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Quitting cable sounded scary. It was something I was just used to having. But… We were paying A LOT for cable. $165 a month. Which didn’t sound too terribly bad, mostly because we were used to paying it. When you think about that money in different terms though, it starts sounding like a lot more. For example, multiply that times 12 to get the total cost for the year: $1980. That is a lot of money. A large iced mocha everyday (and then some). A week-long vacation. A new fridge. The list of things that could pay for goes on. It felt painful.
But here’s the problem, we actually kind of love some of the shows we watch. A lot. (Hello addiction to Game of Thrones and Outlander). Quitting cable kept getting put on the back burner, until we saw the bill each month.
We started talking about all the money we could save and how much it could help our budget to have at least some of that money back. We weren’t willing to give up all our shows, and we’d still need internet. We could budge a little and see what we could reduce. And I faced the fact that I might, MIGHT, have to give up watching some of my shows as they happened and wait for the DVD.
We started looking around and doing research for alternative options. After all, we’d had a lot of friends that had already quit cable and moved on to something else.
And with a little bit of work we managed to find a combination that worked for us. More than worked, really.
I didn’t have to give up a single show.
We managed to save a lot.
Our Costs Now:
- Internet: $45 (75 MBPS)
- Amazon Prime: $99/year (or $8.25 a month)
- SLING TV: $15 (big package is $25)
- HBO: $15
- Starz: $9
Quitting cable cut our bill almost in half! And the total yearly savings? $972.
I can’t believe how huge that number was with just a little bit of extra research on our part.
If you’re not as obsessed with Outlander or Game of Thrones as I am, and you can do with one or the other of the premium channels or (gasp!) neither? Quitting cable could save you up to $1260!
Quitting Cable How To:
There are basically three steps to this process
- Get your streaming boxes
- Order streaming services
- Install and Save!
Get Your Streaming Boxes:
Admittedly, there is a little investment up front. You need to buy a box or stick that connects to your TV to run the apps for the streaming services that will bring you your shows. There are a few different kinds you can get out there in the world. Amazon Fire TV and Roku are the ones that stand out above the rest.
We chose Roku because unlike Amazon or Google which are attached to their parent companies, Roku is independent and therefore able to run any of the streaming apps.
Amazon and Google don’t always play nice with each other. For example Amazon Prime apps will not run on a Google stick. We didn’t want to be locked in if we ever changed our mind down the road about what we wanted to use, so we went with Roku.
Roku boxes cost about $29 per TV, but unlike cable which makes you buy a box for every TV and charges you $15/month for it (or $180 a year per TV – I’ve never understood why cable companies insist upon charging ridiculous monthly fees like that) – The Roku box is one and done.
The Roku box is a onetime purchase and its yours for keeps. No sneaky fees! Love it.
Get as many of those as you need for the TVs you want to use in your house and install them. They also have a stick version if you prefer.
Once they arrive they’ll come with directions, but essentially they install via an HDMI connection on your TV. If you don’t have an HDMI connection because you have an older TV, don’t panic, they have adapters as well!
Get Your Streaming Services:
The next step is to get Amazon Prime if you don’t already have it. It’s a yearly payment of $99 but it’s so worth it. Not only do you get a whole host of TV shows and movies (if you have Netflix or Hulu, you’ll find it pretty much replaces them) but it also gives you free two-day shipping as part of the deal:
This is amazing for all kinds of reasons – just recently I got a computer battery I couldn’t find anywhere locally in two days. Saved the day and got my laptop back up and running. There’s also a host of other benefits like the Kindle Lending Library, Prime Pantry, and discounts to other offers.
If you sign up for Prime now, you get a 30-day free trial first, so you can test it out and see if you like what it has to offer and cancel if you don’t. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
Through Prime you can sign up for HBO and Starz, or other premium channels you might like. But, you know you want to see the massive war brewing on Game of Thrones. Join Amazon Channels Free Trial
They both offer 7-day free trials, so if you’re like me you can sign up and binge watch a few episodes! I’ve found some new shows that I love through these channels, too. Oh, and another secret? Some of the shows will put episodes up early, sometimes as much as two weeks. So for those of us that are impatient, its perfect!
The final thing we got was Sling TV. They have a few packages – but even the smallest one for $15/month has some pretty great channel lineups. You just place your order online and install the app via your box or Smart TV. You may not need this, but we got it since we watch sports and a few other major network TV shows.
Install and Save:
Follow the instructions for set up for the apps – most are just a one click download
The Roku home screen will also show you ways to download all kinds of other apps. Many TV stations have their own apps with specials and exclusives, there are home fitness channels, cartoons, and other apps like YouTube where you can stream videos right from your TV.
And that’s it! Once its installed you are good to go. Cable-free and saving $1,000 a year and still getting to watch all your favorite shows!