My travel schedule has been increasing more and more recently, which means I’m home less and less. I have been trying to find ways to cut living costs so I can save money, something I’ve never been great at doing.
My obvious choice—asking my father if his 31-year-old daughter could move back into the basement of his house rather than pay rent on an apartment—fell through (insert pouty face). So I started doing little things like ordering groceries online, cutting my AC/heat use, unplugging devices I’m not using and downloading money-saving apps. Then I received my cable bill…
Cable was Costing Me an Arm and Two Legs
I had a cable bundle, which included high-speed internet, cable with DVR capability and home phone. I haven’t used my home phone, ever, but it made the bill so much cheaper to bundle all three—so I did.
I was paying about $145 for all three with my promotional pricing; however, my promotion ended 6 months early (without notification). I was told “nothing could be done to lower my bill” when I called, raising my bill to almost $170.
No, thanks. Especially when I will never be home to use it. The customer service process alone was enough for me to take the leap and cut cable costs from my spending diet.
Did I Have the Emotional Strength to Cut the Cord?
Not having access to live television made me nervous. I like watching the news in the morning, and there are a few channels I like to watch on a regular basis. I also have an inappropriate addiction to Lifetime movies, and didn’t want to miss the Saturday night movie premieres (it’s okay, you can judge me).
Plus, my DVR, like most of yours, had quite the laundry list of scheduled shows to record. I don’t even know when shows air live these days—they just appear in my DVR list for me to watch at my convenience. Having to constantly search for shows online to watch seemed tedious.
The Research Process
I took to Facebook and asked my friends for any suggestions about ditching the cable box, since there are hundreds of options available for online streaming. After getting almost 100 opinions (thanks, Facebook friends), I was feeling pretty overwhelmed with the options. But I do know one thing: I’m not alone in my decision to quit cable. More than 1.1 million households cut the cord last year. I’m joining the 1.1 million expected to do so this year.
I decided on the Amazon Fire TV Stick for two main reasons: first, I have a Prime membership and I’ve had good experiences overall with Amazon. But even more importantly—since other streaming devices also allow you to add Amazon apps—a friend already had an extra one I could use, saving me more money. Yay!
My Happy Face Appears
The Fire Stick is extremely easy to use. It just takes a few minutes to set up the apps you’ll use to stream shows and movies. I already have a Netflix account (thanks, Dad), and I share a Hulu account with a friend, so I had those apps ready to go with a quick sign-in.
Almost every network has an app to watch their shows – some free, some with a small cost – but you can access almost anything you would watch on cable. And now, I can watch it all with fewer or no commercials.
What’s more, there are new streaming services coming online all the time. YouTube just announced a streaming package that provides about 40 channels for $35/month. SlingTV and DirectTV Now are other live TV streaming options.
Money saved – hooray!
I was so pleased with online streaming, I cut my service package to only include high-speed internet within 24 hours of receiving my Fire Stick. This saved me $120 a month.
My previous cable package was $170. I am now spending $65 dollars per month for my internet and Hulu, allowing me to have about $100 for “cash to save” in the bank. Or as I like to call it, “spend it somewhere else and not save it,” like going to a nice restaurant…
Cutting the cord was easier than I thought
As a pretty regular TV watcher, I was skeptical about cutting the cable cord, but I have been nothing but pleased with my new setup. The ease of watching, the library of shows and movies available (if you have the right apps), and, of course, the cost savings can make cutting your cable cord a smart decision.