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Cutting the (Cable) cord

June 5, 2014

So I think I mentioned a while ago that I refinanced my MBA student loans using DRB and got a fantastic rate of 5.25% for 10 years. DRB also honored my 6 month grace period, which was fantastic. Well, that lovely grace period is about to come to an end and come July, we will be focusing a good bit of our attention and resources on paying down the close to $95,000+ of debt I accumulated over the last 2.5 years. Up until now, we’ve focused our resources on eliminating my car loan and my husband’s undergraduate student loans (which we’ve been able to do successfully). However, since we are trying to pay off my student loans in approximately 3 years,  the average monthly payment that we’ll need to make is around $1700. Given this, the hubs and I have been reviewing our budget to see how we could lower our expenses to help free up more funds to throw at this ugly beast of a loan. As you know, we already changed cell phone plans and saved ourselves about $45/month! With our 2 year cable contract coming to an end, we thought it was time to take a hard look at how we could lower this.

Now the thing to keep in mind with cable is that, for us, we really don’t watch that much TV. We have 1 TV, it is in the basement, and the only time we watch it is after our 3 year old son goes to bed and everything is cleaned/prepped for the next day (so 2 hours a night during the week max – sometimes less). We also hardly ever watch live tv  – everything is DVR’d or we watch movies from Netflix. Also, our son doesn’t watch TV and we haven’t really watched sports since 2011 when the kiddo was born.

From my previous post you’ll see that our cable bill costs us about $122/month. Not terrible considering it includes an HD DVR, Phone, TV, and Internet and all applicable taxes/fees. However, it seems a bit ridiculous to pay that much when we don’t really use our landline EVER and only watch a handful of channels (mostly AMC, A&E, TLC, HGTV, Food Network, TBS, ABC, NBC, and CBS). Also, our cable provider, Verizon, wanted to raise our rates now that our promotion period was up. I called and asked about discounts an the best they were able to do was get us a rate that would be the same for the next month, then jump to $140 for the next 12 months, followed by another increase to $160/month for an additional 12 months. Really? And when I asked about ditching the phone, I found out that it would actually be more expensive! And internet only would be $85/month without taxes/fees. Crazy. 

Luckily, we researched some competitors. Prior to Verizon, we had Comcast and were thoroughly disappointed. We were so excited to get FIOS when we moved and have been pretty happy with the service. However, Comcast recently came to our neighborhood and was promoting their new network and infrastructure which provided download speeds that were 2x as fast as we were getting with FIOS. Looking at their website, we found that they actually had internet streaming packages where we could get internet only, plus HBO Go, plus streaming from 45 cable channels (including HD channels) for $60/month! That is half of what we are currently paying! We already have Netflix and Amazon Prime, and with HBO Go and the streaming channels, we probably won’t need Hulu or another streaming service, which means no additional monthly costs for us! The only upfront investment would be for a streaming box and after much research, we decided on the Roku 3. Thanks to our Amazon Prime membership, that lovely box will be here on Friday.

So on Saturday, we will be saying bye bye to FIOS and hello to streaming TV. The hubs and I were both super super nervous about this at first, but given that we get a 30 day money back guarantee with Comcast, we feel quite a bit better about the decision. I also googled where our favorite TV shows are available and between the streaming channels we get with Comcast as well as the what we get with Amazon Prime and Netflix, we’ve got all of them covered.  I’m getting super excited about cutting the cable cord (finally!) Our initial savings is about $60/month and even amortizing our Roku over a year, the savings is still over $50/month. This, combined with our savings on our cell phone bill from changing plans means that we are now saving $100/month. And we did it without making a drastic change to our lifestyle or sacrifice. I mean, I still use my phone all I want and the same way I did before, and we can still watch all the same TV we did before we switched to streaming – all we gave up was paying for services/features we never actually used.

So bye bye cable! I will thoroughly enjoy having an extra $60 in my account each month from here on out:)

Have you cut the cable cord? Why or why not?

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2 Comments
  1. We’ve been meaning to cut back on our cable expense as well. We are in a small, rural town so not a lot of choice in providers. But you’ve motivated me to looking into streaming options.

    • Good luck! We had a really hard time with the decision, but once we listed out our favorite shows and did some research to see that yes, in fact, we could still watch them even without cable, we felt much much better! I’ll update with a full review once we’ve used it for a while:)

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