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Cord Cutting: The Official Guide to Saving Hundreds Annually

Cutting the cord is easy right?

You’ll save a ton of money and you can do it today. The truth is that if it was this easy everybody would’ve done it by now. There are many factors that can leave you tied to cable.

For example, it may be cheaper to keep cable with the bundle you currently have–although temporary. Or, you’re married to your favorite shows and don’t believe you can watch them elsewhere. Whatever your reason it’s challenging for you to make the switch.

But, let’s say you’re ready to make the switch. Do you cancel your cable today and start saving money? Of course not.

You need a plan.

A great plan will save you time and money. More important, it will save you headaches. Here’s your guide to cutting the cord and feeling good about it.

Save Money With Cable Regardless

You’re probably wondering what’s the hype around cutting cable.

Cutting the cord isn’t a magical experience–it involves saving money. And if you aren’t saving money, it doesn’t make sense to cut the cord.

Start by knowing how much you’re paying annually (monthly cost X 12.) Then, write this number down you’ll use it as a reference. Next, determine what services you’ll need.

For example, if you have an alarm system tied to your landline shop for both phone and internet services.

Once you find your ideal plan, calculate your new annual cost. Then compare it against your current plan. If you’ll save hundreds of dollars, congratulations, cutting the cord makes sense.

But, if you’d only save a few bucks don’t lose hope. This might mean your current plan is low enough as is. Instead, try to negotiate a lower price from your provider.

If you’re not a great negotiator use Trimm or [BillFixers](to negotiate bills on your behalf. Either way, make sure that you’re paying the least possible price for the best service.

Choose to Break Up With Cable

So you’ve crunched some numbers and realize it makes sense to cut the cord.

Good.

Your cable provider will attempt to offer you a discount. Be strong and don’t budge to any offer.

But, don’t cut the cord just yet. Most companies won’t let you off the hook this easy. Expect to pay $0-$500 in early termination fees.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pay the entire balance. Sometimes you can negotiate your way to pay a lesser amount. But, if you end up paying your termination fee, be sure to recover your costs with your savings.

Planning is Your Secret to Saving

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” –Abraham Lincoln

You’re already ahead of most people who cut the cord with little to no planning.

Even if these people managed to save money, they most likely didn’t choose their best options. Cable cutting has many factors to consider. It all starts with choosing where you’ll be watching your shows

Watch TV on a Better Alternative

Nowadays you have several options on how you can watch your favorite shows.

First, understand which type of channels you watch the most. Are you a sports fanatic? Are you a movie buff?

If you don’t watch sports often (like me) and watch popular stations, then an antenna may be a good option for you. But, if you enjoy watching movies and shows on demand, a streaming service will be a great option for you.

Antenna options:

  1. RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna with a 70-mile range
  2. Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna Long 65–80 Miles Range

An antenna is a great option to replace your cable.

The best part is only paying a one time fee to watch your favorite shows. But, buy a quality antenna with long range. Otherwise, you’ll get bad reception and limit yourself to what you’ll be able to watch.

Streaming options:

Sling TV

The closest thing you’ll find to a real TV. Sling TV streams many popular shows and includes a cloud DVR option. A drawback is being able to stream one device at a time–but you have the option to pay more to stream many devices.

Netflix

Netflix is a popular option to watch your favorite shows and movies in one place. A huge drawback is not having local channels.

Hulu

With Hulu, you get the best of both worlds. You get access to your favorite shows and movies. Hulu has a live TV package, showing your favorite sports and entertainment channels.

If you search online you’ll find dozens of streaming options. Remember to keep it simple and don’t pick more than one service.

For example, if you have Netflix don’t add Hulu and Amazon Prime. You’ll cut your savings and may end up paying as much or more than cable. Do research to see which option best suits you.

Define the Internet Speed to Fit Your Needs

If you’ve installed an antenna then your internet speed won’t matter as much.

But, if you’re streaming videos daily you’ll need an internet speed to handle this.

internet_speed_guide

Use the chart above to help you determine which internet speed will best suite you. Once you know which type of internet speed you’ll need, factor this to your total annual cost.

Start Slow and Steady

I bet you already know how to cut your cable subscription.

The problem is you haven’t taken action. The thought of cutting cable sounds good, but life gets in the way and you settle to pay the cost. Instead, take small action.

Taking small action will increase your odds at reaching your goal. Research shows that you’ll get more things done when you don’t feel overwhelmed or anxious.

So, start small.

For example, by the end of today find out how much you’re currently paying for cable each year. Then by the end of the week write down how much your new service will cost. Continue taking small actions until you’ve finished cutting cable.

Watch Less to Grow More

Cutting cable isn’t only a great way to save money–it’s an opportunity to invest more in your future.

Americans spend an average of 2–5 hours consuming TV each day. If you’re currently happy with your life, this is time well spent. But, if you’re unhappy, then it’s time to adjust how you’re spending your time.

Some great alternatives to your free time are:

  1. Reading
  2. Listening to Podcasts
  3. Taking courses
  4. Networking at social events
  5. Starting a side hustle

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t watch TV. Instead, focus on completing your most important tasks and reward yourself with TV. For example, after writing for 2 hours for your book, watch 15–30 minutes of your favorite show.

Save Money and Adopt Wealth-Building Habits

The truth is cutting the cord isn’t complicated.

Yet, many fail to do so.

What if I told you that I’d give you $500 today. Would you take this money? I bet you would.

That’s the average amount that people save annually when they cut the cord. Cutting the cord isn’t only about saving money, it’s about saving time. On average, Americans spend 2–4 hours watching TV.

This time could be spent on more productive tasks.

But, you’re not average. You’ve stumbled upon this article because you want to improve your finances.

Cutting the cord is one of many of the opportunities you have to save money. Every little bit adds up. It’s easy to look at wealthy people and fantasize on how lucky they are to be in their position.

Success starts with building the right habits. Go ahead and determine if cutting cable is right for you. Who knows, saving $500 can be your first stepping stone towards financial freedom.

About the Author Chris

Chris writes personal finance and productivity articles for software companies. He gets fresh ideas through continuously investing in himself and interviewing successful entrepreneurs.

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