Ten years or so ago my wife and I made the decision for her to stay home with our kids. We were only able to afford this by cutting expenses and adjusting our lifestyle. One of the first bills to go was our cable bill.
I can’t remember what we were paying at the time but the current national average for cable is about $75. That’s $900 a year! Quite a lot to be spending for television.
Cutting the cable cord was easy. In fact, the only time I missed it was when I couldn’t watch NASCAR because the races were only shown on cable channels. Not really a big deal. I found other (and to be honest better) ways to occupy my Sunday afternoons. I’m still a race fan just not as big of one as before.
Aside from missing live sports I see no downside to getting rid of cable. There is some good programming on over the air broadcast television. Plus, thanks to the industry going digital, you have more than just the 5 big networks from a decade ago. In our area we have over 20 channels available for free.
One way to make cutting the cord easier is by utilizing some streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Our family has both Netflix and Amazon. We tried Hulu for awhile but didn’t care for it much. If you add up the $7.99 a month for Netflix with the $69 annual fee for Amazon (which includes free 2 day shipping on everything you order through them) our yearly television bill is $165. More than $700 less that what cable would cost.
Having a streaming service has changed the way we watch television. We’ll watch entire seasons of great shows back-to-back with no commercials. Best of all, we watch on our schedule.
Dexter, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, Weeds, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black… all great shows that we’ve streamed. Sure, we might be a season behind the cable viewer but who cares? We are saving a ton of money.
So how do you go about cutting the cable cord and stream programming to your television? If you have a gaming console, like a Wii, you can use that. Some blu-ray players make it possible. There’s also Roku. In my opinion, the best and cheapest option is Chromecast.
You can get your own Chromecast for around $35 from Amazon.
Have you cut the cable cord? Was it easy for you? What tips do you have for others who are thinking about it?