Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating retired people cancelling cable TV service

How My Family Saves Over $2,000 a Year with Cord Cutting

Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating retired people cancelling cable TV serviceSo I thought it was about time to give a full update on how my family is doing as cord cutters.

Now my family does not only cut the cord on cable but we’ve also ditched landlines and even cut the cord from our old cell phone provider. Altogether we save over $2,000 a year by being cord cutters.

Here is how we did it:

#1 We ditched DirecTV…

We paid DirecTV about $112 a month for just TV. We already had been paying for Netflix for shows and Amazon Prime for shipping. The only thing we added at the time was Hulu because of poor over-the-air reception.

So our bill went from $112 to just $7.99 a month. (I don’t count Netflix and Amazon because we had already been paying for them for many years so these were not new costs. I also already owned the Roku player.)

Savings: $104.01 per month or $1,248.12 per year

#2 We dumped the landline!

It has been so long since I had a landline I had to research what Comcast was charging for landline phone services lately. I was shocked to see that you can pay as much as $44.95 a month for just a landline from Comcast. I did see that the national average is still about $20 a month for the basic limited local calling.

So let’s take the national average right now at $20 a month for the savings.

Savings: $20 per month or $240 per year

If you really need a home phone, check out Ooma Telo for free landline calls. Want to learn more about ditching a home phone for VOIP? Check out our guide to home phone service.

#3 We ditched the old cell phone service!

My family paid at least $172 per month for our Verizon wireless plan. (We often went over our data!) Now we switched to a prepaid plan that costs $110 a month.

Savings: $62 per month or $744 per year!

I personally recommend Ting Wireless or Straight Talk for prepaid plans. You can learn more about ditching your high cost cell phone service in our guide on how to save money on your cell phone bill.

Total Savings: $2,232.12!

Yet there is still one more cost I need to cover. I am a huge football fan, so I would be willing to pay for Sling TV’s $25 a month plan during football season to access all of the ESPNs. Paying for Sling TV from September through January costs $125. (Note: I recently tried to get ESPNU for my parents, and Comcast wanted $140 per month.)

When I count in Sling TV for football season my savings drops to $2,110.12! Still a huge savings every year!

OK, there is one last cost for us: season passes. On average my family has purchased two or three seasons of shows on Amazon that we could not get through other legal means. These seasons averaged $20 to $30 a season. (I am a huge “Silicon Valley” fan from HBO, but I’m not willing to pay for HBO for just one show.) Now “Silicon Valley” Season 3 in SD (how I buy it) is $18.99 or $24.99 in HD. For this demonstration let’s say it is $30. So three seasons a year at $30 each is $90.

New total savings is $2,020.12 a year! The best part is that is an overly conservative savings estimate because we typically do not spend $90 a year on shows! However, even if we did the best part is we own them and can rewatch them at any time.

So what can you save?

I often get asked two questions from people thinking about cord cutting: What about Internet? What about other streaming services? So let me address these two big questions.

Internet

For my family it was less expensive to get Centurylink without the bundle from DirecTV. So when we ditched DirecTV, there was no change in our cost of Internet. However, I often hear people worry about the price jump of Internet many cable companies threaten if you leave. The jump is on average $10 a month if you unbundle your service. Even if you save just $60 a month by not having cable TV that is still a $50 savings even after they raise your Internet bill!

But I have a way around that… Check out other options for an Internet service provider. Every year or so I often switch back and forth between my local cable company and DSL service to get the best deal. It takes a few hours a year but I often save a bundle.

Just be careful of deals that offer you TV, Internet, and phone or premium channels for less than Internet only. Often these deals lock you in to a long contract and the price starts to go up in just a few months. Remember they won’t give you more for less without a catch…

Other Streaming Services

Now I just use Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime with the five-month addition of Sling TV; however, I know that setup is not for everyone. That is what is great about cord cutting. Unlike with cable TV you can build your own bundle.

