Update: This post was written back in January 2015 from my other site, which is being consolidated to this one. I had a lot of concerns as you’ll read about cutting the cord. I was hooked on my DVR and having shows to watch all the time. I found streaming has been no different. The feel is very similar to cable even with services have DVRs. The channel selections are vast, and I have missed very littles (as long as I have my internet).
Read below about why and how we started the process of getting off cable and saving money. Numbers will be a little a different.
I am taking the plunge (nervously), and I am saying good-bye to cable. We need to get some supplies first (I will have a separate post with supplies we needed and tips), and then it will be time to call and have the “cord” cut.
Am I nervous? Yes!
Is that crazy? Kinda…Yes!
I grew up in the country where your next door neighbor is on the next hill and the Amish built your house. We had a big outdoor tower antenna to get stations. We were reliant on the city about 60 miles away for their channels, which meant when time changed I was fucked. Bedtime screwed me out of shows when their time changed and ours stayed the same.
I watched cable at my friend’s house and saw all my firsts: Reality Shows (Real World), horror (Exorcist…never never again), music videos, British comedies (Ab Fab). I loved it, and I still do..kinda obvious by this site.
From our first apartment in 1996 until now 2015 we have had some sort of paid for tv programming.
Why are we getting rid of it?
Money is the easy answer. We can afford it, but we don’t want to anymore. It really came to a head this month’s Wow! bill with the $8 Broadcast Fee and then a $2 Sports programming one. We watch football, but that’s mainly on local networks. We don’t use the ridiculous amount of sports channels they have now. And they got rid of BBC America..how in the hell am I to watch Orphan Black now?
Then when the Hubs called about downgrading to Basic cable, and we are told we can’t get any of the packages on their site. They are only for New Customers. We can downgrade, but we can’t get the better price on the site (and no there is no contract involved) So we are stuck paying a good $30 more than some newbie after we’ve been with the same company for 10+ years. That didn’t sit well with him, and not with me either. It was a big fuck you to us from this company we spend $180/month with.
The other reasoning is that most shows we don’t watch live. We have younger kids, and they can’t watch what I watch (American Horror, Walking Dead, etc.) so I DVR. DVR is another expense of course. However, when they aren’t here, I really watch a lot of Netflix. I just rewatched Twin Peaks (Still a fantastic show), and now I restarted X-Files. Or I like to watch movies (horror the most) when I have some free time.
He had said multiple times he would love to get rid of cable completely. That sends a small wave of panic through me. I’m very dependent on TV to fall asleep. I have a brain that won’t shut up, so I numb it with shows like: Big Bang Theory, Mike and Molly, or Roseanne. Ones that I watch over and over so I can relax and fall asleep.
I had to process a bit, and think of options to deal with my addiction. Plus I had to think about if I could do this site without cable.
We had recently gotten our first Smart TV (Vizio, that I love), and with it’s online streaming ability we were already watching Netflix on it.
Then Amazon Prime had a one day $72/year Prime membership last week and we got that, which also is on our TV. We like Prime for the shows, but also the shipping and the book lending library as well.
So, I was thinking a bit more, and realizing this was doable. The only other piece I needed was Hulu Plus. I had used Hulu for many years. My normal Friday was to pay bills and watch Grey’s Anatomy on Hulu on my laptop. Hulu Plus is $8/month, and has a pretty impressive library of shows..current and past.
With these online streaming options, my love of old shows and movies I don’t see any reason I can’t still be a TV addict. I may talk more of old school shows or original programming , but it will work!
I am ready! I think.
I am going to miss some shows, because I can’t watch them with a cable provider like FX, AMC, and Syfy. Some of Syfy is available on Hulu like Helix (whew!).
Not being able to watch The Walking Dead, Bates Motel, and American Horror Story live is going to suck donkey balls (as a friend would say), but I have watched a season or more behind of series like: Dexter, True Blood, Nurse Jackie, and Breaking Bad so it is possible.
Hardest part if you are doing this like me is the social media sites. I will have to unfollow those shows on Facebook and Twitter. Hell, Pretty Little Liars, ruined a big twist by posting on Facebook an hour or so after the show! I may not always be shocked by the shows, but I enjoy the journey.
So, I’m sure you are wondering how much money is enough to get rid of cable. After talking with the cable company and seeing what our bill would be after cable is gone, and doing some figuring. The Hubs had a make a spreadsheet for this one.
We already had Netflix, so we don’t include that in our new monthly fee. We had it before and would’ve kept it anyway, but if you are curious it is $7.99 for 4 Screens and HD of Netflix. I use the online viewing more than the DVD rentals with Netflix.
Hulu Plus like we said was $7.99 a month. There are many ABC, CW, and Fox shows on there plus a large variety of older programming and bits and pieces of other networks like Syfy, CBS, and TLC.
Amazon Prime is normally $99 a year or $8.25/month. We got it for $72/year so $6/month. However, the online streaming is half of what we use so we split the costs since it has more uses than video alone.
IF you had to get this all you would be about the $99 for Amazon (once a year charge) and then $15.98/month for Netflix and Hulu Plus. Figuring it all monthly would be $24.23/month.
We were paying around $180 per month for phone, internet, and cable bundle. After a variety of figuring. We believe we should knock our bill down $76.37/month.
We took the $76.37-$3 Amazon-$7.99 Hulu= $65.38/month Net Savings or $784.56 a year!
We will know a little better when we get it removed and see the new bill, but it is a very fair estimate. At first $65 a month may not seem like a lot, but at almost $800 for a year! That’s a new projector for our Family Room project!