It’s incredible how many people are dropping cable and, to be honest, I envy them for doing so. Out of the 80 people I polled on Twitter, 70% have cut the cord on cable. Now that we are living on one income, I find myself scrutinizing our expenses more and more, but I still can’t get myself to bite the bullet on replacing cable for a few reasons.
One, we have a package deal for cable, internet and phone line (our alarm system requires a house phone). Cable makes up 60% of the total bill, but the bundled deal comes with bundle pricing which brings down the cost of each. Another reason is for access to local sports and news. Lastly, we have a few shows that we enjoy on both HBO and Showtime, which usually come at a premium.
We are fortunate enough to share a Netflix account with my family, therefore that is currently at no charge to us. We also are currently receiving Disney+ for free for one year. However, we would need to couple a few different streaming packages to get similar access to what we have for cable. So, will cutting cable really save that much money?
Below is a breakdown of our current costs versus what we would pay if we pulled the plug on cable. We currently have Verizon Fios, so in order to keep some consistency, I used Verizon pricing for internet and phone in my hypothetical calculations.
Current Cost for Cable and Subscriptions
Our total bill each month is $165, making the cable portion $105
Cost for bundle per year: $1,980
Cost of using just Netflix and Disney+ per year (for now): $0
Disney+ going forward: $6.99 x 12 = $84
Total cost per year: $2,064
Costs for What Would be Needed If We Cut Cable
Hulu Live: $54.99
Showtime: $10.99 with Hulu Live
HBO: $14.99 with Hulu Live
Cost of subscription services: $88 x 12 = $1,056
Internet + phone bundle: $79.99 x 12 = $960
Total cost per year: $2,016
According to these calculations, we would only save $48 per year, or $3 per month, by getting rid of cable. If we take internet and phone out of the equation, the savings are way more significant. Without the internet and phone bundle and adding in Disney+ we’re paying $1,344 per year versus $1,056 per year for just viewing purposes. That would be a savings of $288 per year, or $24 per month. While that is certainly a more significant number, the fact remains that we would still need internet and phone and the bundled pricing does bring that cost down a considerable amount. I’m sure we could find a lower cost provider, as well, but I still cannot see the savings being substantial enough to outweigh the convenience of our one bill and easy access to everything we want to watch.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with pulling the plug on cable! Also, please let me know if you see any flaws in my calculations or significant savings that I am just not seeing. Maybe someone can convince me the switch is worth it 😉.
I struggled with this as well when we moved houses this last time. Our lifestyle is super busy and we always have something going on. So simplicity is a huge factor for me. Even if it costs more I still weight that int the equation. Also we rarely watch TV much so we wouldn’t need Hulu live or anything like that.
Couple things I saw that might save.
1. You mentioned the alarm system needing the phone but then never mentioned how much that cost. Well I know for us it was like $100/month saving switching from Comcast security to SimpliSafe. They have no contracts and are anywhere from free-$25/month. Works great for us. If you wait till Black Friday they had a 75% off and I bought all our stuff then.
2. Check cbs or fox apps we purchased cbs it’s like $5.99/month and it had whatever shoes we would need Hulu love for.
Anyway hope that helps and I agree it’s probably not worth the switch over $50
We also also factor convenience into all of our decisions, as well.
Ah I didn’t realize SimpliSafe was that inexpensive! We currently spend about $75 per quarter so that may be worth looking into for us.
Thank you for your advice! It could prove to be quite helpful.
Many households have no phone service because many of us only use our mobile devices. So that coat could be eliminated. Also, if you have a business or a home office a fax machine is required (legal issues) which would require the land line. Depending on your location that could require a cable line versus a POTS line. All in all, as you described this is a decision based on your personal requirements and all individual preferences should be considered. Expected service cost increases and your individual tolerance to cost fluctuations should also be considered.
Very good point! I actually didn’t realize that a fax machine was required for legal reasons. That’s interesting. I don’t have a home office officially just yet but that’s something I will have to keep in mind. Thanks!
PlayStation Vue, Netflix, Disney+ and a firestick
Clearly your costs must be lower than ours!
I’ve thought similarly. We cut cable and HBO, so we pay 50/month for internet. But with Netflix, Amazon prime, and Disney plus, costs are creeping back up! Still less than cable, but we still had Netflix AND cable before.
Luckily, I can access channels through our Roku with my mom’s cable account.
Ah I don’t know about the Roku but that is good! I’m sure I could finagle things to save a little more money than my calculations show but it seems like a lot of work for minimal savings overall
I don’t have cable as we cannot get cable in our area but it used to cost us $75 for basic and 10 premium channels.
We can get satellite but will cost us $80 for the cheapest option for approximately the same channels as before.
Currently, we use Netflix at $13.99+tax a month or $15.81 so a savings of $64/mth or $768/yr. Definitely not chump change. We don’t use Crave or Disney+ (no interest) or any of the apps. If we want to watch sports, I can get them online where possible or watch a recorded show later on. We do use antenna which gets us about 6 channels on a good day or 3 on bad weather days for news or sports.
For the time being, Netflix serves our needs and our local library has a pretty impressive movie/tv collection so if we want to watch our favourite shows, they often have them available for free.
This will probably change in a few years once we have kids! In the meantime, we’re enjoying socking away the extra savings into vacation or into medium-term savings
$768 per year is great! I wish I could blame my cable/streaming choices on my daughter but she’s only 7 months and not watching TV just yet, though she will be soon enough and I guess we’ll be prepared.
I didn’t even think about the local library! What a great resource!
Honestly I’m sure if I needed to, I could cut cable and most streaming services and survive just fine, but since we can still comfortably afford it and are enjoying it, it doesn’t seem worth it
If all your needs have been met, feel free to do what you want with your disposal income and if that means more TV, enjoy! Life’s too short to be a penny pincher if it’s not necessary! 🙂
We still have cable but we stripped down the package a bit and trimmed our bill from $190 a month to $125. We do pay for top internet speed because a blogger can’t sit around waiting for a page to load. And with 5 of us streaming Netflix and Disney+ we need the bandwidth haha.
5 people in a house automatically calls for the top internet package! Does your $125 include cable and internet or landline as well?