Do you really need cable these days? Between streaming services, news, and sports going online, and the increase in cable costs, there really isn’t much of a need to spend $100+ on cable every single month. So what can you do if you’re ready to cut the cord? Here’s how to ditch cable, save money, and still watch your favorites shows, movies, and more.
Use A Streaming Service
There are so many different streaming options these days. Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO are just a few platforms that you can use to watch your favorite shows and movies. Even Amazon has its own streaming platform now.
With these streaming platforms, I spend less than $30 a month, and I’m able to watch almost everything I typically watched on TV years ago. I haven’t had cable in over 6 years, and don’t plan on ever getting it again. Now, there are people who watch way more TV than me, and I understand that. If you’re big on certain TV shows or find yourself watching TV often, there is another option for you.
Pay For An All-in-One Platform
An all-in-one streaming service works like cable but without the cable contracts and commitments. You can get access to the channels and shows you watch on cable but can cancel at any time, pause your service, or make changes based on what you’re watching during the season. Here are a few of my favorite all-in-one platforms
Sling TV is one of the first options I tell people to look at when they’re ready to cut the cord on cable. They start at $25 a month, with no commitment, and offer tons of different channels to choose from.
You can completely customize your channels, or use one of their already put together show packages. They even give you the option to have a DVR if that’s important to you.
Here are just a few packages that Sling TV offers:
Sling Blue ($30/month)
- Has 50 channels, including Fox News, CNN, HGTV, TLC, USA, Bravo, Nick Jr, and more.
Sling Orange ($30/month)
- Has 30 channels, including ESPN, Disney, Food Network, Lifetime, the Travel Channel, and AMC
Sling Latino ($10/month)
- Has 23 channels, including Azteca, Universo, Pasiones, and more.
You can also add on premium channels like Starz or Showtime for an additional fee, although they do have a promotion that gets your first month for free. You can watch Sling TV via Roku, Chrome Cast, AmazonFire TV, and Xbox One (and others).
Hulu (With Live TV)
Although Hulu is a streaming service, they also have an option to watch channels live like you would on cable. For just $54.99 a month, you get access to 65+ channels and a DVR.
The channels include:
- Disney and Disney Junior
- News Channels (including Fox, CNN, and more)
- National Geographic
- & more
And the best part is that there is no commitment. You can cancel at any time. If you find yourself not watching TV as much, or using a streaming service more than watching live TV, you won’t be penalized for canceling. It really is that easy.
YouTube TV is different than YouTube Red and YouTube Premium. YouTube TV is the “cable-like” option that YouTube offers. For $49.99 a month, you get access to over 70 channels. You’ll also be able to watch local sports and news, and a 5-day free trial to see if it’s the right choice for you.
- My local news networks (all of them)
- Cartoon Network
- ESPN 2
- Tru TV
- Fox Sports (Derek’s favorite! 🙂 )
- & more!
The service also offers movies, with no commercials, so you can catch up on new releases too. This is the most affordable on the list of all-in-one platforms, especially when you consider all of the channels you get. So, if you find yourself needing all of the most popular channels, this is your best option.
Utilize Free Options
Roku, AppleFire TV (and the fire stick), and Chrome Cast all have free “channels” that you can watch. They may not be the newest shows, but it works if you’re not big on watching TV. You can also utilize YouTube and Google to search for free shows and movies that are available.
For example, YouTube has a free movie option on their site. These movies are usually at least three years old, but many were shown in theaters and did pretty well. So if you missed out at the time, or just need a new movie to watch, searching online is great and means $0 spent.
Get An Antenna
I only recommend getting an antenna if you live in an area that supports it. From what I’ve heard, having an antenna in the middle of nowhere may not help you much. However, if you just want access to your local channels and news, paying a few bucks for a nice antenna can save you a ton of money in the long run.
Once you buy an antenna, you no longer have to pay for cable costs. So this is great if you don’t watch a lot of TV and are ready to cut the cord, but don’t want to pay more for internet streaming or other services. You can truly cut the cord and watch TV for free using an antenna.
Should You Cut The Cord?
As you can see, technology and streaming have come a long way. These days, you don’t really need to have cable in order to watch all of your favorite shows and movies. If you’re ready to cut the cord, it’s easier than ever. These streaming services and platforms can help save you money and still enjoy your time on the couch.
Are you ready to cut the cord and get rid of cable?
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.