you about 34 channels but was missing some of the channels that I was looking for in my search. Combining the Orange and the Blue packages together costs $40 a month adds some channel and covers local networks too. I didn’t like that the DVR service cost an extra $5 a month or that you can only stream on one device at a time with the Orange package but I do love Sling’s low $25 pricing. The first month was only $15. You don’t get the most robust options but Sling has a ton of add-on options to give you whatever you need. I think of Sling as the Spirit airlines of streaming. The low pricing is its greatest selling point.
The final service that I checked out was Hulu with LiveTV. I was already a Hulu subscriber taking advantage of their 99 cents a month for 12 month streaming offer they sent me this past January. Already having the basic Hulu service, I decided to upgrade to Hulu with Live TV. Hulu with Live TV costs $44.99 a month and offers 60 channels with DVR and On Demand Services just like DirecTV now. Hulu allows streaming on two devices and was relatively easy for me to use as I was familiar with it. It also As with other streaming services, I don’t love all of the ads. Hulu has a No Ads option that costs an additional $5 a month.
MY MONEY SAVING DECISION
I decided to go with Hulu with Live TV’s $44.99 a month package since they offered the channels and pricing that I was seeking the most. I wasn’t able to get NFL Network or NBA TV in my package. I kept my Xfinity Internet service downgrading it to a package that costs me $50 a month. Altogether, I was able to reduce my cable and Internet bill from $360 a month to under $95. My plan is to take the extra $265 a month in savings and invest it in the stock market. That’s about $3200 a year in annual cost savings, which has me excited. I love to save money! It took a week for me to adjust to the change from cable to streaming. I kept trying to use my cable remote and search for channels the same way I did on cable. I missed my cable boxes as I replaced them with Fire TV consoles. After about a week however, the cable withdrawal syndrome subsided and I was good with streaming. I love that I can pair my Echo Dots with my Amazon FireTv’s and seamlessly channel surf using only my voice. I no longer even use my remote for anything. I am getting the same programs but for a lot cheaper price. If I think I miss HBO, I may add it to my package in time. As you can clearly see, I was able to save money by canceling cable. I can honestly say that cutting the cord is one of the best financial decisions that I have ever made. .