I got rid of my cable in January, 2010. It was a liberating and awesome moment. Cutting the cord is one of the easiest ways to save on home expenses. But when I tell people, they ask, “what about sports, what about new TV shows?” I don't need sports or new shows, I'm happy with old shows. But if you are interested in keeping sports and new shows without cable at home, read on for a full breakdown.
What Do You Really Need?
Before you worry too much about missing every baseball game, do you really watch them all? Before you worry about missing 17 regular season football games, think about the number you watch? How about your favorite show? Is it only available on cable, or are there cheaper options available?
If you really think about it, you probably don't need to give your cable company $80 a month to watch TV. I have $35 per month internet and it is plenty fast for me to stream HD movies on Netflix. My Netflix package costs less than $20 per month for unlimited streaming and one DVD at a time. That gives me everything I need.
What if You Want It All?
If you want the latest and greatest, here is a great video that explains everything you need to know about the costs. There is some liberal rounding, but it can give you a good idea of what to expect if you want the same entertainment package you get from cable.
Wow, those numbers sure add up fast. If you want Netflix, Hulu Premium, Amazon Prime, two sports packages, super fast internet, X-Box Live, streaming for your iPad, and a few purchased movies every month.
Stream Right to Your TV
The biggest game changer for me was buying a Roku a few years back. While I have since switched to using a Chromecast I control from my phone and web browser, I can watch my favorite movies and shows right on my TV without any funky cords or wires.
What Do You Really Want?
Despite what you may believe, TV is not a need for anyone. We can all live happy, productive lives without it. I have not had cable at home in more than three years, and it has made my life better. Instead of sitting at home by myself, I go out to community events, ride my bike, see friends, and enjoy what my city has to offer.
If you really do want sports and TV though, pick and choose what you really need. You don't have to spend $180 to overhaul your entertainment package. Instead, pick what you want and dump the rest. I pay $35 each month for internet, $17 every month for Netflix, and pick the subscriptions you will really use to save money with a an la carte TV experience. But the total cost of that is far less than what I paid for cable.
Image by Rob Poetsch / flickr