So you think you have made the big decision, you are going to save yourself some money by cancelling cable. However, before you make the call maybe you should take one more look and assess a few things differently.
Is There One Show You Can Not Miss?
You might not have thought about it because your favorite show is on hiatus, but what about when it returns? Are you going to regret not getting to watch it, as it airs? If it is one of the big cable networks, then you can probably watch it on their website a day or two after airing, but if it is on HBO or Showtime, you will miss it.
Are You a Sports Fan?
If you are a sports fan, then cutting your cable may be a huge mistake. Getting live sports is difficult. Unless you plan to hang out at a friends or the bar for every game then the odds are you will miss a lot of them. In many areas you can pick up local games on antennae and a few of the major sports have online subscription programs to stream them, but you will still miss out n a lot of the big games. If you go for the streaming option you are once again adding to the bill and any savings you had by cutting cable are probably long gone.
With cable you could watch TV in the main room, while your kids watched cartoons elsewhere and maybe your spouse was watching something sports downstairs. Once you cut out the cable you are limiting the concurrent viewing options. Currently, Netflix will let you stream on two devices for $8 a month, or you can upgrade to their family plan that lets you stream on 4 devices for $11.99 a month. Sling on the other hand will only let you stream one device at a time. You need to think carefully about how many will be watching programs at the same time.
Now that you are continually streaming you better make sure that you have a top notch Internet connection, and that your equipment can handle it. You also need to make sure that you have unlimited (or darn close to it) data. Otherwise those overages fees for hitting your data cap will be the final bit that pushes your ‘savings’ back into the realm of cable costs.
There isn’t a Perfect Replacement
No matter what you decide to go with as a cable alternative there will always be something elsewhere that you want. Whether you chose Netflix or Hulu, Amazon Prime or Sling TV there will always be someone that has something else. They are competitors, they aren’t going to sit back and nicely share their content with each other. Don’t even be surprised to find that season one of your show might be on Netflix, but season two is over on Amazon, while the current season shows up on Hulu, forcing you to make a decision or shell out for all three services.
Cancelling Cable Might Cost More in the End
It looked like a good decision at the time, but when you start adding it all up did you really save money? First off you had to keep your Internet, which might have meant getting a whole new service, or separating it from cable and going a la carte, that probably meant that your Internet bill went up as it was no longer bundled.
Once you are without cable you might start off with a Netflix subscription, then you find yourself renting movies off Vudu, and you want to keep up on the current season so you get Hulu Plus. Now when you look at it you might still be saving a little of money, but you have four bills instead of one and you have to constantly swap between three different apps to watch your shows. Is that few dollars of savings worth the inconvenience?
Think about it before you end up cancelling cable — it may not be worth it.
Photo Credit: Jen Gallardo