My first suggestion is to look at what you already pay for. There are somewhere between 10 and 20 million US households that are cord cutters and 68 million Netflix subscribers, so many cable subscribers already pay for Netflix. The same thing is true with Amazon Prime, because tens of millions of cable subscribers already pay for Amazon Prime.

That is not a new cost, so cutting cable is pure savings; however, look at what is right for you. Maybe you do not want Hulu or Amazon, and Netflix with PlayStation Vue is a huge savings for you at $40 a month. That is still a lot better than the $112 I paid to DirecTV.

Just remember you don’t need every service out there. Just pick the services that work best for you.

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5 Responses to How My Family Saves Over $2,000 a Year with Cord Cutting

  1. rudymack August 21, 2016 at 8:05 am #

    My wife and I also stopped going to the movies. The first year she remained healthy for the entire winter and attributes it to not breathing the same air and not sitting on the same seats as 1000 other people at the movie theater. Any movie we would have gone to the theater to see we buy on Blu-Ray which we can watch in the comfort of our own home and watch as many times as we please. We also frequent the local library where movies are “free” (you paid for them with your Library District taxes already). If you are willing to go on a waiting list you can order any movie or TV series in the entire library district online. We were never concert goers but for the price of one concert ticket you could probably buy an artists entire catalog and listen every day for the rest of your life. I’m just saying. We did break down and go see the new Star Wars though.

  2. FREETELEVISION August 21, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    I do almost the identical thing you are doing. I doubled my savings though. I set up all these services at my Nieces house. They are all multiple stream services. I have Play station Vue instead of Sling. I can use the TV Anywhere feature and authenticate all of our ROKU’s, Apple TV 4 and iPads, etc. So I just set everything up in two houses and doubled the savings. We each pay around $40 for internet with Century Link. I have 15MB and she has 25MB. The thing with Century Link DSL is you have the ability to receive incoming phone calls on the link, they only disable outgoing calls. Just plug a landline phone into the router. The phone number to use is on your bill. I forward all my incoming calls to that phone and my cell phone (10 cents a minute) thru a Line2 WIFI app. I only use the cell phone if I am not home. I’m retired, so I save a ton of money. The money I save, I used to buy ROKU TV’s and Apple TV 4 for both houses. Teenagers friends are impressed because they take all the services with them on their ROKU stick everywhere they go. I have been a cord cutter for over 12 years and it just got to the point of being AWESOME this last year. I set up my neighbors on this setup as I have time. They pay their own and share with another family member as well.

  3. Jim Cupit August 22, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    I just went from $215/mo for internet, landline, and Directv to $96/mo for Internet ($50), Playstation Vue ($35), and Netflix (soon to be $10.99).
    $1,428 savings, and better reception on both the OTA stations and Playstation Vue.

  4. gorgo2005 May 29, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

    When we cut the cord, we had also been doing Amazon Prime & Netflix, accessed via multiple Rokus and mobile devices, so they didn’t figure into our savings. Our $191 cable bill for landline, internet and cable was reduced to $35 for internet only (the only thing we get from our former cable provider), $4 for Ooma Telo and $35 for a nice selection of content from Sling TV. $191-$74=$117, taken annually is $1404. Our old Verizon service cost us $74 per month. We replaced it with Republic Wireless’ $10 Wi-Fi plan, which with tax is a little more than $23 per month for two lines. It’s so cheap because most of the time we’re on wi-fi and get truly unlimited data plus calling and text. When I slip outside of wi-fi, Republic moves me over to Sprint’s network for calling and text. I resist the temptation to need data while I am outside of wi-fi, because I can get free wi-fi in so many places outside the home, in part because of so many retail establishments offering free wi-fi, and the other part from our internet provider having so many free hot-spots around our major metro area. $51 per month savings = $612 annual savings. So, all things considered, we are also able to save over $2K per year.

  5. Sunflower June 11, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    The Ooma Telo is really interesting! Thanks.