I’ve noticed a lot more people talking about cutting the cord. If you’ve never heard that term, it just means cutting cable and saving the monthly subscription cost. I’m a cord cutter and did it a few years ago. The funny thing is I cut the cord after I paid off my credit card debt. Why? I realized I was wasting my time watching ever-crappy programming. There were very few shows that I actually watched and most revolved around reality television, which is the bane of my existence. My wife and I only watched about 12 channels out of over 200. We were also paying well over $100 a month for both TV and internet. I was on a quest to start growing my wealth, so I figured the first thing to go would be cable. I’m lucky in that I have a very understanding wife who goes along with most of what I suggest. It makes saving money much easier. Either way, I wanted to take a little time today to talk about the honest truth of cord cutting. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns over here my friends. If you’re addicted to TV, then cutting the cord won’t be for you.
You WILL Save Money
The first truth about cutting the cord is you do save money. While most people bundle their services together, removing cable is a big chunk of change back into your wallet. We saved around $70 per month by cutting the cord. That was with the addition cost of services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Now, just because you save money, doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. It’s what you do with that extra cash that makes cutting the cord a memorable experience. I’ve saved some of it and used other parts of it to invest. Can’t complain there!
You’re Not Actually Cutting the Cord
I’ve never really understood “cutting the cord” as a term for getting rid of cable. Maybe this was back in the day when you got rid of cable, but had no other form of entertainment except for a radio. Today, you still have internet, but that still requires that pesky cord. The cord probably comes from the exact same company that provided you with cable. I know that’s how it is in most places. Time Warner Cable provides me with internet access and used to charge me for cable. I didn’t truly “cut the cord” as I still needed the cord to provide me with internet access.
Without internet access, cutting the cord wouldn’t be entirely possible. I need it for my Netflix subscription. I just tested out Sling TV and that needs wireless access. My Amazon Fire TV Stick also needs internet access to work. So, why do we keep using this “cut the cord” phrase. We aren’t cutting anything, just removing a subscription.
If You Like Sports and Reality TV, You’ll Miss Cable
I didn’t go long without TV. I bought a Mohu Leaf (upgraded recently to the Moho Leaf 50) and got over-the-air broadcast shows at my house. I have three antennas and don’t have any monthly cost to use them. Two months of cable savings paid for those antennas. These antennas were able to pick up the big, broadcast channels. In all, I have 22 channels to watch. The include CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, and some other local channels. The others are shopping related and I don’t care about those. This enables me to watch some of the shows I enjoy and get to see some games for Sunday Football.
If you’re a real fan of sports or need Reality TV that’s not on the broadcast channels, then cutting the cord might be difficult for you. There are a few ways you can watch shows online, but then you would need to hook up your computer/tablet to your TV. That’s always a hassle for some. The biggest complaint I hear about people who cut the cord were the loss of sports. Again, you can get ESPN and ESPN with Sling TV (read my review here), but it’s no comparison to a massive sports package. The same goes with Reality TV. If you need to watch Bravo or shows on the OWN network, then cancelling cable will get you no where.
Pay Attention to the Costs of Replacement Services
Most people don’t just cut the cord and be done with it. They typically replace cable with something like Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video. Well, those things cost money. Netflix is about $9 a month and Amazon can be extrapolated out to $8.25 per month. If you went with Sling TV, then you’re paying $20 per month (more if you add their extras). You have to add in all the costs associated with any replacement service you choose. That will show you what you’re really saving. Make sure to add in the costs for any additional devices you need to stream content online. Here are five good ones to try if you don’t have any, but they do cost money. Also, see what you will be charged once you leave just for internet service. Most big companies charge lower for the bundle, so when you cut out cable, the price of your remaining services tend to go up.
I didn’t want my internet to go up, so I negotiated with Time Warner Cable and have been paying the same price ever since. Yes, I have to call, but I’m very nice over the phone and they respond with a new “promotional” price.
New Shows/Movies are Few and Far Between
Anyone who has cut the cord knows that you won’t get access to the newest shows or movies. That’s one of the bigger complaints about Netflix and other streaming services. You can only blame the studios for that, but it does get to you on occasion. I’m a big fan of Sons of Anarchy, and I’ve been waiting for the final season to come on Netflix (it has this month) ever since the last episode aired months ago. This is what you get. Unless you have Sling TV, you don’t get the latest shows.
You can get some shows a day late from Hulu and Hulu Plus, but I get many of those networks on my antenna. If you’re a fan of a current show that isn’t on a broadcast network, then you will have to suck it up. New shows and movies are part of the deal with cutting the cord. You might miss them, you might not.
Well, there you have it everyone. These are some of the honest truths about cord cutting. It’s not all glamorous, but I haven’t looked back yet. I find I have more free time to do things I enjoy, like DIY and making extra money! I also don’t have to sit through a deluge of mind-numbing commercials that take up over half of a TV shows allotted time slot. If I want to watch ads, I will just do it at someone else’s house. They can keep the cable bill and I will just move on. The cord cutting movement is growing ever so slightly, but it is growing. More and more people are realizing how much they are paying for cable. It’s not for everyone and I’m not one to push it down someone’s throat. If you want cable, then enjoy it. I would rather have my $70 a month!