How to Cut Your Cable Bill

Has your cable or satellite bill eclipsed $100?  Believe it or not, you have some choices that can alleviate your budget.  From a minor downgrade to some creative changes, you can lower or eliminate the bill altogether.

Changing Your Service

The first level of action isn’t that scary, but can certainly change your cable costs.

Before you start looking at alternative packages, don’t overlook the art of packaging services together.  Just as you should purchase your car, home and life insurance as a package to save, so too should you package your cable, phone, and Internet services.  You might be surprised by the immediate savings you can achieve.

Or, simply put, you could just downgrade your service.  Maybe you don’t need 150+ channels, especially those in languages you don’t speak!  Take a look at the channels you want to have, and, using some of the ideas in this article, you could find alternative ways to watch the shows and movies that you are used to seeing.

Putting everything together or getting by with something ‘less’ can certainly save quite a bit of money.

Negotiating 101

This can be a tricky subject, but it does produce results.  Don’t be afraid to give your friends at the cable company a call!

Talk to representatives in the customer service department.  You should consider some of the specials that are available, such as those that bundle services together, as well as those that are designed to retain customers.  If you really want to negotiate, and are willing to live without your cable bill [see the tips below], you can ask for the customer retention specialist.  This is a great way to get the bottom line on the situation; if your bill is outrageous and none of the normal specials are enticing, don’t give up yet.

Explain that your bill is a bit much and you are considering eliminating cable TV.  The specialist will likely have a few offers at their disposal, which of course are designed to retain customers that are almost out the door.  There are plenty of success stories of bills that were dramatically reduced; be honest with them about what you’re comfortable with doing.  If the customer retention specialist doesn’t make you and your budget happy, the next section may be to your liking.

Roku

Eliminating Your Cable Bill

If a smile comes to your face at the thought of your cable bill’s extinction, this is for you.  Luckily, there are great options for substituting the programming that you’re used to getting from your cable or satellite package.  It might not be quite as simple, but could very well be worth it.

Imagine this setup:

  • Netflix Subscription; Instant Play and 1 to 3 DVDs at a time (choices under $20)
  • Roku box to stream free or paid channels (Initial cost under $100, plus any paid channels)
  • Computer to watch your favorite shows

Something like this could easily cut your bill by five or six.  Think about what you watch on a normal basis.  A movie rental service such as Netflix, combined with Instant Play, could easily serve a huge portion of your programming needs.

You can even see most of your favorite network shows on Hulu for free.  Shows on cable might be a bit more difficult; you can get lucky with certain networks offering full shows online (the History Channel does this) or wait for it to come to Netflix.  Sports lovers have the toughest time: a box like the Roku (or app-enabled TV/DVD/Blu-Ray) can work with a paid, sports-specific subscription.  Or, just head to your local bar or restaurant to enjoy the game.

If you are ready to take the plunge and eliminate cable TV from your life, you might have the most leverage in negotiations.  That customer retention specialist has more than one or two offers…

Overview

Take an active approach to your cable bill.  If you are spending a lot of money on it, perhaps a simple change could do the trick.

Think about eliminating cable altogether; you might enjoy the money saved when you explore other options.  From streaming boxes and movie rental services to plenty of free options on the Internet, you could be in luck.  Chances are that you can see just about everything with an alternative method.

What will an extra $100 do for your budget?

Image by Robert Nelson

3 thoughts on “How to Cut Your Cable Bill”

  1. I’ve been wanting to cut down my cable bill. It’s at about $145/mo for TV and internet access. I plan on getting rid of HBO and showtime and just keeping netflix. I feel like i get alot more for my money and watch alot of streaming movies.
    I don’t like what netflix did recently by raising their prices, but i never really watched that many dvds in the first place.

  2. That’s what I did awhile back; I actually got local channels and Internet packaged together for less than I was paying for Internet alone (2-year deal)…

    The price increases are a little steep, but it is still a great deal. Streaming movies is quite nice…

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