A young woman is sitting in her kitchen and is loking at her receipts at home while using a smart phone

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

A young woman is sitting in her kitchen and is loking at her receipts at home while using a smart phoneI want to give an updated look at how much money my family saves with cord cutting. As new services launch and new options appear, it is important to revisit this topic.

My family 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.

Read on for how we did it.

#1 We Ditched DIRECTV

When we decided to become cord cutters we were paying 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 that I had to research what Comcast is charging for landline phone services. I was shocked to find out 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.

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

Savings: $20 per month or $240 per year

Many people want a home phone, but you don’t need to pay $40+ a month for a home phone service. If you 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 services.

#3 We Ditched the Old Cellphone Service

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

Savings: $62 per month or $744 per year

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

Total Savings: $2,232.12

Update: I recently switched back to Verizon because of work. I need internet no matter where I am for breaking news and Verizon’s unlimited plan with hotspot was the best deal I could find that offered the coverage I needed. So I switched to Verizon’s new Unlimited plan. It added about $15 a month to my bill, but it was less expensive than buying a hot spot. Now if it was not for my job running Cord Cutters News I would have stayed with Straight Talk, so I am going to continue to include the savings here to show what the average family can save.

#4 Live TV Streaming                                                                                        

I am a huge football fan, so I am 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 drop to $2,110.12. Still a huge savings every year!

Remember: With cord cutting you can pay for just the months you want a service.

#5 Season Passes

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. That is an overly conservative savings estimate because we typically do not spend $90 a year on shows; however, once we own them we can watch them at any time.

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 concerns.

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 internet cost. 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 $60 a month by not having cable TV that is still a $60 savings even after they raise your internet bill!

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

Be careful of deals that offer 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

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

My first suggestion is to look at what you already pay for. There are between 10 and 20 million US households that are cord cutters and 68 million Netflix subscribers, so millions of cable subscribers already pay for Netflix. The same thing is true with 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 or DIRECTV NOW is a huge savings for you at $35 or $40 a month. That is still a lot better than the $112 I paid to DIRECTV.

If you are an AT&T Wireless Unlimited customer, you may also want to look into DIRECTV NOW. AT&T is currently offering $15 a month off DIRECTV NOW for Unlimited customers. That could make DIRECTV NOW’s 60+ channel package just $20 a month.

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

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