Lowering Your Cable Bill, and Alternatives to Cable TV

Think About Lowering Your Cable Bill

Sitting on your couch, entering your second straight hour of flipping through channels trying to find something worthwhile to watch, the frustration builds with every click. Of course, that inner angst only increases when the bill arrives in your mailbox.

If it wouldn’t prove to be such a fruitless and depressing endeavor, you could actually compare your previous pay checks with prior cable bills and see how one stays the same while the other has steadily increased (Hint: your paycheck has not been steadily increasing). There are basically two strategies, each encompassing a few simple tips and things to consider, for saving money by eliminating or lowering your cable bill.

Lower Your Cable Bill

When you signed up for cable, the representative convinced you to add on a music package, and a must-have “free” sports package. They also tacked on a bunch of fancy movie channels and said that you could cancel at any time. Now you have 100 channels you don’t watch and a super-inflated bill to match. What can you do?

Even if your contract isn’t up yet you have options.

  • First of all, evaluate what you’re actually watching or enjoy watching. If you’re not watching a large number of the channels included in a given package deal, it would be more economical to downgrade your service to something more basic.
  • As with any product or service, shop around. Find a better price for the same service? Cable rates are actually, to a certain degree, negotiable. By calling the cable company and, calmly, informing them that you’ll have to change providers if you can’t get a better rate through them, they’ll likely offer you a better deal.
  • Pay attention to their current specials. Is there a holiday deal that you missed out on? Did you just move, but kept their service? Inquire about promotions that might apply to you and take advantage of them if you can.
  • If your bill is really increasing, there’s a good chance that your contract is up. Don’t just sign a new contract, call customer service and threaten to cancel. You’ll find that they’ll bend over backwards to keep you as a customer, offering all sorts of discounts and specials not previously mentioned.
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Eliminate Cable TV Completely

You have over 120 TV channels, yet you watch less than ten shows on a regular basis. Chances are, those shows are on only two or three networks. So why are you paying for a boatload of other channels you rarely glance at?

  • Online membership subscription sites can provide a much more flexible, individualized, and cheaper option than cable TV. Even traditional channels such as ABC and NBC shows can be seen on Hulu, and Netflix offers a variety of movies as well as original series such as “House of Cards”. These sites enable you to watch the programs you want, when you want to watch them, without having to pay for shows that you’ll never watch.
  • Rates for online viewing are a small fraction of the expense of cable TV.
  • Devices such as Roku, Google TV, Boxee, and Apple TV allow you to stream internet video, also providing you with the control, flexibility, and savings that you simply can’t get with cable. Or, if you’d like to avoid the additional box, there are also internet-ready Smart TV’s available.
  • Your local library can provide a great source of free movies and television series.

The next time you find yourself sifting through folk music channels and scripted reality TV, think about your ever-increasing cable bill and how much all those networks are really worth. It’s probably time to focus on lowing your cable bill, or finding a way to eliminate it altogether. If nothing else, your cable company is still at least useful for an internet connection.