We tossed around the idea of getting rid of our pay TV service for years before finally cutting the cord last summer. I thought it would take way more time than it did. I also thought I’d miss it much more than I actually did.
Seriously, my family doesn’t miss our satellite TV at all. However, I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to cut the cord in order to pay less for TV service.
You can save cash for this month’s LivingWithBeth Cash Savings Challenge whether you’re ready to cut the cord, on the fence, or have no intention of canceling your cable or satellite service anytime soon. Here’s how.
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Don’t Want to Cut the Cable or Satellite?
You can save a few bucks even without canceling your cable or satellite TV service. Start by going over your monthly bill.
Are you paying for a premium service like HBO or Showtime that had been free for a limited time? Do you still need premium channels when you already have Netflix and/or Amazon Prime? If you don’t already have it, try a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime and check out all of the great movies and TV shows they have to offer.
Next, look at all of the channels you receive and decide which ones you and your family members actually watch. You might have subscribed to a certain tier of programming so you could watch a particular channel that nobody cares about anymore. Or, you may have watched a TV show on that channel that’s no longer on.
Could you scale back to a less expensive programming package? We evaluated our TV channels and lowered our programming tier a couple of years ago. This was likely the first step toward realizing that we didn’t watch many of the channels at all and could do without pay TV.
Finally, decide whether you’re paying for any TVs that rarely get used. Do you need cable or satellite in the guest bedroom, or could you replace it with an antenna and/or a Roku? We removed one TV from our account awhile ago when we still had satellite service and knocked about $20 off our monthly bill.
On the Fence?
Let your cable or satellite provider make the decision for you. Call your pay TV provider and say that you want to cancel your service. They will probably fall all over themselves trying to change your mind.
See what kind of deal they offer you. If it sounds halfway tempting, say no a few times to make sure you have their final, best offer.
If you do end up canceling, that doesn’t have to be your final decision. Wait a few days or weeks to decide just how much you really miss your pay TV. I guarantee that your former service provider will harass you with phone calls and snail mail begging you to come back to them, trying to lure you with sweet deals.
Seriously, I have never even been tempted to go back. If you are, at least you’ll be paying a whole lot less if you go back to cable or satellite.
Get the Right Equipment
Before cutting the cord, make sure you have streaming devices on all of your TVs, like the Roku Streaming Stick. To watch local over-the-air (free) programming, you’ll need an antenna such as a Mohu Leaf.
Ready to Cut the Cord?
Just do it. That was the hardest part for me. I had to set aside time for the big phone call. I had to make time to disconnect all of the equipment. I saved some medium-sized boxes since I wasn’t sure if the service provider would provide return shipping materials for everything (they did).
Disconnecting all of the equipment took a lot less time than I expected. I texted my older daughter from work and asked her to disconnect all three of the satellite boxes and put all of them in the dining room. I told her there was a bag of Skittles in it for her when I got home from work.
I think that was the fastest satellite TV disconnect in history. My only chore from there was shipping the equipment back once the return boxes arrived.
As noted above, your pay TV provider will beg you to come back, so it’s not like you can never, ever go back to cable or satellite in the unlikely event that you change your mind.
You’re probably already paying for Amazon Prime and/or Netflix. If you’re still paying for cable or satellite so you can watch premium channels, I have great news for you.
You can now buy Starz or Showtime without a pay TV subscription, and HBO as well.
How About You?
Did you accept this challenge? How did you cut your cable or satellite bill?
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