Cable TV bills on the rise again
Luke Bouma • February 11, 2016if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
It’s a new year and once again, cable TV companies are raising their rates. Some premium channels are seeing hikes as high as $8 a month, and many cable subscribers will see basic package costs rise as much as $5 a month.
While that may not seem significant, it adds up to over $150 extra a year just for the core packages alone. Let’s not forget DVR and cable box rental fees that are expected to go up $2 a month, adding an additional $24 a year to your bill for each device you rent. Before you know it, $200+ additional dollars could be drained from your yearly budget, merely for the same services.
What are you paying for?
As of 2015, the average cable subscriber paid $99 a month, or about $1,200 a year. That’s just the average bill; many will pay much more than that. Often times, cable customers are paying for content they’re not interested in, as well as bundled services they never use.
We recently asked people on Reddit what made them decide to dump cable TV. Many said it was because they were being billed roughly $200 a month.
For example, Reyesdj15 said, “paying $200 ($195.65) per month for cable + internet + phone (which I never had installed, wasn’t going to use it).”
And Jjc55 said, “Moving was a great time to just not connect the cord… I realized I could buy & own a lot of content for the $220/mo cable was effectively costing me.” Swing by Reddit to read these and 50 other great reasons why people dumped cable.
Needless to say, the high price of cable has already been a big deciding factor for many cord cutters, so if the announced price hikes have you concerned, you’re not alone.
Cut the cord and save
What if we told you that you could buy an antenna and subscribe to a year of Netflix and Hulu for approximately the same yearly cost of the proposed cable price hike?
Netflix now costs about $10 a month for new subscribers, or $120 a year. Amazon Video charges $99 per year and Hulu prices are even lower at $96 a year. So you could subscribe to a year of Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu for the cost of what jjc55 paid for just one month of cable service.
Don’t forget about over-the-air TV. Many people pay the cable company simply for access to local stations, sometimes as much as $20 for just a few local channels. With a onetime purchase of an antenna, you can often get 30 or more channels, like FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc., many of them in sharp HD. You can find out more about finding the right antenna for you by checking out our antenna guide.
You will still need access to the Internet, but you may be surprised at how cheap Internet can be when you shop around. DSL and fiber Internet services are both options to explore. Sometimes, attempting to cancel your Internet-only service can propel the cable company to give you a better deal.
Many people we have talked to save over $1,000 per year by canceling cable TV. My family saves over $1,200 every year. As mentioned before, it adds up over time. If we keep saving this way for 30 years, we will have an extra $36,000 in our bank accounts as we get ready to retire. What would you do with an extra $36,000? You won’t know unless you cut the cord, and start saving today. And it’s easier than you may think. Here are four easy steps to break free from cable TV just to get you started, and we invite you to read more in our Cut the Cord series for reviews, tips and guides on getting the content you love from alternative sources.