Finding happiness in retirement

Cutting the Cable

I save over $100 every month since I’ve cut out cable TV. That $100 goes directly into my savings account on the 1st of the month so that I am reminded frequently of the worthwhileness of my decision. I am often asked how I replaced the cable so decided this info is a great post to share publicly.

 

Here are the basic necessities for getting started.

  • A TV antennae (not the rabbit-ears of yesteryear!). After some research, I ordered this antennae for each of my two TVs.
  • A streaming device to bring what was previously viewed on cable TV into the television. I chose a Roku3 because of its ability to stream in every channel I could conceive of using. Some devices will not stream Amazon TV, which comes with prime membership. The Roku3 has lived up to its stellar reviews.

 

The TV antennae can be purchased on-line or in stores. Either way, set up is very simple. The antennae plugs right into the side of the smart TV and can be mounted on the wall with Velcro tape. In order to pull in local stations, it has to be mounted on an outside wall, preferably near a window.

 

The Roku3 is a simple installation as well. It also plugs right into the side of the TV. You’ll be directed to set up a Roku account. This is easiest to set up on your computer. You’ll be given a code to enter directly onto the Roku3 remote to activate the channels you want on the device.

 

I use my TV remote to choose the source of the TV I want to use; “TV” for the local channels if I want to watch live news or PBS or “Roku” that will bring me to my subscribed channels. You can search right on the Roku remote device using the voice search. The results will be listed on your TV showing all the stations that carry that show. I have found that often if I don’t subscribe to a station that carries it, the show may be available free or for a fee on Amazon. Even paying for a show now and then is cheaper than the exorbitant cable bills.

 

This is a list of my subscriptions and their monthly cost:

Amazon: The TV subscription is free with prime membership. While there are many free shows and movies, there are series and movies that can be purchased and billed to your Amazon account. Purchasing one of these now and then is still cheaper than cable.

 

Sling: I constantly debate whether or not to drop this service. This is my only access to current HGTV, which for me is better than taking a valium. I only watch it a couple of times a month on Sling, but just can’t seem to give it up. The TV shows are live as well as on demand. I could care less about watching sports, but I have discovered that many are covered on Sling TV.  All the ESPN programming is streamed, making that service popular with sports-lovers who want to cut the cable.  It’s worth checking out for $20 per month. Like all the others, there’s a free first week.

 

Hulu: This is my go-to account. I chose the commercial free service which is 11.99 per month. All the network shows are available about 8 hours after running on live TV. So many networks are available including MSNBC. The great feature on the news shows is being able to watch clips of the show. If you really want to see something that’s been over-promoted on Good Morning America, you can go in after the show airs and watch the 2- minute clip. Hulu includes a lot of movies, documentaries and original shows.

 

HBO Now: I tried to avoid paying another $15 per month, but discovered that there’s great shows on HBO that are worth the price. Vice News and John Oliver’s shows are my weekly go-to ones, but I’ve also watched quite a number of documentaries and series.

 

Netflix: At 9.99 per month, Netflix continues to be a great way to see movies, shows, and Netflix originals.

 

If this didn’t address all your questions about how to quit paying $200+ per month for cable, here is an additional guide to help you: Cord Cutting Guide I consider cable TV and cellular phone service to be the two biggest current rip-offs. I’m thrilled to have found a way to get around one of them!

 



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